New from British amplifier company Icon Audio is the MB845 MkIi monobloc power amplifier, delivering 110W and selling for £5000 a pair.
Designed around the RCA 845 valve, a triode design first used in the 1930s to deliver more powerful amplifiers, the new model uses a driver stage using a pair of 6SN7 valves, an improved choke-regulated power supply and custom-made handwound output transformers.
At 37kg the new model is 50% heftier than the original MB845 monobloc, in no small part due to the use of a massive aluminium damping plate on the chassis, and is hand-wired throughout with silver plated wire.
There's an input sensitivity switch to allow the amps to be used with both active and passive preamps, and separate taps for 4ohm and 8ohm speakers allow the amp to maintain its output power into either load.
The amplifiers are designed by Icon Audio founder David Shaw, and manufactured in China under his close supervision, with final assembly and testing being carried out at Icon's base in Leicester.
More after the break
In addition to the standard version, the MB845 MkII amps are available in a £6000-a-pair David Shaw Signature version, with Jensen copper foil oil-in-paper capacitors and premium valves.