Melody Valve HiFi PM845 Mono-Block Amplifier
By: Terry London,
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• The Melody Valve HiFi PM845 mono blocks are built to a superlative level and are some of the most attractive amplifiers I have ever seen.
• These mono blocks have the current and watts to drive virtually any speaker on the market today.
• It has a silky, grainless presentation that allows the true timbres of instruments to be clearly heard.
• As far as macro-dynamics and overall bass extension, these mono blocks will control the bottom end of any speakers with total authority.
• The PM845 mono blocks produce an airy, large soundstage, with excellent space between different players.
• Like all tube-based gear, the Melody Valve HiFi PM845 mono blocks will need retubing in the future. Therefore, the cost of the tubes must be taken into consideration.
• These are large and heavy mono blocks, so they will occupy a lot of space in your room.
Competition and Comparison
Given the PM845's retail price of $8,499 per pair, the tube-based amplifiers that would be its competitors are the Berning ZH-230 ZOTL, valued at $8,360, and the Luxman MQ-88, valued at $8,000. The Luxman MQ-88 falls far short of the Melody Valve HiFi PM845 in the areas of macro-dynamics, transparency, and extension on both the top and bottom frequencies. The Berning ZH-230 ZOTL is much closer to the sonic signature of the Melody mono blocks in these areas; however, when it comes to ultimate power and control, it is not the equal of the PM845.
I came to this review with this question in mind: "How different or similar would a 300B-based amplifier be when compared with an 845-based amplifier?" After much listening, I have come to the conclusion that both tubes offer a grainless liquid tonality with beautiful natural timbres. The 300B is somewhat warmer and fuller-sounding, while the 845 is slightly more silky than velvety, but is quicker and more dynamic-sounding. The Melody Valve HiFi PM845 mono blocks are not only true "eye candy," with a build quality to match their appearance, but they also perform at a true reference level. Concerning tonal purity, transparency, micro-details, and power, these are some of the best amplifiers I have had in my listening room. If my budget were to allow for it, I would purchase this pair of mono blocks to add them to my stable of amplifiers. I strongly recommend putting the PM845 on your audition list if you are considering mono blocks in this price range.
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