Line Magnetic LM-845IA integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog sources: Garrard 301 turntable in a Box Furniture Co. plinth; Thomas Schick 12" tonearm; Ortofon SPU Classic G cartridge; Zu/Denon DL-103 cartridge.
Digital sources: Denafrips Terminator DAC; Sonore optical-Rendu; Roon Nucleus+; Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i5 server running Roon Core.
Preamplification: Shindo Aurieges preamplifier; Parasound Halo JC 3+ phono preamplifier; Auditorium 23 SPU step-up transformer.
Power amplifiers: Shindo Montille; single-ended amplifier (with triode-wired 307A output tubes) built by Oliver Sayes.
Loudspeakers: Altec Valencia 846A, DeVore Orangutan O/96.
Cables: Interconnect: Auditorium 23; Speaker: AudioQuest William Tell Silver; AC: AudioQuest Thunder and Hurricane; USB: AudioQuest Diamond; Ethernet: AudioQuest Diamond.
Accessories: Box Furniture Co. Heritage stand; AudioQuest Niagara 3000 power conditioner; Sonore opticalModule; Uptone Audio ISO REGEN USB filter; DJM Electronics GigaFOILv4-INLINE Ethernet filter; Vinnie Rossi MINI PURE-DC-4EVR 9-Volt DC Power Supply; IsoAcoustics OREA Bordeaux isolation footers; Cardas Myrtlewood blocks; Dennesen Soundtractor cartridge alignment tool; AudioQuest Anti-Static Record Brush; Last Stylus Cleaner; VPI Industries HW-16.5 record cleaning machine.—Alex Halberstadt

Line Magnetic Audio Co. Ltd.
US distributor: Tone Imports

Anton's picture

I walk around in the summertime saying "How about this heat!"

That is some hot hot heat on that amplifier. I think the required AC support noise would mask some of the sonic benefits of the amp.

Everything else you wrote about it sounds like it would be perfect...even the price! I half expected it to be some 33,900 dollar audio-decoration room heater, but that price for that amount of kit seems not crazy! It's a good spot where a person of normal means could save up and get one.

Thank you for a really great review. The review gave me a tactile feeling about this amplifier.

I wonder if you could put those AGD Productions tubes into those sockets and get a cooler running amp.

(No need to explain the joke, friends.)

JHL's picture

*This* is reviewing; audio for the senses and for the beauty.

philipjohnwright's picture

Lovely lovely writing. And having had an 845IA at home for an extended period I recognise and second the impressions conveyed. I just wasn't daft enough to burn myself :-)

Archguy's picture

Agree with the other commenters: this is one of the more pleasurable reads in memory here.

Thanks to Alex also for the Rubens references. Though he's not one of my favorite painters, it's gratifying even to see him mentioned, in these apparently waning days of Western Civilization.

This latest 'best-ever' amplifier sounds tempting indeed--for the two or three months of the year that are not blistering hot where I live. Line Magnetic appears to have married good sound to good aesthetics which is no mean feat--judging from many pieces in the marketplace.

Gratifying also to have it reviewed in a decent space rather than a tiny, overcrowded apartment bedroom. Not mentioning any names of course. But good apparatus fairly demands good space and acoustics. Otherwise I'm not entirely sure what the point is. Salut

Metalhead's picture

Great review and enjoyed your writing, whoever the hell you are? Of course your preaching to the choir here as I fell deep and hard for tubes in the go-go 80's. Couldn't afford tube gear until the 90's but it was worth saving for.

I was lucky enough to hear the big Line Magnetic at Pitchperfect audio when Matt was in LA. Probably the predecessor to this model? 28 watts or so of SET and it was captivating and enthralling through those DeVore speakers he had. I bought a Leben 28 pre that has been a rock solid and wonderful preamp.

In any event I really enjoyed your review and you are going to make Herb earn his keep as the tube pantheon review King. Love me my Fremer but he can keep that solid state big overblown stuff. GIVE ME TUBES!!!!!!

Ortofan's picture

... Willsenton R-800i-300B-845?
Perhaps HR can evaluate it?

Thermionic's picture

845 or 211, SE or PP, would have been wonderful to have tried with your old speakers, Spica Angelus. I caught your review of them on Listener a long time ago, which I do appreciate. I still have mine, although I have JBL monitors, De Capo-i’s, LS50, Proac, and LS3/5a, The Spica’s, as you know, sound heavenly on 300B SE, but I have tried them with 845s and 211’s, which also give a different type of umami filigree (to borrow/paraphrase Herb). Great writing btw.

Jack L's picture


Yes, 300B is the best sounding power tube I ever audition. It did indeed sound "heavenly" in the Audio Note Japan 'Kegon' power amp (USD125,000).

I also audition the later Audio Note Japan single-ended class A power
monblocks using 211s. Yes, more power but sonically could still not touch 300B.

300B sounds like a Cinderella spinning ballet on her dancing shoes ! So lovely.

Jack L

Jack L's picture

.......... vintage alternatives:" quoted Alex H.

Yes, replacing the made-in-China tubes is the must thing to do for any made-in-china amps, respectively of pricing.

That's explain I never like the sound of any made-in-China amps due to the made-in-China tubes used.

IMO, $5,000 an amp from China is not cheap at all given made-in-China tubes used therein.

I had the chance of auditioning a made-in-China power amp using the DIYer-beloved 2A3 tubes using similar design topology like the LM-8451A, using a power triode to drive the 2A3. Of course, only 5W output power per channel.

It was given to me for replacing all the crappie coupling & HV bypassing capacitors therin with high current made-in-USA metallized polypropylene film caps, same as those I used in my KEF bi-wired X-over networks.

After a whole month audition after upgrading the caps, I was still not impressed, obviously due to the made-in-china tubes.

No free lunch, guys. Money talks.

Listening is believing

Jack L

shawnwes's picture

Such excellent value in these days of $10k integrateds. Alas my back health won out and I picked up something I could actually move w/o going to see my chiropractor!

Jack L's picture


I wish you were a smart audio DIYer like yours truly who builds tube amps like a piece of cake.

Good sounding amps do not NEED to be backwrecking heavy.

The 6-all-triode stereo power amp (single-ended class A) I design/built SMARTLY many years back mainly for my vinyl music, delivering only 5W+5Wrms, weighs only some 10 lbs !!!!!!!!

Supplemented by 3 active subwoofers (L, R, & L+R), this home-brew Little David rocks my 700sq-ft basement sound den with realistic cathedral pipe organ music, no sweat !!!!

Listening is believing

Jack L

The Tinkerer's picture

I began my LM journey with an LM805IA integrated. Then upgraded to their separate LM512CA preamp and LM503PA 845-based monoblocks. Steadily upgraded all tubes to either Linlai WE clone or NOS (Mullard, Raytheon, Sylvania JAN CHS, etc). Just a stupid great experience even with middling 8r/88dB speakers in my smaller room. Great write up!!