A Lyrical Tale of the Beauty and the Beast
Thivan Labs artfully combines a very distinctive and minimalist, highly functional and bold Bauhaus aesthetic with an unmistakable sonic identity … one that, with disarming honesty, infuses the “system equation” with a rich and lyrical narrative … a sonic narrative that is beguilingly poetic in cadence, such that the more you listen, the more lyrical the musical journey becomes !
THIVAN LABS 805SE LION
SINGLE-ENDED TRIODE TUBE AMPLIFIERS
THIVAN LABS LION 805A SE Mk2
Thivan Labs Lion 805A SE Mk2
805A Integrated Amplifier
Output power : 2x40W
Class of operation : SE (class A)
Tube complement :
2x 805A, 1x 12AU7, 1x 6SN7, 2x 6V6
Inputs : 2x RCA , 1x XLR
Remote : Yes
Outputs : 4,6,8,16 ohm
Input sensitivity :
Frequency bandwidth : 15Hz-38KHz (-3dB)
Input impedance : 100K
Power consumption : 500VA
Size : 450×500x290mm
Weight : 54kg (120 lbs)
Hardwired Point-to-Point Circuit
$ 8,250/ DD-P $ 6,700
As is the case with all Thivan Labs amplifiers, the Lion 805A SE Mk2 Integrated's power source is carefully designed with 5 filter levels including large-sized chokes and oil caps. The power supply for the Power and Driver stages is separated to provide absolute stability and stillness for the amplifier.
Thivan’s power transformer is specifically manufactured to suit the Driver and Power stages. This solution has maximized the powerful and smooth sound quality of the 805A tube, and has also resulted in better sound spectrum control, especially when it comes to bass response.
Thivan’s OPT transformers are all substantially up-rated, and as such, they are very large and heavy. Again here, as with the Power Supply circuit, the aim is to ensure delivery of this tube's power output capacity of 40w across the entire 20Hz – 20 kHz frequency range.
The components used are de facto of high quality and are guaranteed by Thivan Labs to ensure stable and reliable operation. The Thivan Labs gear Build and Construction Solidity falls into the "extreme" type arena, and this beast of a piece is no exception weighing in at 54kg ... 120 lbs !!
Two 6V6 tubes serve as grid current drivers, and a 12AU7 (ECC82) and 6SN7 share input duties. The balanced inputs are connected to internal unbalancing transformers.
... about the tubes ...
... "to roll or not to roll" ...
on the left
on the right
805 / 805A :
805A COSSOR Series
805A HIFI Series
805A ACME Series
805 T-2 Series
805 HIFI Series
LINLAI / SHUGUANG
805A LINLAI DG
805A LINLAI Global Elite
805A SHUGUANG HIFI
805/FU-5 SHUGUANG HIFI
805A-T SG-NATURAL SOUND
FULL MUSIC 805A CNE
What they say ...
Alexander Aschenbrunner | March, 2021
There is no substitute for displacement [ as in cubic inches ] ... Anyone who has ever had an eight-cylinder, or even more cylinders, under the hood in their life knows what I am writing about.
It may have been some time ago that you had experiences with a BMW M5 with its ten cylinders in the naturally aspirated version, or an Aston Martin Bi-Turbo, or a Range Rover Classic, but the memory of the "high" you experience with such large-displacement types always remains fresh in your minds.
What's in a number ... "tube talk"
We don't have to beat around the bush for too long :
The 805 transmitter tube is one of the strongest among the potent transmitter tube types. 40 watts (80 watts peak) are "always present" ... and that makes this tube a reference "number" among all tube types. Anyone who has ever heard and experienced the sheer heft of this level of power and magnificence might understand why I am hardly a friend of the dainty and "delicate triode". I like my triodes big and solid, stable and uncomplicated. Selecting and finding a suitable loudspeaker for a robust transmitter tube is not exactly the most difficult task ... with a 300B or 2A3, on the other hand, it's always an issue ...
Of course, such solid tube watts are not available for free, because this amp's "more than decent" 310 watts of "power consumption" are the price one has to pay for performance ... the power required to supply enough grid current for an amp which operates in Class-A2.
More Tubes ...
In the Lion 805's case, the grid driver is the 6V6 beam power tetrode.
The observant eye will also find two ECC82 / 12AU7 dual triodes and a 6SN7 ... which means that the preamplifier section is very well served.
Build and Finish
I really don't want to go on and on in detail about the flawless workmanship at Thivan Labs ... I've already gotten used to this from the other models that I had previously reviewed ... but for the sake of completeness, I will at least mention this build quality again.
... and suffice it to say that the 805 looks "really sharp", especially in the rosewood veneer chassis. I also personally find that the blissfully tidy and almost clean visuals of the Thivan 805 Gold Lion are extremely "chic"... what a great idea to hide the preamp tubes behind the extremely solid power supply and output transformers !
The 805A transmitter tube used in the Lion is a special version of the 805 that was specially developed by Psvane for hi-fi applications. Here, the anode is supplied via 'pin 3' instead of via the connection of an anode cap. In contrast to the Thivan 811A, the XLR inputs of the 805 Gold Lion are indeed symmetrical and connect to transformers.
The beast can be made loud or quiet using the remote control ... via a motorized Alps potentiometer. The weight of 55 kg is, and remains "band-disc-killing", and the construction is not only ample due to its dimensions of 49 cm W, 50 cm D, and 49 cm H, but also allows the amplifier to breathe freely. A good hour goes by until everything is properly warmed up - a lot of time for a lot of watts. All loudspeaker input impedance values can be connected, as the Thivan 805 offers separate outputs of 4, 6, 8, and 16 ohms to the appropriate input.
In use ...
Due to its omnipotent power, the Thivan Labs Gold Lion 805 is relatively uncritical when combining with various loudspeakers.
In my test I used the 94dB DynamiKKs Monitor 12 loudspeaker, and this immediately proved to be a very coherent combination.
I won't bore you with copious descriptions of what this amp sounds like with the usual litany of tracks ... but here are a few key impressions which will relay what matters. Most everyone will know the Beatles song "Can't Buy Me Love" and will remember the complex drive and dynamics in this piece. Well ... this amplifier shows its true abilities with this track ... everything seems to be so effortless and natural with the Lion 805 ... no doubt due to its large "tube displacement". This is also perfectly demonstrated with Yello's “Kiss The Cloud” track. Here again, this amp unfolds its majestic power with a highly addictive ease.
The short version of my conclusion
The asking price is a "Hammer" in itself [ German-speak for Killer-Value ]. If you consider the quality of construction and execution, as well as its sonic talents ... and put this into a competitive perspective [ i.e. are there any? ], then there is currently nothing out there that is better for the money.
I will remember this “hot beast” for a long time ... !