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300B's


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I have owned a pair of Cymer 13E1 mono's and listened to many and varied cheap and uber expensive KT, EL, 6550'S ETC

 

I was doing some searching on weston acoustics amps and came across and old for sale add for some 300b mono's with touchstone pre that was built to spec of 35w class A.

 

I really loved my old cymers but I just needed a bit more grunt and the quest for that bit better was always in the back of my head.

 

I have never listened to any 300B amps. 

 

I know its a subjective answer, however what are peoples opinions on 300b sound over  the cymers (if you have heard them) or KTS ETC?

 

 

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With the right speakers they are a beautiful sounding valve.

Mine have plenty of grunt and are not lazy at all.

If you hear a lazy 300B it is because the speakers are no match or the amplifier is badly designed.

If you were in Perth I would gladly have you over for a listen to my set up.300B.thumb.jpg.d721f3e71f5dbe93b39c39e60038b06c.jpg

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My favourite output valve by some measure. Absolutely beautiful sound working as an SET. Lightning fast, liquid, sweet , holographic and extended when built in a quality circuit with the correct speakers.

 

Limited output as an SET, just 8 or 9 Watts. Requires extremely careful matching with speakers, simple efficiency is not enough, even with a benign impedance. Theoretical matches often fail, you need to hook them up to know for sure. Find the right match and the days of buying hifi will come to an end.

 

The best usable compromise is Parallel Single Ended, two 300 Bs working in Parallel to produce 16 to 18 Watts. The pairs of valves however must be very closely matched. This will drive far , far more speakers. Magnificent sound but less translucent than pure SET, still way beyond the sound of most amplifiers. Push pull the same pair to gain about 21 Watts with a touch more bass control but a loss in the pure beauty and reality of SET or PSE.

 

The 35 Watt Monoblocks you refer to appear to be Parallelled ,push pull amps. This could be the best of all worlds or the worst. Attempting to produce this level of power from a 300B based amp seems counterintuitive. It is the low output , simple purity that lies at the heart of the magic sound of a 300B. Better to find the right speaker. Replacing 8 x 300B’s is not a job for a light wallet either.

 

Find a correctly matched 300B system and listen, you will know immediately if this is the right valve for you.

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22 minutes ago, Ooogh said:

My favourite output valve by some measure. Absolutely beautiful sound working as an SET. Lightning fast, liquid, sweet , holographic and extended when built in a quality circuit with the correct speakers.

 

Limited output as an SET, just 8 or 9 Watts. Requires extremely careful matching with speakers, simple efficiency is not enough, even with a benign impedance. Theoretical matches often fail, you need to hook them up to know for sure. Find the right match and the days of buying hifi will come to an end.

 

The best usable compromise is Parallel Single Ended, two 300 Bs working in Parallel to produce 16 to 18 Watts. The pairs of valves however must be very closely matched. This will drive far , far more speakers. Magnificent sound but less translucent than pure SET, still way beyond the sound of most amplifiers. Push pull the same pair to gain about 21 Watts with a touch more bass control but a loss in the pure beauty and reality of SET or PSE.

 

The 35 Watt Monoblocks you refer to appear to be Parallelled ,push pull amps. This could be the best of all worlds or the worst. Attempting to produce this level of power from a 300B based amp seems counterintuitive. It is the low output , simple purity that lies at the heart of the magic sound of a 300B. Better to find the right speaker. Replacing 8 x 300B’s is not a job for a light wallet either.

 

Find a correctly matched 300B system and listen, you will know immediately if this is the right valve for you.

I do agree that theoretical matching might not give you the desired result. 

What would some of your favorite speakers be for a low power 300B.

I would love to try some of the Klipsch Heritage Classic range.

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3 minutes ago, Ihearmusic said:

I do agree that theoretical matching might not give you the desired result. 

What would some of your favorite speakers be for a low power 300B.

I would love to try some of the Klipsch Heritage Classic range.

Interesting one the Klipsch. I had a great friend who owned numerous pairs of the classic range, four pairs of Corner Horns over the years! We were fortunate enough at the time to have access to my Audion Silver Nights (18 Watts PSE) and a friends Audion Golden Nights (9 Watts SET).  The Golden Nights simply could not drive them properly, even though 101dB efficient. The Silver Nights however were sublime, best amps we heard on the Corner Horns. Still not my sound, I have never really warmed to Klipsch. My friend however wouldn’t own anything else.

 

Just a week ago listened to a pair of La Scala’s with the Silver Nights and was less than impressed. Then again we had been enjoying Avant Garde Duos before hand so pretty much anything would disappoint. Now that is a pairing that works!

 

Failing winning the lotto other choices are the AudioNote UK range AN /k-j-e. Personally I would go for the early ones that do not require corner loading. Very, very rarely seen up for sale second hand in Australia. DeVore, again expensive, some ProAc, some Triangle, again early versions. Most of these are more suited to PSE amps. 

 

I have very successfully driven Yamaha NS1000’s with push pull 300B’s.

 

Now the only speakers I heard truly work with a 9 Watt SET were my friend Bob’s concete horns. 3 way Horns at the front of the room the the entire back wall dedicated to 20 tonnes of folded concrete horns driven by a pair of 12”drivers.  Only time I experienced ‘bass bounce”. Softball  sized flaming balls of bass that physically assault you, hard to describe. Anyone tells you 300B’s can’t do bass hasn’t heard this system.

 

I like 300B bass with the right speaker, it has a fullness,it is plump and resonant. Bongos and large drums sound wrong with most other amps in comparison, in my opinion, you hear the skin and the vessel. Driving a SS plate amp via the high gain inputs in a subwoofer can have excellent results, the control and pulse of the plate amp but the bloom and overhang of the 300B. Listen to a bass player live, it is not just a thud, the note has bloom and overhang.

 

It is a hard road to travel , speaker choices are limited , often expensive and the pairing can fail miserably! I bought a pair of Ambience High Effeciency 1600’s with their 96dB rating to match my Audions, absolute disaster. Ended up driving them with  a 300 Watt Bryston 4B3. You simply  have to hear the combination together , the rest is just educated guess work.

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18 hours ago, Ihearmusic said:

With the right speakers they are a beautiful sounding valve.

Mine have plenty of grunt and are not lazy at all.

If you hear a lazy 300B it is because the speakers are no match or the amplifier is badly designed.

If you were in Perth I would gladly have you over for a listen to my set up.300B.thumb.jpg.d721f3e71f5dbe93b39c39e60038b06c.jpg

It is a lazy valves compared to 13e1.

OP is asking how  300b is compared to 13e1....it certainly does not have the grunt...again comparatively.

Yes speaker matching is important hence I asked the question... 

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23 minutes ago, pulinap said:

It is a lazy valves compared to 13e1.

OP is asking how  300b is compared to 13e1....it certainly does not have the grunt...again comparatively.

Yes speaker matching is important hence I asked the question... 

True, true. My bad. In the haste of replying, I forgot what the precise question was and therefor answered the question in such away as to propagate the idea of the 300B being a fine Tube.....

Must be the closet politician inside me.

 

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38 minutes ago, Ooogh said:

Interesting one the Klipsch. I had a great friend who owned numerous pairs of the classic range, four pairs of Corner Horns over the years! We were fortunate enough at the time to have access to my Audion Silver Nights (18 Watts PSE) and a friends Audion Golden Nights (9 Watts SET).  The Golden Nights simply could not drive them properly, even though 101dB efficient. The Silver Nights however were sublime, best amps we heard on the Corner Horns. Still not my sound, I have never really warmed to Klipsch. My friend however wouldn’t own anything else.

 

Just a week ago listened to a pair of La Scala’s with the Silver Nights and was less than impressed. Then again we had been enjoying Avant Garde Duos before hand so pretty much anything would disappoint. Now that is a pairing that works!

 

Failing winning the lotto other choices are the AudioNote UK range AN /k-j-e. Personally I would go for the early ones that do not require corner loading. Very, very rarely seen up for sale second hand in Australia. DeVore, again expensive, some ProAc, some Triangle, again early versions. Most of these are more suited to PSE amps. 

 

I have very successfully driven Yamaha NS1000’s with push pull 300B’s.

 

Now the only speakers I heard truly work with a 9 Watt SET were my friend Bob’s concete horns. 3 way Horns at the front of the room the the entire back wall dedicated to 20 tonnes of folded concrete horns driven by a pair of 12”drivers.  Only time I experienced ‘bass bounce”. Softball  sized flaming balls of bass that physically assault you, hard to describe. Anyone tells you 300B’s can’t do bass hasn’t heard this system.

 

I like 300B bass with the right speaker, it has a fullness,it is plump and resonant. Bongos and large drums sound wrong with most other amps in comparison, in my opinion, you hear the skin and the vessel. Driving a SS plate amp via the high gain inputs in a subwoofer can have excellent results, the control and pulse of the plate amp but the bloom and overhang of the 300B. Listen to a bass player live, it is not just a thud, the note has bloom and overhang.

 

It is a hard road to travel , speaker choices are limited , often expensive and the pairing can fail miserably! I bought a pair of Ambience High Effeciency 1600’s with their 96dB rating to match my Audions, absolute disaster. Ended up driving them with  a 300 Watt Bryston 4B3. You simply  have to hear the combination together , the rest is just educated guess work.

Well, at this point in time I do like the ZU's. The Soul MKII are a good mach for my amp and at a reasonable price at that.

I would not mind hearing the amp through some horns though.

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300B is very difficult to drive well.   Many "poorly" designed amplifiers, resulting in the tell-tale symptom of a wide range of sounds from amps with that tube.

 

... but to the actual question.    No 300B won't make nearly as much power.... so "not as much grunt" .... if by "grunt" you actually mean power(watts), as opposed to subjective "powerful sound" (which might not have anything to do with the actual amount of volts and amps).

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