300b lovers

I have been an owner of Don Sachs gear since he began, and he modified all my HK Citation gear before he came out with his own creations.  I bought a Willsenton 300b integrated amp and was smitten with the sound of it, inexpensive as it is.  Don told me that he was designing a 300b amp with the legendary Lynn Olson and lo and behold, I got one of his early pair of pre-production mono-blocks recently, driving Spatial Audio M5 Triode Masters.  

Now with a week on the amp, I am eager to say that these 300b amps are simply sensational, creating a sound that brings the musicians right into my listening room with a palpable presence.  They create the most open vidid presentation to the music -- they are neither warm nor cool, just uncannily true to the source of the music.  They replace his excellent Kootai KT88 which I was dubious about being bettered by anything, but these amps are just outstanding.  Don is nearing production of a successor to his highly regard DS2 preamp, which also will have a  unique circuitry to mate with his 300b monos via XLR connections.  Don explained the sonic benefits of this design and it went over my head, but clearly these designs are well though out.. my ears confirm it. 

I have been an audiophile for nearly 50 years having had a boatload of electronics during that time, but I personally have never heard such a realistic presentation to my music as I am hearing with these 300b monos in my system.  300b tubes lend themselves to realistic music reproduction as my Willsenton 300b integrated amps informed me, but Don's 300b amps are in a entirely different realm.  Of course, 300b amps favor efficient speakers so carefully component matching is paramount.

Don is working out a business arrangement to have his electronics built by an American audio firm so they will soon be more widely available to the public.  Don will be attending the Seattle Audio Show in June in the Spatial Audio room where the speakers will be driven by his 300b monos and his preamp, with digital conversion with the outstanding Lampizator Pacific tube DAC.  I will be there to hear what I expect to be an outstanding sonic presentation.  

To allay any questions about the cost of Don's 300b mono, I do not have an answer. 





I am seriously thinking of coming to Seattle for the audio show in June. Are you going to be there every day? I’ve never been to one of these shows before. Meeting you in person (finally) and seeing your 300b mono blocks is a main motivator.

As someone who has done this on numerous occasions I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s worth the time and effort. You can speak directly with Don , gain valuable insights and actually see and hear his new 300b amplifier. This can be a very rewarding encounter. Meeting the folks behind the products has  certainly worked out that way for me.


The post from @pindac above is spot on.  Most people think a 300b is a fuzzy rolled off tube.  That is because they heard it in a single ended amp with a mediocre power supply, and most likely an inadequate driver section, and possibly mediocre output transformers.  Such as all the entry level Chinese 300b amps.  They still are pleasant to listen to, but if you use a really good driver section that never clips before the 300b tubes do and is capable of driving the capacitive load of the 300b, a really killer power supply, actually multiple ones, and really good transformers, the 300b will walk all over any of the normal output tubes such as kt88, el34, etc....   That is what @whitestix heard....  A PP 300b amp done right is very special.  I really had no idea how good they were until I spent a year working on one.  See some of you in Seattle.

Most people think a 300b is a fuzzy rolled off tube.  That is because they heard it in a single ended amp with a mediocre power supply, and most likely an inadequate driver section, and possibly mediocre output transformers.

@donsachs I made this point on another thread just a day or two ago. People get so hung up on the tube, whether a plus or minus, while the circuit design, which is far more important, gets ignored.

Absolutely. I read a great quote somewhere about a million years ago, that a great tube amp was the sum of three things. How good is the circuit? How good is the power supply? How good are the transformers? If you take care of all three of those things you get a great amp with most any tubes. Most commercial designs that are built to low price points make serious compromises in one or more of those areas. If you take care of business, you generally get a great amp.

@atmasphere @donsachs

Thanks for highlighting the dependence of power tubes on driver tubes as well as on power supplies and transformers. My Wavac EC300B depending on whether I use EAT300bs with their preferred Tungsols 6L6 Coke bottles or Takatsukis with their preferred Svetlana Winged ‘C’s have quite different characteristics (bold and powerful vs. subtle and detailed). When you change the driver tubes in either case a significant bit of the magic is lost. At the top end SETs are simply unbeatable in terms of musicality and soundstaging.