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 understand. One of the most intriguing systems I have ever heard was powered by the Viva. Oddly a set of Millennium electrostatic. A ridiculous combination. But, it’s incredible emotional connection brought tears to my eyes. I never forgot it.


Nearly thirty years later I have a 300B headphone system and an all ARC Reference main system that captures the magic and emotional connection that the Viva did, but with warm and realistic details. Wow, it took so long to get here.

The Nenuphar is an interesting speaker.  The Nenuphar Basis is a great speaker (full range driver plus powered woofer).  The Basis has more weight and midbass fulness than the Nenuphar that makes the speaker very good with large scale classical music.  The Nenuphar is, like many full-range speakers, is slightly rough and peaky sounding while the Basis is smoother sounding (full-range drivers used in multi-way system often sound smoother).

One of the best single driver system I’ve heard are the Charney Companion with the AER driver option.  I heard this speaker, which is about 100 db/watt efficient, driven by a 300b SET.  I also liked a Songer fullrange system that utilized a field coil driver. I believe it is quite high in efficiency.  These two single driver systems are rare in that they sound smooth while retaining the liveliness of such systems.


RE: the Viva Solista 845 integrated amplifier,

I had the amp for 6-7 years. Out of curiosity, I tried tube push-pull amps from very reputable brands during those years and found that I much prefer Viva each time!

I completely understand. There are just certain audio components that can somehow get the listener emotionally deeper into the pure heart/soul of the music. It’s definitely an art to accomplish this.


@charles1dad @donsachs I will be at the Pacific Audio Fest Thurs thru Sunday.  While I am currently listening to an Italian 300b with Sophia mesh tubes, my new custom AD1 based amp will be on display there before I bring it home. 


I like the Viva Solista too.  I own a very odd ball Viva 300b component.  It is the Viva Fono phonostage that utilizes two 300b tubes as RECTIFIERS.  The power supply to this component is massive in size (about the size and shape of the Solista).