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. 





Don is licensing the production of his Valhalla integrated amp that owners on this forum have praised.  I recall that the Valhalla amp is one of several that Clayton Shaw uses to demonstrate the best aspects of his speakers.  

I am the least knowledgeable guy on this forum about electronics. I clearly admit it.  I remember listening to Roger Modjeski explaining the design of one of his preamps at Burning Amp a few years ago where an attendee asked about worthy driver tubes.  RM's minced no words in responding that 6SN7 tubes were a very poor choice of tubes -- "better employed in old TV's", because of their inherent high noise levels.  Well, I had had Don's first preamp with 6SN7 tubes (derivative of the Roy Mottram's SP14 design and with Roy's full approval), and his Kootenai amp with the same driver tubes, and wondered how to square away RM's comment with the dead quiet sound from my system.  When I shared RM's comment with Don after the show, oh boy, it was an interesting conversation.  It is true that few audio designers use this tube in their designs (Modwright and Supratek come to mind), but Don does and is doing so with his new 300b monos and my ears tell me that Don is correct in his use of the octal tubes in all of his designs.  Hearing in believing.


I believe that the 6SN7 is actually a pretty popular tube for input/drivers of power amplifiers and In preamplifiers. I think that the degree of success is overwhelmingly dependent upon the talent, knowledge and skill of the particular designer/builder.For example, Atma-Sphere and VAC utilize them quite effectively.



Evidently more use this splendid octal tube than I was aware of.   There are lots of ways to get to sonic splendor and Don advocates one particular approach that is clearly favorable to my ears.  Owners of Ralph or Rogers' gear might say the very same thing and they would be right.  SQ is such a a subjective notion that there are plenty of paths to pure listening pleasure for all of us music lovers, because the gear is just that which yields the SQ with which our ears most happy.  



The approach you described is used in DIY world for DHT SET, particularly 300B SET. There is a group who prefers this approach and there is a group who prefers the more simple way - using half or the 6SN7 in parallel as one triode and interstage coupled with the next stage, or alternatively using a more capable driver, including a DHT such as 300B itself, 4P1L, 10y, 801, EML’s 20 or 30, etc. 











Based on your listening experiences have you found one approach to provide better sound quality or is it simply an implementation issue?