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 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? 



No, I am not going to do kits... I am retiring and letting a partner build the 300b project and matching preamp.  That should be going before the end of the year.  If you make kits you have no control over how they are built and you get LOTs of questions so customer service is a big issue.  Just because most folks are competent and can build a kit, even if only 5-10% of people are in over their heads you get a support problem.  It is far easier to build a product, test it, and then warrant it.  Plus, these amps use multiple regulated supplies per amp, and it took a while to work it out and get it right.  They are very stable when built correctly, but not trivial to do the build.  They are designed to be easy to service as well, but kits... no.   The amps need about 1.5 volts for full output so any preamp can do that.  They also feature XLR inputs, which are very easy to drive.

I a quite smitten with this design and think they sound great, and of course I have not heard all the other great amps discussed in this thread.   Hopefully someone who comes to Seattle has and can tell me their opinion!