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. 




The preamp, since it has balanced transformer-coupled inputs and outputs, breaks the ground connection between components, reducing hum, as well as RFI breakthrough and buzz. That’s why transformers are often used in noisy professional applications, and are used here.

This comes in handy for digital sources, since all ultrasonic noise (outside the 50 kHz bandwidth) is scraped off, as well as complete ground isolation. Rowland has been doing this for decades, and they're on the right track.

It is evident to me that Don's new preamp is designed to mate in such a fashion with the mono blocks, connected with balanced cabling.  

I think it’s very cool that there is a type of renaissance with DHT amps.  I wish Don the best in this new venture 

Don and I reflected on the optimum interface between the Raven preamp and Statement power amps. We obviously wanted the highest-quality interface directly between the two, while retaining compatibility with the rest of the audio world.

There’s an input switch on the Statement 300B that has two positions: XLR DIRECT and RCA XFMR. They do what they say: the direct switch goes straight to the 6SN7 grids through twisted-pair wiring, with the input transformer secondary completely disconnected from the circuit. The RCA position goes through the studio-grade transformer, which does the phase splitting and isolates the RCA grounds, preventing ground loops.

This provides optimal quality with the Raven preamp, which has transformer-coupled balanced outputs, and also offers compatibility with existing vacuum tube and solid-state preamps with balanced XLR outputs. For preamps with unbalanced RCA outputs, the input transformer provides accurate, low-distortion phase splitting as well as ground decoupling.

Don and I spent a surprising amount of time coming to this input topology. It has the cleanest interface to the Raven, while offering flexible connections to other components.