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. 





IT-coupled PP DHT’s have a power and majesty unlike anything else in audio. Bell Labs and Western Electric knew what they were doing back in 1935.


Western Electric is also pioneer of "Ultra Path" circuit design for SE amplifiers which removed local feedback which is evil in true audiophile amps.


Long tailed symmetric push pull is another WE originated design.

Only modern circuit design which enhanced WE golden edge SE DHT amps is solid state CCS which a magnitude better than tube CCS.

Link not working, no.  There are some monos on ebay with no tubes for $2-3K per pair.  SE amps.  Typical Chinese amp in that you have no idea what is inside that transformer box.  Could be ok, could be $99 transformers.  A tube amp is the sum of three things.  How good is the circuit?  How good is the power supply?  How good is the iron (transformers)?   The circuit might be a faithful reproduction, the power supply and iron are suspect.  Ali Express brings to mind two words:  caveat emptor🙄

True, push-pull substantially reduces distortion, but in reality it only reduces even-order distortion ... 2nd harmonic, 4th harmonic, 6th harmonic. etc.

@lynn_olson This statement is not correct. If the circuit is fully differential and balanced (in effect, PP from input to output) distortion is compounded less from stage to stage. The result is less 3rd harmonic than you would otherwise see if only the output section is PP.

In addition I should point out that the 3rd harmonic is innocuous in the same way as the 2nd as long as it is at the same level or less as seen in an SET, which as you pointed out in most cases (except for the example I just gave) it will be.

A properly functioning tape recorder makes a dominant 3rd harmonic that is actually higher than seen in most PP tube amps at full output. No-one really seems to complain about the ’sound’ of tape; rather people seem to like it quite a lot!

How about using SE as opposed to PP in the first stage and a SE to PP interstage transformer between the first and second stage?

@ffzz When you combine single ended and PP in one amplifier you get two distinct non-linearities (since neither circuit is perfectly linear). PP circuits generate what is known mathematically as a ’cubic non-linearity’, while single ended circuits generate a ’quadratic non-linearity’. The cubic or quadratic function describes a lot about how the higher ordered harmonics behave in the circuit. This is important because higher ordered harmonics can contribute to harshness and brightness, as that is the tonality assigned to them by the human ear.

When you combine both circuits in the same amp you get both non-linearities. Norman Crowhurst (one of the technical gurus that wrote about tubes and other technical/engineering topics related to audio) wrote about this 65 years ago, stating that the result is a more prominent 5th harmonic. With this understanding I’ve not found it surprising that SET owners prefer their amps over PP simply because the PP amp combined both types of circuits with the result described.


Hi Don,

I have always wanted a 300B system. Two quick questions. I currently have a pair of KEF Reference 5 speakers @91db. How well will your 300b power them? And can you give me a ballpark price so I can start groveling to She Who Must be obeyed?😁

Thanks in advance.