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. 




Yeah, no way of knowing what Seattle will sound like. Might be stunning, might be not-great, no way of telling in advance. Shows are unpredictable.

Hi @carlsbad2, thanks so much for coming to see us at the show! The amp was only pegged like that so that we could then easily control the volume from software - but you were hearing it at a fraction of full output, less than half. It just helps so much with running the room smoothly. Cheers, come see us in Seattle in a week or so! We’ll be paired with a Whammerdyne statement 2A3 amp, it should be pretty special...




Oh yea of little faith...  Very few speakers play nearly as well as the Spatials in less-than-perfect rooms and your front end will be tremendous so great sound is a foregone conclusion.  Your room is gonna sound sensational and I am going to be there to hear it.  Lucky me.  

Hi @charles1dad

I couldn’t agree with your comments (below) more. In theory, reproducing music at concert levels sounds like a good idea. In practice however, I think that for anything other than a string quartet or solo guitarist, live concert levels would violate OHSA regulations.

My wife was trained for the Broadway stage, and when she belts it out in our listening room, it's LOUD.  She still has a wonderful voice but it can be a bit too much in a small space.  Back in the day, you were trained to reach the back of the auditorium without the benefit of a microphone ;-)

I’m all for rock and roll but I also like my hearing, and loud demos are more frequently than not a sign of an unimpressive system.

One little secret of better systems (especially horn or electrostat based ones) is that the resolution level is such that lower level listening can be quite satisfying.

People conflate horns (for example) with playing loud, and they surely do that, and with low distortion. The real benefitis that they’re superb for late night listening.

... Thom @ Galibier

Good observation. Over the years I have attended my fair share of high end audio shows. For the most part I have enjoyed these experiences quite a bit. I do get annoyed with the high volume level demonstrations. Personally I do not fine these displays impressive. Even with the very high powered amplifiers driving difficult to drive speakers.

Good quality music sounds better on a good system played at what I consider reasonable listening levels. I do not understand the attraction of the “crank it up” approach.


I completely understand the example of your wife’s vocal power/control. At one time I played and studied the trumpet. As with any instrument you have much control over the volume you wish to provide. If I wanted to I could blow people out of a decent size room with just that single trumpet. The thing is that horn sounded just beautiful played at moderate and lower levels.

As you mentioned, audio system resolution seems to be the key factor. As this aspect of my system improved over the years I discovered I could immensely enjoy music at lower SPL levels. I’d say a very good parameter for a system is how satisfying is it to listen to at low and moderate volume?

No question however, to each their own choices. I know that some like to listen regularly at SPL of 90db and above. Their ears and enjoyment be served. It just isn’t for me.