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. 




For DHTs such as 300B, AC at main frequency is hard to be hum free. But some have tried AC at a high frequency well above human hearing limit with decent result. Sadly this is mostly in DIY world, hence very few commercial offerings with high frequency AC DHT filament supply.

I don’t think DC, IF well done, is any inferior to AC in DHT though. But there are many ways to get DC done. So it gets down to implementation at the end.





I don’t think DC, IF well done, is any inferior to AC in DHT though. But there are many ways to get DC done. So it gets down to implementation at the end.

The commercially available 300b amplifiers seem to bear this out. By a wide margin they are DC heated rather than AC heated. AC is utilized by the DIY crowd more (Relatively speaking)  than commercial manufacturers.


There are a lot of little tricks to DC filament supplies that make them sound better too.  It isn't rocket science, but you can get a bit more performance and noise rejection by connecting them properly:)

I wouldn't try mixing and matching Ralph's approach with ours. Ralph has his way of doing things, and his own unique taste in sonics, and we have ours. Most designers in this biz have a distinct "house sound" that they aim for, which results from design approaches and parts selection.

FWIW Dept.: We've never had a house sound nor 'voiced' our circuits. 

My comments thus far have simply been based in sound engineering practice. Engineering after all made audio products possible, has kept airplanes in the air and provided reliable power when you want light in your house.  

It will always work to apply sound engineering practice to circuit design, plain and simple.

We all apply sound engineering practice.  We overbuild all power supplies and over spec all parts.  But there are choices that affect the sound.  If you need a 1 watt 1K resistor you can use any type on a cathode, but different types have different sounds.  The cathode bypass cap might need to be 100 uF.  Different 100 uF caps sound very different.  All will satisfy engineering standards, but parts and layout choices have profound effect on the final sound.  We make these choices to achieve the sound we desire.  There might be 2 or 3 different tube types that would be appropriate for a place in a design, but can have very different sounds.   I can build an amp with entirely different parts and wire and have it be exactly the same from an engineering standpoint, but have a very different sonic presentation.  I believe that is what Lynn is alluding to.