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. 




Don did a marvelous job here. It’s actually quite functional, with a clean and direct front-to-back signal path, and with all wires in the balanced circuit equal length (yes, he went to that much trouble). You can infer that from the top plate.

The power supply side is equally tidy, with two independent B+ regulators, one in front of the other, and the three low-voltage regulators on the other side of the power supply section, all supplied by the custom Monolith power transformer. The soft-start circuit in the back of the amp keeps incoming AC power away from the front-panel power switch, as well as protecting the tubes and regulators from AC line transients.

The amp is considerably simpler to build, because signal flow is obvious, and color-coded wiring is used to keep track of polarity. It is also the same 18"/457mm width as the matching Raven preamp.

I really like Thomas Mayer's 300B amplifiers, but I don't have deep enough pockets for that. You two seem to be on the right track with your 300B, and it's more affordable than his.

@alexberger   Spatial Audio Lab will be in charge of presentation at shows.  I know we are returning to the Pacific Audio Fest in Seattle again next summer.  Beyond that I don't know.  We are focusing on getting the preamp and amps into production by year end.  They are also finishing work on their Q series speaker.  A prototype of that was shown in Seattle and they expect to release that by the end of the year.  So lots going on.  Spring shows may be a bit soon.  Given they are in Salt Lake City, I suspect they will focus on American shows though, so probably not Montreal.  You never know though:)


I really like Thomas Mayer's 300B amplifiers

I have long admired Thomas Mayer audio products (Particularly his power amplifiers). Given what I have learned regarding the Blackbird 300b PSET mono block amplifiers it’d be most interesting and informative to hear a comparison. Two very different approaches. I have no doubt that both are genuinely sublime products.


@charles1dad  when Thomas Mayer first started building tube amps for his personal use, he built them for 3 phase power. He also loves vinyl, even though his regular job was digital electronics.