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. 




No, not that I know of.  Dallas, and then I think they are planning on going to Seattle again in early Sept.  You should write them to see if they are planning on going to the east somewhere.  You can contact them via their site.

Don and the Spatial team will be in Dallas, but I will be home here in Colorado. If Spatial goes to the Seattle show this year, I will be there along with Don.

I learned my lesson about flying last year. This time, I’ll fly First or Business Class, and will wear an N95 mask while I’m at the airport. The show, though, was a lot of fun, and it was really nice staying at the show hotel and taking a nap in my room when I needed a brief rest. Also great meeting you folks in person, and seeing (and hearing) what’s going on in the industry.

@lynn_olson After Seattle last year, I made sure that I got pre-checked from TSA. Something like that can make your life much more pleasant. 

I did most of those things for the Seattle trip. I hadn’t flown in more than a decade, and I knew it would be Hell on Earth if I didn’t tick all the boxes. So, in the months preceding, I applied for TSA Pre-Check, Instant Bag Check using the QR code on the phone, Early Boarding (for a fee), Lounge Access (lounge was closed), and Extra Seating Room (because I’m 6’ 1").

Most of it worked perfectly. TSA Pre-Check was fast and efficient. Instant Bag Check, likewise. Early Boarding, same. Extra Seating Room, yup, and pre-checked into a window seat both ways. Check. All perfect and worth every penny.

But ... the *&$@# concourse in Denver Airport was miles long, and there are several of them, connected only by a standing-room-only subway. And United changed the gate THREE times, sending a text to my phone just after I hiked all the way to the end of a concourse A, only to find no flight to Seattle after getting there. So then the flight is changed to the end of Concourse B (walking all the way back, taking the jammed subway, and walking all the way to the end of ANOTHER concourse), and then it got changed a THIRD time, right back to the end of Concourse A.

It must have been at least two miles, and there is nowhere to sit on this trek. Hey, airports are supposed to be ADA compliant, and I’m a tired old geezer about to fall over. So I ask a porter, can I get a ride in one of those ride-alongs I see whizzing by. Nope, you have to reserve a seat at least a day ahead with the airline you are flying on. No ride for you!

So ... the airport is grossly out of compliance with ADA unless you reserve at least a day ahead. Too bad if you are a single mom with an exhausted toddler, disabled with a crutch, or just plain old, like me, You get to walk, and walk, and walk, and if you fall over, well, tough. That’s your problem.

Oh yes, and I got Covid when I came home, almost certainly in the Denver or Seattle airports, which are both jammed each way. And then Karna got it 36 hours later, from me. Fortunately, Paxlovid dispatched it in a couple of days.

So I learned two things: wear an N95 mask in the airport, jetway, and airplane, until the airplane A/C is turned on. There’s plenty of fresh air on the flight (especially if you’re flying on a nice breezy Boeing 737 Max).

Second, reserve a wheelchair (by Federal law, no extra charge) at each end of the journey. The walking distances in both Denver and Seattle airports are stupendous. I felt truly sorry for the disabled folks and single moms ... they were at the ragged edge of endurance, with nowhere to sit and pause for a moment. The absence of any seating in the concourse is a scandal, and frankly, a health hazard for some of us.

Aside from the concourse horror, things went fine otherwise. Flying is fine if you have early boarding and a roomy window seat. TSA Pre-Check is worth the $80 charge and the FBI background check. I lead a boring life, there’s not anything to find.

And the show itself was great, as I expected. Sure, it was possible I was exposed to Covid at the show, but I doubt it. The airports were the human zoo, with tens of thousands of stressed-out people shoving past each other.

I very much miss the Portland to Denver Amtrak train, which was wonderful. Book a sleeper compartment and watch the countryside roll by. That was a wonderful trip.