Aric Audio Custom 300b PSET

Hey guys. I just wanted to share my initial impressions regarding Aric Audio Custom 300b PSET I just plugged in. Posting here because of the numerous discussions regarding Aric’s equipment I read that convinced me to take a chance on a small company’s, handmade amp. 
I’m coming from 25 years of solid state and very recently a Synthesis el34 50 watt push pull amp. The Synthesis sounds great and I didn’t buy the new amp because I was displeased in any way. I’d purchased it while waiting for some Decware gear, which after 7 months couldn’t do anymore. I wanted a handmade, point to point amp, so I researched around and came across Aric Audio here. Gave him a call, discussed what I was looking for and Aric gave his recommendations. I was a bit nervous when he suggested the 300b. I’d never heard them before and those tubes are pricey! Many good reviews later, I decided, F*ck it! I’m in. Placed the order and added some upgrades. 
After 4 or 5 weeks, got the call and picked up the amp. It sat for a day and I plugged it in today. I stream through a Cambridge cxn v2 and Topping d90le dac. Speakers are Audio Note-e/lx, AN Lexus speaker wire, Black Dragon interconnect and xlr’s. 
Listening was really surprising. I’m amazed how different the sound is from the Synthesis with el34’s. The sound is much more powerful. You feel it more. The vocals are a bit more forward. Staging is far better. Probably the weirdest is the blackness. Just so quite and yet I hear so much more. Texture to instruments, if that’s a proper way to explain it. I’m new to this world so proper words escape me. Fullness, sharp instrument strikes and naturalness come to mind. The clarity of the music is striking. I almost feel like I’m hearing things I shouldn’t in the music, like feet tapping and inhalations for example. Very cool. 😀

I look forward to hearing how the amp improves. I do hope the cymbals settle just a bit. They don’t glare and aren’t bright, just very clear and more prominent compared to previous amp/tubes. I’m sure my brain and ears need an adjustment period as well. Each equipment change I do freaks me out! I look forward to sharing developments and hope to hear your comments. 


It is very helpful and comforting to know you can send an email with a question and get an answer. Tube gear is certainly not for the faint hearted. It’s not difficult but it’s good to have a bit of knowledge, or in my case, access to someone who does. Aric has been super supportive. 
Vince Guaraldi and Bola Sete never sounded so good! I didn’t think when I started that I would tube roll, but I can see the appeal. I’ve found my 300b go to and now look forward to hearing other 6v6’s and 6sn7’s. Linlai sounds nice and the Sylvania as well. 

Thanks for a great series of posts on the new amp, and glad to hear that the Aric rig is living up to its reputation!  Really cool to see a small business doing so well, for all the right reasons, in this hobby of ours

Have a great day!

Thank you jonwatches1. It has been really fun. Just got my first set of new tubes, quite a bit more on order, and am doing some tube rolling. Cool to be able to change the tone and nuances of the music. Never thought tone controls would take this form! 

I just wanted to share my latest Aric Audio update. Picked up a Super 6sn7 Linestage today. Upgrades include the Khozmo motorized remote volume controller, Jensen input transformers and one set of fully differential XLR Inputs, ClarityCap TC series in the power supply and Jupiter copper foil output coupling caps. 
Aric matched what I had done upgrade wise with the amp and did what he thought would create the best synergy. He was able to use the preamp during the week so it’s not unused. Thankfully, he was able to shave off some of the breakin time. I’m off this week so will be able to put a lot of time in listening. 
My hopes were that adding the preamp would add a little more to the music. More meaning, “fullness”. Perhaps add just a little of what my push pull has but still keep the benefits of the 300b if that makes sense. 
First listening session appears to be just that. It seems to have more bass, although I am using the Gold Lions which have more than the WE’s. I also added faux walls so the Audio Notes have corner placement now. I’ve achieved the bass I was looking for when I was contemplating subs. 
I will put the WE’s in tomorrow and pay more attention to the clarity aspect of the sound which is where they have an advantage. 
Im sure I’m weeks away from full breakin. I will share my impressions along the way. 
Again, was great working with Aric to create this combination. He is so amenable to listening to what I am looking for and offering his thoughts. I’m truly lucky to own his gear and lucky to work with a man who is so passionate and honest about his craft.