Elrog 300b vs we300b

I am looking for an upgrade to my elekit tu8600s. Currently have cossor black plates. I use the amp for my hd800s and zmf atticus. I am looking for more transparency, dynamics and a bigger stage. I am interested in a richer tone too so not sure which direction to go. Any thoughts?


I suggest adding EML 300B mesh plates to your list. To me in my system they are considerably better than other new issued 300Bs I tried. While I have only tried a few 300Bs I have gone through many 45s and 2A3s including a few rare globe 45s. The EML mesh plates are in all my 45s, 2A3s and 300B amps now. To me they have been consistently the most transparent and balanced tubes.

Tried Sophia Electric blue glass and Shuguang. My guess is that both the WE and Elrog are better than those. I was going to sell my 300B amps until I tried the EMLs. Most of my experience is with 45s and 2A3s. I have tried many NOS and new issue 45s and 2A3s and have found the EMLs to be best is my system. My 300B experience probably doesn’t help you much. Maybe someone else who has tried EMLs, WEs and Elrogs can chime in. They are worth looking into.

I am currently using Takatsuki 300b. My other favorite version is the KR 300b globes. I would add Audio Note 4300e to your short list as well.

I'm using the new WE 300B's, and I am very happy with them in the aspects you mentioned.... 

@gsm18439  How you liking the Taks vs the other tubes you have?


@larsman  Have you compared them to any other 300bs ?

I have 16 Western Electric 300B's in my Canary Grand Reference mono amps.  They replaced Gold Lion 300B.  Better bass and vocals.  I would agree a much richer sound.  

Merry Christmas, smodtactical!

When I first got my Eddie Current Studio B headphone amp, it was initially suggested to me that JJ makes ones that are good value for the money. They were unavailable anywhere at that time, though, so I went with Gold Lions, at about the same price.

They were OK, but I got JJ's not too long after that, and I thought they were a minor improvement over the Gold Lions.     

So a week or so ago, I figured, wtf, let's go for the WE and don't bother trying in-between priced ones no matter how good they might be, because I want to just settle on something and that's it, after a bit of initial tube rolling.

I found the WE's to be markedly better than the JJ's in every aspect you could think of - different ballpark and really showed what that Eddie Current can do, which is what I wanted. I'd felt like I was driving a Ferrari on a city street - still a fine ride! - and those WE's put me on the open road.... 

I like both the Takatsuki and KR Balloons. I tried many others including Psvane, SophiaElectric, EML, EAT, etc. These are my current favorites. The Taks are a bit richer; the KR balloons a bit more dynamic. When I use my AncientAudio Lektor Prime CDP (tube-based with a built pre-amp), the KRs sound better. The AA CDP is being repaired thanks to Hurricane Ida. Now I am using a Mark-Levinson no. 39 CDP that is more dynamic than the AA, and the Taks sound better. I have heard neither the WE nor the Elrog nor any of the new generations of premium Chinese 300b. But I would put the AudioNote 4300e on my short list. At these price points (>1000usd/pair), it becomes a matter of taste and associated equipment. 

Thanks guys, great points.

I think probably its between Taks, WE reissue and the elrogs. The WE is a bit more pricey but the fact you get a 5 year warranty is a huge draw.

I've long been observing perceptions of all the boutique 300b. Don't think you can go wrong with any of them, different flavors, all very resolving and refined. I wanted to purchase new 300b boutique tubes for perhaps a year, simply couldn't make up mind as all mostly favorably reviewed. Finally, threw dart at board, Psvane Acme came up, this for custom build 300b monoblocks. Acmes so far superior to Shuguang Black Treasure, should of upgraded long ago, indecision kept me from enjoyment for far too long.


Point being, all the boutique tubes are nice, just a matter of different flavors. All will resolve at high level and offer refinement the cheaper tubes can't come close to. Acmes have  aprox. 75 hours and getting better all the time!

@sns  Good point. It seems whatever direction I go among these top tubes it will be a big improvement (hopefully) over my cossor 300b black plates.

@sns ,

Point being, all the boutique tubes are nice, just a matter of different flavors. All will resolve at high level and offer refinement the cheaper tubes can't come close to. Acmes have  aprox. 75 hours and getting better all the time!

@smodtactical ,

This is probably the best ' get to the point's summation I've read in discussions concerning 300b tubes. I've tried to make this exact  point in previous 300b threads (Although without the beautiful brevity of @sns) numerous times. One common criticism of the 300bs is the High cost of the premium tier choices.

A valid observation  but in this circumstance you get what you pay for plain and simple. There is a clear line of delineation between budget/reasonable cost 300b and the higher cost/quality 300b tubes. There's no escaping the truth, you are getting what you are paying for. 

If you have a high quality 300b amplifier  it will sound decent/pretty respectable with lower cost 300bs. In my opinion it makes absolute good sense to get the most out of a high quality 300b amplifier by using the upper tier tubes. Otherwise what is the point of having a  high quality 300b amplifier? These more expensive tubes are just better in every regard across the sonic performance-sound quality spectrum.

I've had VAIC- EML XLS-KR XLS-Sophia Electric Royal Princess-Takasuki-Early generation Elrog and 1980s vintage Western Electric 300b. My verdict is There is no single absolute best choice amongst them.  Too many variables that can favor one over another. Some of these tubes will sound better in one amplifier compared to another. The overall audio system "voicing " is a key factor.

You would have to hear each of these tubes in your individual and unique system to truly decide what sounds best to you. This is not a practical undertaking for most people.  My point is that at the premium tier of 300b they are all excellent options and you will not achieve this performance with the cheaper 300bs. 


Yes, @sns is right!


Perhaps a more interesting question is how and why upper tier 300b tubes can sound so different.

@charles1dad Well said thanks.


@gsm18439  Ya I was curious about that, since many of them look almost identical. Something about the 'hanging filament' ?

My guss is use of better materials quality,  much higher standard of construction and attention to detail. My EML XLS is heavier than most 300b tubes. It just looks and actually feels better built. Ultra reliability and very extended tube life longevity. 


Yes, materials and design. Over the past few months I've experienced four different 101D tubes in my Coincident Statement MkII pre, one mesh plate, three solid plate, mesh plate and one solid plate use a bit of gold plating in tube structure,  one lower cost, three much higher cost. The three higher cost tubes each have special qualities I can prefer at any point in time or for particular types of music. My experience with 101 replicates what I hear from many reviews of 300B's over many years.


The other major thing I hear with premium tubes is color, perhaps one could say character. Cheap tubes sound bleached out in comparison, this is something I never noticed until moving to the premium tubes, immediately noticeable just like the added resolution.


One other aspect of differentiation is durability, the only two premium 300b's I've yet to see a single failure are the EML XLS and WE. Now, as to whether tube or amplifier running excessive plate voltages at fault, I can't say. I've seen Psvane Acme failures, I believe every single failure has been with Line Magnetic amps. Was this early Acme production or Line Magnetic running them to hard? I've seen failures from all the others as well, exceptions pointed out above. Elrog has also had many failures, Thomas claims to have solved issues, may be true, haven't seen a failure lately? Linlai Elite has had some recent issues, I've heard issues resolved. I guess point of all this is, tube manufacturers constantly changing and refining in order to maintain presence in marketplace, the tube you purchase today may not be the same tube you would have purchased the month prior.

The sleeper in performance terms is EAT: very solid construction, punchy bass, extended treble and deep soundstage once broken in (ca 200h)

Who manufacturers the EAT. I suspect they farm that out just as Audio Note does to Psvane.

Not sure who makes EATs today, but I have a pair that predates the explosion of Chinese tubes.

Post removed 

@charles1dad Can't follow your link. I didn't know tooling for tubes that widely available, but then that is eastern Europe, probably lots of old Soviet tooling around.


Sorry about the failed link. But yes, left over factories and machinery from the bygone Soviet Union era. Put to good use it certainly seems. 


hi there smodtactical : ) - I've had WE pre and post 80s, takatsukis, elrogs, KR audio, and different psvanes, among others, in my LM845P fronted system and only the Chinese tubes and others don't sound quite as realistic. Every single other has a life of their own that you will not make much of a mistake in the least choosing between - yes, and that includes the terribly underrated KR tubes, that cost a fraction of the other highly vaunted ones! The KR is a remarkable tube for how little it costs : )


in friendship - kevin


As I recall the KR  and EML are priced pretty similarly. Has that changed recently?


@kevn  thanks! It seems most of the 'premium' 300b are pretty close to each other price wise with the main stand out the WE reissues being $1500. Everything else is about $800-1200.

Well, here we go again, one gets good results with particular tube another not. I couldn't stand KR 845 in Art Audio Carissa Signature I was running at time, sterile, clinical. It also suffered failure, blew resistors in amp.  Various Chinese 845 tubes have been my choice since, both for AA and now Coincident Turbo 845. You should also know Art Audio stopped recommending KR at some point when I owned AA due to other failures. EML only Eastern European tube manufacturer I feel confident about, I've seen too many failures from others, EAT I have no opinion here.


I've not yet tried Acme in Coincident as drivers, should be interesting.


Takatsuki up around $1600 as well, I saw over $2k on one site lately.

My two go-to tubes on the Wavac EC300b are Takatsuki and EAT, the former for string quartetts and Clapton Unplugged, the latter for Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Highway to Hell. As mentioned elsewhere I use TUNGSOL KT66s as driver tubes with the Takatsukis whereas the EATs perform best with Svetlana Winged-Cs.

Thanks so much for calling me out for clarification, charles1dad, and do excuse me - the KR tubes I was referring to were NOS mid90s 300B I bought for about USD800 about a year ago, no where near 'a fraction' of the EMLs, but still a lot cheaper than the takatsukis, WEs, and elrogs - they are a truly wonderful 300B for what they cost last year.


No problem. As @sns pointed out, there's no 'right' tube that is going to satisfy everyone. As I wrote earlier, I've used  some  excellent 300bs. For my particular amplifier/audio system and ears the EML XLS has been ideal  for me.


Can the tube experts and aficionados comment? Might be relevant...

From a thread resurrected by @mozartfan circa 2003 and posted by @clueless 


"My limited experience so far is that drivers actually contribute a stronger sonic signature than the output tubes, which are pretty transparent if driven by a low enough source impedance and low distortion.  Arthur Loesch tracked me down at the CES a few years ago, and as we chatted and toured the rooms at the Alexis Park, he mentioned that most DHT's sound alike - if driven by a low enough source impedance and a powerful driver with *lots* of current. It's when they are driven by feeble 5-8mA driver tubes that the characteristic 45, 2A3, 300B, or 845 signature appears. In other words, you'll get loads of that 300B sound if all you're using is an RC-coupled 6SN7."
-  end quote Lynn Olson

Hey guys ended up ordering the Elrog 300Bs. Thank you very much for your input. I pray to the audio gods / tube gods (like Thomas Mayer) that I made the right choice.

@smodtactical there are no mistakes when choosing between EML, WE, Elrog or Tak....just different flavors of delicious.


I had first generation Elrogs that were beautiful sounding but unreliable.  I do believe that Thomas Mayer has corrected all the earlier issues.  I don't hear or read about failed tubes anymore. So I believe that you have  made an excellent choice and congratulations!


Hopefully the Elrogs hold up, I do recall seeing a single new production Elrog being sold couple months ago, suspected might be selling single as other one going bad?


Anyway, keep us informed, Elrog will rise on my list of future 300B if they can prove reliable. Can't recall seeing a single review pertaining to new production Elrog reliability, same for KR and EAT as well. Until I see evidence of reliability, they all remain suspect for me.

@david_ten I've heard this claim a number of times, not my experience, various driver tubes in two 845SET, one 2a3 and 300B, I've always heard difference between output tubes, easy to hear. My argument for stating all boutique 300B tubes are nice based on many reviews over many years, flavors described, but don't recall a single review stating any of these tubes having major sound quality flaw. Reliability still overriding factor for me in choosing between any of these tubes.


Also,  my dismissing of KR845 should be taken in context, this was many years ago, quite possible new production KR845 much different than older production.

@sns   Thanks for your response. Can you address this more specifically...as in:

- would choice of driver tube by the designer/builder of a 2A3 amp (for example purposes only...feel free to substitute for another power tube) contribute to differences in the same (or more; or less) league as do different 2A3 tube choices?  Thanks, - David.


I've heard this claim a number of times, not my experience, various driver tubes in two 845SET, one 2a3 and 300B, I've always heard difference between output tubes, easy to hear.

Well, I have only single example based on personal experience. My AA Carissa Sig had 6922 and 12bh7 drivers vs 300B drivers in Coincident. A bit of time went by and system used at that time had changed somewhat in between AA and Coincident in system, but right off bat I thought Coincident had a bit more natural sound quality. Now, was this due to 300b vs 6922/12Bh7 driver tubes or system changes, or aural memory faulty? I recall thinking 300B had something to do with this. So, yes I suspect driver tubes make a difference. But important point here, I easily heard differences in power tubes with both amps.


I have no doubt there is magic in getting just the right driver and output/power tube to sing in tandem, I can't give specifics as to which combo is best for any particular amp, system or listener. Hopefully, our amp designers have chosen best combo for that particular circuit. It would be cool to have an amp that could use multiple driver tubes to hear effect of these tubes.

@david_ten  At some point after Acme 300B fully burned in I'll return to Coincident 845 in system and compare present Shuguang Black Treasure 300B as driver vs Acme. Based on 6moons review of Coincident monoblock 845, Linlai Elite 300B  vs can't recall cheaper tube as drivers made obvious difference to reviewer. 



Arthur Loesch tracked me down at the CES a few years ago, and as we chatted and toured the rooms at the Alexis Park, he mentioned that most DHT’s sound alike - if driven by a low enough source impedance and a powerful driver with *lots* of current. It’s when they are driven by feeble 5-8mA driver tubes that the characteristic 45, 2A3, 300B, or 845 signature appears. In other words, you’ll get loads of that 300B sound if all you’re using is an RC-coupled 6SN7."

The esteemed SET maven Arthur Loesch (Haven’t seen his name in quite some time) seems to be making 2 points.

1 DHT tube require a high current driver tube to obtain optimal performance.

2 If this driver tube requirement is met then there’s little (If any) sonic signature distinctions amongst the DHT tube choices.

Well I do know that the builder of my Coincident Frankenstein 300b SET specifically chose the 6EM7 as the driver for the 300b output tubes. Citing the 6EM7 has far greater (Max of 50ma per data sheet) current capability compared to the 6SN7. He said this is exactly what a 300b tube needs to display its full potential. Also the late Roger Modjeski said the 6EM7 had enough current and power it could function as an output tube driving a speaker load.

He in fact subsequently built a 6EM7 SEP amplifier that produced 2 watts per channel (Equal to  a 45 tube). Point being if it can drive a speaker impedance, it can drive a DHT output tube. So Mr. Loesch may have a very valid point.

As to his 2nd point, I just don’t know. I’ve compared numerous 300b brands in my Frankensteins (With high current 6EM7 driver tube) and could very easily and clearly hear sonic character differences between all of them. Now granted this was using only the 300b . Whereas Mr. Loesch was comparing different DHTs (45/2A3/300b/PX 25 etc.) to each another.


As always the world of tubes is interesting and even fascinating.


@sns Thanks for your responses. Looking forward to your findings when comparing the Acme and Shugang in your 845 amp.

@charles1dad Thanks. I’ll reach out to Scott to find out his thoughts on his choice of driver tubes (7A4 x2 with OC3 x2 and OD3 assisting) for my 2A3 amps and what he thinks of Loesch’s points.

I have been playing around with a whole range of driver tubes on my WAvac EC300B. There are audible differences that are of the same order of magnitude as output tubes. Specifically Jan Philips 7581a: very resolving and fast, yet slightly harsh in the treble. Svetlana Winged-C 6L6GC: very harmonious, sweeter than Jan Philips 7581a, yet most depth of soundstage, Tungsol KT66 (actually really 6L6 GC with 900mV heater current): deepest bass, very powerful but slightly sluggish. These were the best of the lot; JJ, GE and RCA black plate are fuzzier and less dynamic. I have not yet tried the Tungsol 6L6GC reissue but am intrigued because of the strong KT66 performance. As mentioned mixing and matching driver and power tubes gives additional mileage. 


I’m pretty sure Scott is familiar with Arthur Loesch and I’m very curious to know his thoughts regarding driver tube attributes (Particularly the high current aspect). Given Scott’s expertise I suspect he has a strong opinion one way or the other.


I did hear differences in driver tubes with AA 845. I haven't heard a bit of difference in various 6 EM7 for Coincident 845, Israel said as much when I questioned him in regard to this. After AA experience, assumed my 300B would react well to high quality drivers, never tried with anything other than same nice NOS drivers I've  been using from beginning.


My same outcome with the 6EM7 driver tubes, no real differences heard. 

Very different from my 300b experiences.