What sonic differences between 2a3, 211,300B & 800

I am new to tubes and exploring what pros/cons there are with each of the various tubes sonically outside the power output. What are your ideas about comparisons between these tubes and, using a high efficancy speaker which is the better tube?
That definitely helps, Tickfight. I can certainly convey my impressions of the 2A3 and the 300B, having owned both. I am not familiar with the sound of the 211 or the 845. The other power tubes I have either owned or heard extensively are the KT88, EL34, 6550, 6C33C, PX25--all in a push/pull format, except the PX25 (SET).

With your musical tastes, room size, and speaker choice, I would highly recommend SET amps. You have sufficient bass response from your active woofers, so no worries about the bass extension of the amps. As well, the 99dB speakers can be powered by very low wattage. The only choice really is what type of midrange sound you want.

I find the 2A3 to be an honest sounding tube. It is accurate, detailed, airy, without any frequency exaggeration. From the listening position, it begs you to find fault with it. I feel that if there's something more I want from a 2A3 amp, it's a matter of personal preference, not an issue of musical accuracy. The 300B has a more bloomy sounding midrange, almost milky to my ear. It has an incredibly blissful sound, and sounds good no matter where you are in the room, or in the house. I've come to believe it to sound falsely lush and holographic, not at all as a measure of good or bad, but simply exuding an effect that sounds more an attribute of the tube than of the music itself. It is seductive and inviting, but IMO it is exaggeratedly so. For some, it can be just the ticket. It's hard to listen to a 300B and not feel like you're getting a sonic massage.

I did actually hear one 845 tube amp, and wasn't enamored with it. It ran exceptionally hot as well. If I'm not mistaken, I think that NOS tube rolling for that type can run in the thousands of $$$.

If you can listen to some different amps, that would be best. Some manufacturers offer trial periods, and for $3K, you can certainly find some excellent products out there. I'm sure some others can chime in--or search the archives--as to the many options available. Again, with your preferences in music, I think you will find yourself closest to the music with SET amps. Just my opinion, of course.

Thanks, that helps- I certainly don't want "bloomy" and have read that eleswhere also about the 300b. Nore do I want a hugely exspensive tube to replace. If somone could chime in about the 211 that would help.
I thought I'd add my impressions of the 2A3 vs 300B into the mix. In my system the 2A3 had a soundstage that filled the entire front wall (small room). It went well beyond the speakers. I didn't find this quality pleasing because I listen to a lot of cello, either solo or duet with piano. With the 2A3 the cello appeared to be much larger than was reasonable. Small jazz groups had some of this exageration as well whereas with a symphony orchestra it was fun but still not what I've experienced at the seats that I usually purchase.

The 300B by comparison had a soundstage that was more from speaker to speaker (perhaps a bit beyond). For me, the cello was more pleasing.

Finally, for those times that you just feel like you want to get visceral with the volume, the difference between 3.5 watts and 8 watts can make all the difference.

Perhaps others can verify or counter my impressions. They're my impressions for my system in my room and may not be the same for others.

My personal favorite is the type 45 tube. It puts out 2 watts per channel. I would describe it as having a very rich timbral quality. I also use a tube preamp (with 6SN7 tubes), finding that I much prefer that to going directly to the amp. I'd describe the preamp as adding richness as well (others might describe it differently). A very nice preamp with 12au7's had a refined almost sweet sound but I preferred the 6SN7's (though I could easily live with either but not without one of them).

Good luck, you've got a lot of fun ahead of you with tubes.
That's really interesting, Danner. I've not had that same experience with respect to the soundstage of the 2A3 and 300B amps. I have found, however, that as I change amps--even now, between our 2A3 and 6C33C versions--I need to move the speakers in order to accommodate the soundstaging characteristics/capabilities of each respective amp. In other words, with a slight shift in speaker spacing and angle, the image size & focus becomes defined. However, in my experience, the 2A3 soundstage has always been appropriate in dimension.

Based on your response, Tickfight, I realize that I may have been unclear about the bloomy effect of the 300B. It definitely is not a bad thing. It's more a matter of preference. My wife says our 2A3 amps are the most honest she's ever heard, and yet she prefers to listen to a 300B. She thinks that there is something a bit dressed up in the midrange--like bracing a Victorian skirt--but it has an aesthetic and sensory appeal that she prefers. And many people do prefer it because it's seductiveness is inescapable. I hope that helps a bit.

You can certainly pay some big bucks for NOS 300B tubes, but in the case of the Western Electric's, you are also getting a 40,000-hr life span. There are less expensive alternatives with the 300B which are also said to be excellent: AVVT, Sophia, KR, etc. The NOS 2A3 types range from around $100-300 pr, except for the rare single-plate RCA types, which are found for ~$500. This is a factor to consider as well, given that for some of us, NOS tubes bring the amp/music to an entirely new level.

There are a few 45-based tube amps on the market, and they certainly have their ardent fans as well. Perhaps yet another to add to your list of considerations, Tickfight.

You will have to play around with the amp direct vs. preamp configuration. I would agree completely with Danner in that a preamp can add a richness to the sound. At the same time, I hear it as another layer (potentially) in the way. It seems to come down to whether or not you feel connected enough to the music, and if sans preamp the system is dynamic enough for your tastes. With your speakers, Tickfight, I suspect that it will.

Enjoy, and Happy Mother's Day!
One other thing I'll mention--as if you don't have enough to think about already, Tickfight:

There is a company (Audio Mirror) whose DAC & preamp are getting some attention here, and in addition they build 40W 6C33C-based SET mono blocks that I found to be outstanding when I heard them. The 6C33C is a Russian military tube that is widely available, and a quad runs about $100 or so. They have a tonal purity and palpability throughout the frequency range that is exemplary. You might want to consider those as well, given that they are $2290 a pair. I have no affiliation with the company. I just happen to like the amps immensely, and a 40W SET is a rare gem in this hobby.

Have fun in your quest!