Premium 300Bs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Adeep, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Adeep

    Adeep Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    I currently have two systems in my home. Both have 300B SET amplification which I am delighted with. Both are tubed with Genalax Gold Lion 300Bs. I have read nothing but good comments on them, in some comparisons they beat out more expensive tubes.

    Recently there has been a spate of new premium priced issues. Some examples, Audio Note, Elrog, E.A.T., Takatsuki, and more. What might I expect from these upgrades? Any experiences you can share with any of these? Are they worth it?

    Thanks and best regards to all,

    Alan
     
  2. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    According to the Line Magnetic threads, people love the Psvane Acme 300B. They are not cheap though.
     
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  3. onemug

    onemug Well-Known Member

    I have experience with some of them...

    The Gold Lions were/are nice but the Elrogs and Takatsukis were a very noticeable upgrade over the GL's. What you might 'expect' is anyones guess. So much depends a lot on your ears/speakers/room and maybe even your amp liking one brand more than another... but we have to gamble from time to time. The Taka's were an expensive wager but I 'won' the bet, so much so that I bought a second pair. One way to look at it is, you only buy them once. If you ever upgrade to a more likable 300b amp, you sell your old one with GL's and use the Taka's with the new one. I know, I'm an enabler. :)

    I love 300b SET's. I have a stereo one and a monoblock pair. I prefer the Takatsuki's the most in both systems. Quite a bit more than the GL's. EML's are not on you list but I like them more than the GL's. Good luck.
     
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  4. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    Preamp tubes will usually provide much more of a change in SQ. I would suggest you focus on those first.

    If you already have and are satisfied with your current preamp tubes, 300B tubes are by nature expensive. I settled on EML tubes which I've found provide a smooth and inviting sound. The good news is they also come with a 3-year warranty which I believe no other tube manufacturer provides.
     
  5. Encore

    Encore Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    Actually, a 5-year warranty, albeit with a depreciation factor. They are built like a tank, and they sound great, but maybe not so 300B like. The new AN 4300 sound even better, and the factory seems to have great confidence in them, even though they only give the usual 3-month warranty.
     
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  6. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    Thanks for the correction. It is 5 years ; not 3.
     
  7. Warren Jarrett

    Warren Jarrett Audio Note (UK) dealer in SoCal/LA-OC

    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Of all the tube changes I have ever experienced, power tubes have made the most dramatic sonic differences. There is nothing special about 300B tubes in this regard. I have decided that for ANY tube amplifier, the power tubes ARE the amplifier. Everything else is just associated hardware to make sure the power tubes are operated correctly.

    But there is never just one brand of tube that is the "best" for everyone. It depends too much on, well quoting @onemug :
     
  8. slcaudiophile

    slcaudiophile Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Yes, wortht it. Out of all the DHTs the 300B is really the most interesting valve (from its orgins in the late 30s and its intended use to how it made its way into audio amps, etc) ... and then you have the different sound characteristics of each different brands mentioned above. None are as lush sounding as the old WEs ... full stop. Of those mentioned above, the AN or the Takatsuki would be what i would recommend ... but each will sound different.

    I spoke to Tim Walsh of WE this morning ahout the new 300Bs and he thinks they will be shipping the new 300Bs soon ... but if you did not pre-order who knows when they will deliver.
     
  9. thomaskong

    thomaskong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    I have Sophia carbon plate and Shuguang Treasure 300B which sound better than Gold Lion.

    NOS WE 300B made in (1930's to 1950's)is best with overall sound quality and reliability.

    I had run more than 10K hours during last 15 years.

    But it still sounds fine with wide soundstage, tight bass and nice details.

    The problem is it is hard to get good one at reasonable cost.



    Acme 300B gives much more refined and transparent sound than either Sophia carbon plate or Shuguang Treasure 300B.

    Thus it may be best value for money if you consider upgrade from Gold Lion

    Psvane Vacuum tube & Amplifiers

    I had got my Acme 300B from above source about 1 year ago and running for 1k hours.



    1998 production WE 300B turned out to have etched details.


    Thus I sold it back after using it for 3 months.

    I hope 2020 production WE 300B will turn out better.
     
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  10. jsr

    jsr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    The Gold Lion’s are what I would call an adequate 300B, if you want to really experience what that tube can do the PVSANE’s 300b we replica’s are nice and the new Audio Notes takes things to a whole new level of detail and musicality. I like my vintage WE’s for the warmth but my go tube now is the new Audio Note. I have a preorder in for the new WE’s but not holding my breath.
     
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  11. slcaudiophile

    slcaudiophile Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    tim at WE said they hope to ship new ones by end of next month but as you it’s possible it will take longer.

    agreed on the audio note 300Bs ... they can do no wrong in my book.
     
  12. Nascimento Brasil

    Nascimento Brasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sao Paulo/Brasil
    My little experience with 300B
    Takatsuki 300B, are excellent, but with 1000 hours of use, one tube stopped working!
    WE300B (year 2004) very "sweet" for the musical genre I like, I returned it to the seller!
    EML 300B, wonderful, very fast, good range of bass and treble, without neglecting the voices!
    Shuguang Black Treasure 300B, excellent cost-benefit ratio, if I had to choose only one tube, for a low cost, this would be my choice!
    JJ300B, very good, also with a very good cost!
    Electro Harmonix 300B Gold Grid, I don't like to classical music or jazz, but sometimes I select 10 or 20 LPs / CDs of Led Zeppelin, Genises, Uriah Heep and other pearls from the 70s / 80s, then she plays very well!

    My favorite would be Takatsuki 300B, but as it is no longer reliable, my favorite is the EML 300B!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  13. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

  14. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
  15. Razakoz

    Razakoz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    Really can't go wrong with takatsukis, but they'll cost you.
     
  16. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    If the Takatsuki failure was within the 1 year warranty period the it would be a replacement situation matching the original specifications if you were the original purchaser. The factory are very straight forward in supplying another tube once you return the faulty valve for evaluation.
    Ps. I am a distributor for them and I would say that but they are very typical in that the prospect of loosing face through a faulty product is not something they take likely and once satisfied that it is a manufacturing or internal component fault they rectify the situation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  17. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    Scrolling to the bottom, the link states:

    “Q.What is the useful life expectancy of the WE300-B?
    A. The WE300-B is rated for an average life expectancy of 40,000 hours when operated within published specifications. As far as we know, no other 300-B tube available comes close to this life expectancy.”

    Western Electric - Vacuum Tubes - 300-B Vacuum Tube
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  18. Nascimento Brasil

    Nascimento Brasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sao Paulo/Brasil
    Yes, I believe that if it was within the warranty period, they would have solved it, they are serious manufacturers!
    But I think that for the price, the warranty period should be longer, EML has a 5 year warranty!
     
  19. finn

    finn Forum Resident

    I am like everyone who uses high quality tubes, they are getting hard and much more expensive to source and there is a lot of rubbish being sold as NOS. Takatsuki make 50 pairs of 300b tubes a month, the division that does that is a very small part of a much larger company and honestly, I doubt they do it for the money. I think someone very senior in the company takes great pride that they manufacture such a beautiful and desirable product as the TA -300b and TA-274 tubes. As for the EML tubes, I have no experience, I got burnt by Viac and Elrog and that's why we pursued the company from Kyoto for 2 years before getting a result. Let's hope WE come to the party and produce a great sounding product and we can all enjoy them.
     
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  20. Nascimento Brasil

    Nascimento Brasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sao Paulo/Brasil
    I had the opportunity to hear and compare the TA300B and WE 300B (year 2004) without a doubt, here at home I preferred the TA300B, I also had the TA274B!
    If one day I find only one TA300B for sale, I may buy it!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Adeep

    Adeep Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Thanks all for your input. Tons of info. Yes I rolled my pre-amp and driver tubes in both amps and am quite satisfied with the results. Am continuing to research bolstered by the input from you all. I will advise when I pull the trigger.

    Best,

    Alan
     
  22. Raylinds

    Raylinds Resident Lake Surfer

    I am going to be watching this thread with great interest. I had reissue WEs in my Woo Audio SET, but I replaced it with AN Kit monoblocks that use two tubes each but the WEs were discontinued. I did some research and there were not many options at the time and ended up going with Gold Lions. I think they are good, but have been wanting to upgrade. Unfortunately you can't audition tubes, so there is some risk involved buying four expensive tubes and since I am now retired I have cut way back on gear acquisitions.

    I am interested in the PSvane and AN tubes, but will probably wait to see what the new WEs are like.
     
  23. Adeep

    Adeep Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Fort Lee, NJ
    Spent a ton of time on the internet researching before and after all the great input from you guys. Just ordered the AN 4300/300Bs. Really difficult decision because as many have noted, you can't really audition tubes unless you know someone to lend them to you. Finally just went with gut intuition. Will update after they arrive.

    Thanks again,

    Alan
     
  24. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Impressive... thank you!
     
  25. Nascimento Brasil

    Nascimento Brasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sao Paulo/Brasil
    It would be great if you could listen to the tubes before you buy!

    Here at home I'm playing an ANK Mentor 5 with an Airtight ATM300, both use 274B / 5U4GB / 5U4G in the rectification!
    If I put 274B with EML300B the sound is very good, but if I put a Tug-Sol 5U4GB, I don't like it so much anymore!

    If I put the same 274B on Mentor 5, the sound gains bass, but it loses transparency and extension of treble, if I put the Tung-Sol 5U4GB (the one that doesn't play well on the amplifier) on Mentor 5, then everything changes, controlled bass, and treble with a lot of extension!

    So it is not enough to have a good 300B, you have to have a rectifier that matches the 300B, and not always the most expensive is the one that will touch your system best!
     

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