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Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio Equipment Reviews & News

 

December 2001
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Chilling at the Bee-Hive
A Group Test of Nine Different 300B Valves
Life, the Universe... and Everything
Review by Thorsten Loesch
Click here to e-mail reviewer

 

  From the days when Enjoy the Music.com was just Steve Rochlinís personal Audiophile Website, he had a nice picture of an Imperial AT Walter and the classic quotation from the Return of the Jedi Star Wars Film, "Many Bothan spies died to bring you this information" on his Tweaks or Free Stuff page(1). Well, let me tell you those Bothan spies had a lark! I mean fighting Imperial storm troupers, bounty hunters etc. doesnít remotely compare to what it took to get this report to you. The original blind group listening test that provided much of the info for this report was conducted on no lesser day then the 7th of June - Election Day in the UK. Luckily enough tubes turned out and my test was better than that at the Ballot boxes, I guess every country gets the government they deserve.

This report should have been written a little after that, but alas, many things intervened - not the least a love affair with the throes of young and foolish love... the arguments, the breaking up, listening only to bluest blues(2), Country & Western(3) and Scandinavian(3) classical music for weeks, the making up, making love and so on, You know how it is(5). Thus much time that I should have spend listening and writing reviews was taken up by other pursuits. Yet when she looks up at you with those eyes and says "But darling, I though youíd be spending time with me". In situations like this whatís a man gonna do, but what a manís gotta do?

Having finally gotten though these distractions (we are going real steady now) I changed my day job (I wish I could live from being involved with Hi-Fi, but I canít) with the result that again my time was seriously taken up with getting to know the ropes and everything, many a late evening and the occasional weekend day was needed. Still, this report was slowly taking shape. The next blow came in the form of a friend who kindly donated a new Motherboard for my PC, while fitting it I managed to loose the Hard Drive content and I found that my backups had excluded my whole desktop, where I keep all current problems. Well, I started to retype everything.

The final attempt of Live, the Universe and Everything to stop this report from reaching you, itís intended readers came in the form of a badly infected tooth a few days before the final deadline for last month issue. I could not sleep at night and finally had to visit my dentist who promptly decided root canal surgery was needed. Ouch! Okay, all this is past but believe me, an audio reviewers life ainít all fun and games...

 

To Be or Not Be Ė Those are the 300 Questions Here
This report covers a pretty large range of 300B output Valves(6). Only six years ago in 1995 this would have been a pretty short report, including the Chinese Shuang made 300Bís marketed among other brands as "Golden Dragon", the American "Cetron" brand 300B made by Richardson and the New Old Stock (NOS) Western Electrics 300B which even then used to fetch ridiculous sums. Still, Jean Hiraga declared the 300B to be "the tube of the century" and in my view rightly so.

Since those days a true Aladdinís cave of 300B valves have become available. Several vendors in China and Taiwan, two in Russia and three in the Czechs and Slovak Republics make 300Bís. Even the legendary Western Electric 300B has been put back into production. Iím not sure about the product status of the Cetron, but it certainly is still being sold and readily available. From a situation where there was basically no real choice we have come to one where the choice is huge and perplexing. Hence this test, in order to relate how many of those different valves perform and sound. Some valves here are old favorites, others have found their way to us only very recently, yet they are all 300Bís by name.

Looking in my Valve Cabinet upstairs and beholding the incredible riches of seven different types of 300B valves (and in some cases several pairs) compared to the state of affairs not so long ago makes me realize how lucky we Ultra Fidelity enthusiasts really are. In addition to the valves in my own possession and those submitted by manufacturers and distributors I leaned heavily on friends and acquaintances to obtain a loan of 300B valves they had at hand to make the test as comprehensive as possible. Simply the logistics of this where quite difficult and Iím very grateful to everybody who helped, provided valves and attended the blind listening session. So a big thank you to Iwao, Jon, Richard, Ian, Justin and Stuart from the London Live DIY Hi-Fi Circle and to Brian (DIY Hi-Fi Supply) as well as to Jadson (Valve Art).

In the end I had nine different 300Bís to test. Some task! Notable by absence where both AVVT and KR, due to the fact that I could not obtain samples from either the factory or distributors in/for the UK(7), nor did I have access to any valves from these companies in my circle of friends and acquaintances.

Finally a few words on the results and conditions of the test. Music and sound is a very subjective thing. The sound of an entire system comes into play, so there are often synergies and other effects that make what works well in one system work less well in another. As a result of considerations such as that I have tried very much to bring out each valves individual sonic character relative to the others in the test, in addition to assigning "absolute" scores based on relative performance in my system.

My own scoring is based on the use of the valves in a system(8) that essentially offers an in-room response from near 20Hz to way beyond 20KHz thanks to the large, high sensitivity loudspeakers, digital equalization and super tweeters I generally employ. Further, with speaker sensitivities of 102db/2.83V/1m or 97db/2.83V/1m my speakers offer very much above average sensitivity and are very revealing of dynamics and detail. The use of digital room correction means that usual bass bloat of the room is suppressed, thus the system is comparably close to an open window with pretty low colorations.

Using more conventional systems will significantly change results. For example a valve that will sound a little bass shy in my system might actually tame the excessive bass resulting from room/speaker interactions in your room. A valve that sounds rather bright and brash in my system might help in a system that sounds somewhat dull in the high frequency range. Also, if speakers with a rather limited frequency range are employed the midrange quality alone may be deciding in subjectively preferred valve.

Hence, just because a valve has received here a score overall of 90 out of 100 it is not just the only one worth buying, it may not necessarily match your taste and system as well as another person's system and taste. Equally, just because a valve has received a low score it should be excluded from consideration. On the contrary, the sonic characteristics of this valve may very well suit your system very well. So please read the whole text and try putting my comments on relative sonics into the context of your taste and system.

 

Now, Let the Games begin!

Cetron 300B

The Cetron Brand 300B was/is made by Richardson Electronics and is a true Veteran in this line-up. It has been around pretty much since the late 80ís when Western Electric stopped production and Richardson decided to fill the gap. The examples tested where borrowed from a friend and well burned in. The valves I had looked consistent, if quite cheaply made with thin glass and flimsy looking internal structures. Internal structures look common and without unusual features.

The sound was bright, brash and dry. The soundstage delineation and depth was not ideal. On the positive side, despite a tendency to brightness the midrange was clean and uncluttered with non of the edginess and graininess of some other valves. Microphonics are about average, perhaps a little better then average. It seems to be a highly reliable valve, which might have attraction for some.

Overall a valve that might work well in a system that is rather on the dull side and needs brightening up. If your system is already on the bright side this may be too much. At current prices and in the current market I feel this Valve is overpriced. All in all a Valve that did not find much favor with either listening panel or myself.

Overall 55

Tonality 50

Bass 50

Midrange 60

High-frequencies 60

Resolution 55

Soundscape /Imaging 50

Fit and Finish 60

Last printed price known $235 each from Audio Electronic Supply.

Richardson Electronics, Ltd.
40W267 Keslinger Road
P.O. Box 393
LaFox, IL 60147

Voice: (800) 348-5580
E-mail: marcomm@rell.com
Website: www.rell.com

 

Electro Harmonix 300B

Electro Harmonix is a relatively new Brand for Valves (it is well known for guitar effects) owned by New Sensor who also own the Sovtek brand name. The valves are actually rebadged Reflector units, made in the Saratov Factory in Russia. I briefly tested before "real" EHX units, in this test I used the Reflector ceramic base 300B that is the same Valve as re-labelled EHX. The test samples where purchased directly from Russia. Manufacturing was reasonable and consistency good. Other than the ceramic base there is no external clue to any differences to the Reflector/Sovtek 300B which seems identical but for the Plastic base. Internal structures look common and but the filaments are supported on coiled springs different from the Western Electric type valve.

This valve offered a very balanced sound, perhaps slightly dark but with strong bass. The midrange had good detail and delineation with a slightly subdued high frequency content. Compared to the plastic base Reflector 300B the sound is slightly brightened up. In terms of three dimensionality it did not match the best yet this Valve was quite likeable and even-handed sounding giving much of the bloom and warmth of the 300B. Not the last word in refinement or detail, but a good allrounder with better than average resistance to microphonics too.

This valve is more than a little at the high price side and does not offer the same kind of balance and sound as some others at similar prices. Sound is good all-round and the valve will give a good account of itself in most systems, especially those that are perhaps a little on the bright side tonally.

Overall 58

Tonality 60

Bass 65

Midrange 60

High-frequencies 60

Resolution 50

Soundscape /Imaging 55

Fit and Finish 55

Price $156.00 each from Newsensor

Voice: (212) 529-0466 or toll free in USA: (800) 633-5477,

Fax: (212) 529 0486
E-mail: info@ehx.com
Website: www.ehx.com

 

JJ Electronics 300B

Made in the Slovak Republic in the former Tesla Valve factory this Valve has been around a while. The Valve has a substantial ceramic base and in general appears well made. Internal structures are a little different from normal. However the connection between Glass Bulb and base was worryingly loose and lacking in rigidity.

I felt distinctly unhappy handling these Valves. While no valve with a separate base should be pulled out by its glass bulb this lack of solidity is worrying and possibly has an influence on the sound too. Both valves where identical so I do not think this was an isolated fault. The valves where pretty new but run in for around 100 Hours.

Sonically this valve failed to convince, sounding bright, harsh and edgy. Soundstaging was lacking too. One positive side, the bass was quite strong and well defined but the overall tonal balance was subjectively objectionable and faintly unpleasant. This valve may have needed "burn in", however my experience has so far been that few valves change their sound dramatically after burn in. Moreover, the friend who bought them still reports similar sonics many 100 hours later. Microphonics are about average.

Given the cost ($200/pair or more) and sonic performance this Valve disappoints. I would not recommend it unless the asking price was very low.

Overall 50

Tonality 50

Bass 55

Midrange 50

High-frequencies 50

Resolution 50

Soundscape /Imaging 50

Fit and Finish 50

Price $ 100 each from Watford Valves UK plus shipping and taxes, $157.40 from Newsensor.

JJ ELECTRONIC
A Hlinku 4,
022 01 ČADCA,
Slovak Republic

Voice: +421-041-432 55 38
Fax.: +421-041-432 51 72
E-mail: jj.electronic@bb.telecom.sk
Website: www.jj-electronic.sk

 

Reflektor/Sovtek 300B

This valve is the one that until recently was sold under Sovtek label. It seems to have been taken out of the Sovtek catalogue by New Sensor but remains readily available in Russia, from where these most recent samples where imported at a cost of $30 each (via El-Tubes, previous purchases where at similar prices via tubes.ru). This makes this 300B by far the cheapest currently offered. Manufacturing quality is good, internal structures are usual but for the coil spring support for the filament wires.

Sonically this valve sounded almost identical to the ceramic base version now sold under Electro Harmonix label. Evenly balanced tonally with strong bass this Valve makes easy listening. Compared to the ceramic base version this Valve sounded more subdues in the treble range, also having a slightly more constricted soundstage. Microphonics of this valve appear lower than average.

This valve is tremendous value for money and offers evenly balanced sound slightly on the warm and dark side, thus suited best to overly bright systems. Highly recommended if import directly from Russia is possible or dealers offer similarly competitive pricing.

Overall 56

Tonality 60

Bass 65

Midrange 60

High-frequencies 55

Resolution 50

Soundscape /Imaging 50

Fit and Finish 55

Price $30 each from El-Tubes, plus shipping import duties etc.

El-Tubes
P.O. Box 84
Moscow
127560
Russia

Voice/Fax: +7-095-407-0310
E-mail: el-tubes@mtu-net.ru
Website: www.el-tubes.webzone.ru

 

Svetlana 300B

This valve was previously marketed by Svetlana USA, who in recent times seems to have suffered finical difficulties. The Svetlana factory in St. Petersburg still seems to make the valve though, current stock is still in the dealer channels. I have been told new production runs will be made, so I consider this Valve very much current.

In the past Svetlana 300Bís have suffered from quality control issues and had a tendency to develop grid/cathode shorts when the cathode/filament supports deformed after running the Valve hot. Internal structures match the WE style very closely, the glass is quite thick and heavy. Still reliability is an issue with this valve.

Tonally the Svetlana 300B is evenly balanced with a beautifully delineated midrange and gorgeous sound staging. It has been a longstanding favorite of mine for itís sound which is classic 300B, close in fact to the reissue WE 300B. While great in the midrange the bass and Treble are only very good. The soundstage depth is very good. Microphonics of the Svetlana valve are perhaps a little above average, but not much.

All in all this Valve stands a good deal above much of the competition at the budget end and offers superb sound. The history of poor reliability however makes good backup from a reliable and reputable dealer a must, so a recommendation with some question marks is on order.

Overall 70

Tonality 70

Bass 70

Midrange 75

High-frequencies 70

Resolution 65

Soundscape /Imaging 75

Fit and Finish 60

Price $80 each from El-Tubes, plus shipping import duties etc, list in US around $150 each.

Svetlana
P.O. Box 84
Moscow
127560
Russia

Voice/Fax: +7-095-407-0310
E-mail: el-tubes@mtu-net.ru
Website: www.el-tubes.webzone.ru

 

TJ 300B Mesh Anode Globe



This Valve is rather new, the units I tested where some of the first series units. They are being made in China in the Tianjin Province, the supplier (DIY HiFi Supply) being somewhat coy about more details. The Factory specializes in early WE Replicas and has build up quite a reputation in Japan. Their products are available from a number of sources under the Full Music and All Music label.

The "TJ" label is the "house label" of Opera Audio Hong Kong and DIY HiFi Supply. They claim for the TJ valves added selection and burn in and curve (rather point) matching. DIY HiFi Supply will ship the valves internationally and are pleasant to deal with but for one little detail. Credit Cards are accepted only via the paypal service, other payment methods include bank transfer. In both cases extra effort and expense is needed, this may dissuade some people from ordering.

In terms of build quality these Valves are easily the best in the whole group, with thick glass, substantial internal structures and a superb consistency. These Valves have a number of features that set them aside form the usual, not at least the perforated anode, globe glass envelope and a very different structure for suspending the filaments. Also, the filament wires extend past the Anode structure, a feature claimed by another manufacturer that uses it to improve linearity. No specific claims are being made for any of the features in the Valve and a question on performance elicits a dry "WE Spec" reply.

Sonically this valve was a revelation. In one of my amplifiers I can switch between many Valves including the 45. I always have liked the 45, but itís limited power meant that often the 300B was preferred, despite itís slightly thick, overly warm and slow sound. Well, this valve "out 45ís" the 45! It offers that clarity, directness and openness I know from my 45ís but adds power and even more resolution. I love it. The tonal balance is very even-handed, the soundstage is ridiculously extended and opened up. Detail, especially these little background things are exceptionally well resolved. Okay, hand me the drool towel. The fact that the valve glows very, very prettily in the dark is a distinct bonus (see "lit up" picture), but itís the sound that counts.

While not cheap this Valve to my ears is the highest 300B game in town. I personally would, given the choice (and I have the choice) use nothing less.

Overall 90

Tonality 90

Bass 85

Midrange 90

High-frequencies 90

Resolution 90

Soundscape /Imaging 90

Fit and Finish 95

Price $275 matched pair, plus shipping import duties etc.

 

Sophia Electric
Washington, DC

Voice: (703) 204-1429
Cellular: (571) 277-8823
Fax: (703) 560-3502
E-mail: Sophia_electric@yahoo.com
Website: www.sophiaelectric.com

 

DIY Hifi Supply
6H, Blk 1, Park View Garden
Tai Wai, N.T.
Hong Kong

E-mail: sales@diyhifisupply.com
Website: www.diyhifisupply.com

 

TJ 300B Solid Anode Globe

This was actually the first TJ valve I encountered. It has the same shape and features and same providence as the "mesh anode" version, but the Anode is a conventional solid metal type.

I fitted it into my amplifier and was struck how much of the sound of a 45 it brought along. Compared to the "Mesh Anode" this valve offers a little less detail and directness, but the TJ family sound (also found in the Solid Anode Coke bottle valve that was withdrawn from the review) is clearly there. Balanced, detailed, direct open and beautiful. This Valve is certainly well worth considering, in fact if it was not for the TJ Mesh Anode this would be my recommendation. One advantage is that the solid anode version is a bit more rugged if run at very high dissipation. So if your amplifier runs the output valve very hard this may be a better bet for long term reliability. Otherwise go for the Mesh.

As it stands this Valve costs a little less than the Mesh Anode TJ 300B and sounds a little less good. If the budget is tight then make it stretch at least this far. If you can stretch it to the cost of the Mesh Anode TJ make it stretch.

Overall 85

Tonality 80

Bass 85

Midrange 85

High-frequencies 85

Resolution 80

Soundscape /Imaging 85

Fit and Finish 95

Price $199 matched pair, plus shipping import duties etc.

DIY Hifi Supply
6H, Blk 1, Park View Garden
Tai Wai, N.T.
Hong Kong

e-mail: sales@diyhifisupply.com
Website:www.diyhifisupply.com

 

Sophia Electric
Voice: (703) 201-6578
Fax: (703) 560-3502
E-mail:Sophia_electric@yahoo.com
Website: www.sophiaelectric.com

 

Valve Art 300B

Made in Hunan China this valve is by now a veteran. My test pair was actually the (replacement) pair supplied for the Billie Kit Amplifier where it comes as standard. The valves where well burned in. Internal structures resemble the Sovtek valves, but the anodes are a shiny black finish.

Sonically this valve very much resembles the Cetron, with a bright tone, forward and overall a slightly tipped up balance is combined with a good bass punch, but the sound is rather lean. The soundstaging was quite open and resolved. Unlike the Cetron, the Valve Art could at times sound a little grainy and edgy, but much less so than the JJ. The tonality did smooth out a little with burn in but fundamentally remained. Microphonics are about average, perhaps slightly better. If your system is essentially neutral sounding or even a little bright this Valveís sound may prove too bright and incisive, if you system sounds a bit a dull this valve will brighten things up.

Given the current pricing and performance this Valve comes recommended, with a caveat on the excessively bright tonal balance that will exclude this Valve from many systems.

Overall 55

Tonality 55

Bass 60

Midrange 55

High-frequencies 50

Resolution 55

Soundscape /Imaging 55

Fit and Finish 60

Price $99 matched pair, plus shipping import duties etc.

O&J
International Electronics Building
Yingbin Road
Changsha, Hunan 410011
PR China

E-mail: sales@diyhifisupply.com
Website: www.diyhifisupply.com

 

Valve Art 4300B

This Valve is also made by O&J Enterprises in Hunan but brand-new. It introduces a new type anode made as a sandwich of copper, nickel and iron. More power dissipation and better sound are claimed. Internal structures and externals match the normal Valve Art 300B, but the Anode is a flat grey as most other 300Bís and the pins are gold plated. To denote the premium grade status O&J has chosen to use the STC UK 4300B designator for the valve, the original STC 4300B is considered by many the best sounding 300B, quite a tall order to live up to.

Sonically this valve resembles the Cetron and normal Valve Art but with the brightness and forwardness elevated to a new level. The slight graininess and edginess of the standard Valve Art however is gone, yet the tonal balance is even more tipped up. On the positive side, this valve seems more resolving and detailed than the standard type. It will again work well in system that are on the dull side, in my system it clearly exceeded my tolerance levels for brightness. It was however much at home driving the Beauhorn B2 loudspeakers I reviewed a while back, where it managed to compensate for their lack of treble extension. As with the Cetron and standard Valve Art this Valve is unlikely to work well in evenly balanced or slightly bright systems.

Given the pricing and in the right system this valve can be recommended, just be careful it matches your system.

Overall 59

Tonality 58

Bass 55

Midrange 60

High-frequencies 60

Resolution 60

Soundscape /Imaging 60

Fit and Finish 60

Price $ 159 matched pair, plus shipping import duties etc.

O&J
International Electronics Building
Yingbin Road
Changsha, Hunan 410011
PR China

E-mail: sales@diyhifisupply.com
Website: www.diyhifisupply.com

 

Western Electric 300B

Reaching the end of this particular marathon we have the Western Electric 300B. Reissued a few years ago this has long been the 300B against which every other has been measured. In some inconclusive tests I felt that the original pre 1988 WE sounded better and others have made similar comments, but I canít be sure.

Internally, well it's a WE 300B. So that is what it looks like. Compared to some others build quality is consistent but not very solid, the glass is a bit on the thin side and the Valve feels lightweight, still, you get five years warranty and reliability seems to be great.

Sonically this valve clearly shows what made the reputation of the 300B - warm, expansive and open it offers great tonality - good Soundstaging, warmth, all those classic qualities. At that it is however classic 300B sound, eluding the final levels of directness and detail that I had always thought the domain of a 45 or 10/VT-25. Given the excellent balance, tone and soundscaping this valve would have been the king of this hill had it not been for the TJ Valves. Whatever the WE 300B does wrong, it errors are those of omission, not of commission. It does not offer those last, final levels of detail, space, airiness etc, but it offers solid, balanced and excellent performance.

The price of the valve is on the high side, make that very high side. For the price of a matched pair you can easily buy three matched pairs of the TJ Mesh Anode Globes. To make up for that you get a five years warranty, that is a lot of peace of mind. Me? I'd go for the sound, who knows if I or if Western Electric are around five years from nowÖ.

Overall 74

Tonality 75

Bass 75

Midrange 80

High-frequencies 75

Resolution 75

Soundscape /Imaging 80

Fit and Finish 60

Westrex Corporation
P.O. Box 52455
Atlanta, GA

Voice: (404) 352-2000
Fax: (404) 352-2222
E-mail: info@westernelectric.com
Website: www.westernelectric.com

 

After detailing each valves background and sound time for a closing few lines. As I mentioned, all valves have their own characteristic sound and tonality. As such some will work better in some systems than in others. As it is generally not possible to borrow Valves for a few days and listen, you will have to go by comments of such as reviewers and people commenting in the Usenet and on Discussion Boards.

If you do look up their advice or consider mine make sure you know the System and musical taste of those commenting. While in general my comments have been born out in my circle of friends (many of whom also have Sovtek, Svetlana and TJ valves at hand) you may find that in your system things pan out a little different. The whole topic is complex. Ideally look for comments from people that own the same Amp and ideally the same speakers as you do. Otherwise make sure speakers have comparable efficiencies and tonality. As mentioned on some speakers which where arguably somewhat deficient in HF extension the Valve Art 4300B offered excellent sound because it compensated this. In my own system which is by far more evenly balanced and offer a very extended frequency response the same Valve turned very bright, almost unbearably so. While I can recommend most Valves within this line-up (with the exception of the JJ and because of pricing the Cetron and EHX) they come in general all with the "make sure they match your system" health warning.

It was exhausting but fun to appreciate all the different 300B Valves in various Amplifiers and contexts and I hope that this little article will help you a little to make your choices easier. However, it should by no means be taken as the gospel. Just because I did not like the particular Valve you paid your hard-earned cash for and that you like does not mean that you made a wrong a choice. In the right system I could enjoy my music with pretty much any of these Valves and thatís what it is all about.

Until next time...

 

System used for formal audition:

Source: Adagio non-oversampling DAC prototype with TDA1541 driven by a modified Pioneer DV-505 DVD Player

Preamplifier: Toccata Ė modified from an Arthur Loesch design

Power Amplifier: Opera Audio Consonance M500 Kit with Ken Rad VT-229 and Mullard GZ-34

Loudspeakers: Magnificat Ė DIY based around antique Goodmans Full-Range Drivers, around 104db/W/m, 25Hz - 20kHz in room, additional Visaton T-25 subwoofer

Room correction Ė Behringer Ultracurve 8024 Digital equalizer.

 

Music used included Eiji Oue conducting the Minnesota Orchestra playing Mussorgskys Pictures at an Exhibition on reference recordings, some further reference recordings CDís (these where brought by a friend) including Nicholas McGegan/Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Vivaldi for diverse instruments as well as Moloko The Time Is Now for a modern "pop" tune. Valves where tested blind and given five minutes warm-up before playing the same musical sequence.

 

My own informal audition stretched over many month and included the following:

Analog Sources:

Oracle Delphi Turntable and Acoustic Solid "Solid One" turntable with a number of Arms and Cartridges including Origin modified RB-250 & Goldring Elite, SME 3009 & Denon DL-103, Rega RB-300 & Goldring Elite/Denon DL-103, Ortofon RS-212 special with SPU-GTE Pickup

 

Digital Sources:

Adagio Non oversampling DAC, Philips LHH-1000 DAC (aka Marantz DA-12) and Pioneer DV-505 DVD Player plus Teac P-500 Transport

 

Pre-amplifiers:

Toccata (modified Arthur Loesch Pre), Shindo Claret (DIY Copy), Consonance Reference 1.2

 

Power Amplifiers:

Opera Audio Consonance M500, Legacy (modified from the le Maison de líAudiophile Legacy design, a modernized WECO 91 with adjustable HT, Heaters and cathode resistors for the output Valve allowing many types (including 2A3, 300B, 45 & 10) to be used

 

Loudspeakers:

Tannoy Monitor Red 15" in Corner York Cabinets, Magnificat (DIY based around Goodmans Axiom 80 and Axiom 201 fullrange Drivers), Beauhorn B2

 

 

Some of the valves where evaluated further in a friends system. This consists of DIY hybrid electrostatic speakers and two different push-pull amplifiers (one fully differential "Direct Reactance Drive" 300B only Amplifier with 6S45PE Driver Valves, the other with a 6SN7 interstage transformer coupled design that can be converted between 2A3 and 300B) on the ESL Panels. Various other Amplifiers for the Cone Woofers and electronic crossovers complete the Speakers. The source in this system is the Adagio DAC driven by a Acoustic Precision Eikos CDP and a Euridice transformer coupled pre-amplifier.

 

 

  1. Steve Dude, whatever happened to that page?
  2. John Lee Hooker, Gary Moore
  3. Loretta Lynn, Patsie Klein, Tammy Wynette
  4. Sibelius, Grieg, Rautavaara
  5. If you donít know or canít remember, what are you doing reading this? Go out and fall in love!
  6. I guess the only true 300B is the pre-1988 Western Electric 300B, all the newer versions are probably best described as 300B compatible, as they differ in materials, structures etc.
  7. Trust me, I tried to get Valves, especially the AVVT C37 Mesh Anode types, but even a personal endorsement by Dieter Ennemoser ("Mr C37") did not succeed in getting me samples, I was told I could buy a pair at distributors cost and declined.
  8. A complete description of the equipment used, some of the music used and other technicalities are near the bottom of this report

 

Steve sez: Thorsten dude, the original "Bothan" 300B shootout is available by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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