300B Tube Amp Question

FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
Been looking around a bit for a SET amp. Curious if anyone has any experience/thoughts in regards to a Trafomatic Experience Two 300B single ended triode amplifier.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/202619788447

Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,967
    PM sent
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  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,769
    What are you planning to pair with it?
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    DSkip wrote: »
    What are you planning to pair with it?

    At this time I have a pair of DIY 10" full range bass reflex speakers I have been messing around with. Around 95 db sensitivity. Been pairing them with a mid 60's restored Fisher X-100 integrated amp running 7189 tubes. About 20 watts per channel. Nice sound but I wanted to experience the SET sound.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,769
    Hey man. Give me a call and we can talk about SE amps. That unit should be a good one. I can go into more detail privately.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    edited March 11
    Trafomatic is a great name -- reminds me of the original name of Astro the dog on The Jetsons :)

    Hard to go wrong with SE 300B if the -- umm -- trafos are decent.

    I like 6SN7s as voltage amps -- although I'd go with nice vintage US tubes rather than the silly looking hypertrophic Chinese ones... but that's just me :)

    I know nothing about this particular amplifier, though. If its got decent guts, it should be just fine. SE DHT amps are so simple (i.e., so few components, active or passive, between the input signal - music! - and the loudspeakers) that absolutely everything about 'em is important.

    Personally, and FWIW, I find 300Bs a little more hifi sounding (i.e., a tad more clinical and thus a little less soulful) than some of the other DHTs, but that 8 watt output does add a little useful headroom compared to some of 'em B)

    Gary Kaufman once built an amp that could be used with either 45, 46, or 300B tubes with a couple of very slight changes (virtually hot-swappable; just a coupla jumper changes)... that amplifier provided the opportunity to compare the tubes against a virtually constant hardware background (including the iron), and was very instructive.

    Gary's old site got borked quite a while back, but he does have some info on that "ragtop" (convertible!) amp still available on his website www.the-planet.org



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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    Did you notice the name of that eBAY seller? :p
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Did you notice the name of that eBAY seller? :p

    Yes I did! Whats up with that? :D
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    It's -- evocative, isn't it? :p
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    edited March 11
    Oh, FWIW, I think if I were gonna go SE 300B, I'd probably be looking - hard - at:
    https://bottlehead.com/product/kaiju-300b-amplifier-kit/

    But it's not substantially cheaper, and I like to solder (and I hate to fabricate chassis, so pure-play DIY remains not one of my favorite things).

  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    Hey Mark. Yeah, I have thought about a BH kit. My first kit was the Quickie and that came out fine. Just not sure for the price of a BH kit that it is worth the money and the effort. Seems like a lot of BH parts are entry level/mediocre at best, as most people end up spending quite a bit more to "upgrade" things. I have been eyeing some Dennis Had amps. He almost always has a 45 or 300b amp that he has hand built on Ebay. I don't know that much about Dennis but it seems like he has been in the amp business forever and I would think he has a clue or two about what he is doing. Of course I am open to suggestions and advice.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    edited March 11
    Bottlehead exacts a high level of sonic performance from modest hardware -- but, yes, there's kind of a Stone Soup (or Nail Broth, depending on your fable reference point) approach to a perpetual upgrade path... and the stuff simply ain't cheap any more. I still like those guys, though.

    The SE 2A3 Paramours at $500 at the turn of the century :) were darned good sounding amplifiers for the $ -- but there's nothing available now from Bottlehead with anything like that price/performance ratio (IMO). I keep my pair (only the driver circuit has been upgraded on 'em) for loaning out to folks as a way to taste low power (a step above fleapower) SET... and it usually works :)

    Dennis Had is OK. His minions fans are a lot like Bob Carver's, for better or worse. There's better stuff out there, but his stuff historically was pretty good, and not outrageously expensive. Yes, he knows what he's doing.

    A used pair of (the infamous) Welborne Labs' Laurel 300B monoblocks would make nice starter SE 300B amps; they do turn up now and again for sale.

    FWIW, the best sounding 300B amplifiers I've heard were bespoke units built by Kevin Kennedy -- but way, way out of my price range.



  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,967
    300b's don't exactly come cheap. I would love to find some western electrics for sale by someone who didn't know what they had.

    A pair of 300b monoblocks by Sophia is on the market for 3k.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    tonyb wrote: »
    300b's don't exactly come cheap. I would love to find some western electrics for sale by someone who didn't know what they had.

    A pair of 300b monoblocks by Sophia is on the market for 3k.

    The Sophia stuff is, for better or worse, Chinese.
    The Sophia 300B tubes (again, Chinese-made) are not bad for the $.
    Don't bother with "real" WE tubes -- way, way, way too 'spensive.

    There are fairly reasonable current production 300Bs -- I made fun of the Chinese 6SN7s earlier, but not the Chinese 300Bs, it might be noted B)

    The Sofia-branded Chinese-made "meshplate" (perforated plate) 2A3 tubes I often use in my 2A3 amp are more like (Sofia) 300Bs with 2.5V filaments than they are like "real" dual-plate 2A3s, FWIW. They are good sounding tubes, irrespective of what they are or where they're made.

    They're a little goofy looking, with huge globe-style envelopes, but they look pretty nice in the dark (sounds sort of like the punchline of a crass joke of some sort). :)

    16187805777_995bec7279_h.jpgDSC_0128 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    The Sofia 300Bs look about the same, FWIW. At least the ones with globe envelopes.

    vzp2fiip1bam.png



  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    I did notice the Sophia monos for sale. A bit intriguing. If I go monos or a dedicated amp I will have to pick up another pre, as I just recently sold 2 of my pre's. Oh this rabbit hole.
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    Oh and Doc, that glowing tube sure is purdy. Love the mesh plate
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    They really do sound good, too -- I haven't heard their 300B but I have to imagine that they likewise do.

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,967
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 875
    Any thoughts or input on these amps? I know the are made in China but don't know much else about them.

    https://www.commonsenseaudio.com/nirvanaamps.html
  • audiocr381veaudiocr381ve Posts: 2,583
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Oh, FWIW, I think if I were gonna go SE 300B, I'd probably be looking - hard - at:
    https://bottlehead.com/product/kaiju-300b-amplifier-kit/

    But it's not substantially cheaper, and I like to solder (and I hate to fabricate chassis, so pure-play DIY remains not one of my favorite things).

    You recommended Bottlehead to me years ago when I was first looking into SET amps and I ended up buying a pair.

    Shameless plug, but my 300B Bottlehead Paramount monoblocks are for sale if you’re interested, Faustin. $1,000 and you’re playing ball.

    || Polk SDA-CRS+ with all the goodies
    || Totem Hawk
    || Pass Labs Aleph 30
    || Rogue Perseus Magnum Tube Preamp
    || Dodd Reference Level Preamp
    || Chord Hugo
    || Wyred 4 Sound Remedy
    || Tidal
    || Squeezebox Touch
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,052
    I'm thinking the Sophia's are Shuguang () that are either made to a more exacting standard, or, hand picked to the smallest tolerance.
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 21,591
    kharp1 wrote: »
    I'm thinking the Sophia's are Shuguang () that are either made to a more exacting standard, or, hand picked to the smallest tolerance.

    Or just stamped with another brand name ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I like the Sofia'branded 2A3s here -- a lot. But I harbor no preconceptions that they're any different than the same tube labeled with another brand name.
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