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300B Tubes (Read 673 times)
Lon
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300B Tubes
12/17/22 at 18:49:26
 
There are so many options! It will be interesting to see which tubes owners will use with this amp--I'd be interested in hearing plans and impressions. I know this is jumping the gun a bit, but it won't be too long before the first production amp ships next year, maybe three months or so away perhaps (just a guess).

I plan on hopefully using the Decware discount for a pair of the Western Electric 300B tubes, and wish to receive the amp with the "no tubes" option. In the meantime I got eye fatigue reading over and over about 300B tubes available and decided to order a significantly discounted "demo" pair of the Grade A Classic 300B in blue glass from Sophia Electric. This tube was developed it seems to work in conjunction with the Aqua 274B rectifier that I truly adore and have on hand. . . so I'm going to use these to season the amp and hopefully they will sound very good. Reviews seem positive.

I'm set for the other tubes in the amp as well. I have a few pairs of 6N6P tubes I can roll, including a red-tipped pair that sound very good, as well as many other tubes I can try in those spots, and many compatible rectifiers (I'll start with the Aqua 274B) and 12AU7A types (I'm definitely going to try my best 6085 tubes). I also have different types and brands of the possible voltage regulation tubes to try out.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Doug
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Posts: 227
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #1 - 12/17/22 at 22:54:11
 
Lon, I used a pair of Sophia Electric 2.5 volt 300B’s in my Cary 2A3SE mono blocks for nearly two years, and they created the most enjoyable sound quality I experienced with those amps.  I had the 2A3 monos for around 15 years and used many NOS and modern 2A3 tubes, but the Sophias easily bested them all.  

I’ll also add this; the WE300B’s I’m now using are phenomenal tubes.  My 300B amp came with Genalex Gold Lions and the WE’s make the Gold Lions sound like they are defective.  

I would like to try a pair of Sophias, but I have really over spent the past few years, and I need to take a purchasing break.  My reduced retirement income, along with bad financial decisions the past 40 years, has taken it’s toll on my current purchasing power.

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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
Cary 300SEI Mk6 WE300B Tubes
…..driving Voxativ 1.6’s with no crossover
LFD NCSE Driving 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
Wireworld, XLO, Stager, Duelund
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #2 - 12/18/22 at 00:20:05
 
Good to know about the Sophia Electrics Doug. Thanks for weighing in on those and the WE300B you are using now. I hear you about the financial situations. I had a big window of spending opportunity 13 to 8 years ago or so and it has slowly closed. I made some nice purchasing decisions then that have stood me well since. . . but I have to be careful now--I too am on a fixed income for a bit til an annuity opens it up a little wider of a fix.

Here's hoping that you can get the tubes you want in time.

It seems that as I prioritize music and music equipment and don't feed other vices and have a frugal and supportive wife I have a blessed enough life, hope it can last.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #3 - 12/22/22 at 14:35:07
 
Got the Sophia Electric 300B Classic in blue glass in yesterday.

If only I had an amp to plug them in to! Impressive looking tubes. I now have a full complement of tubes to install in the amp when it arrives. I can rest a bit now. Wink This sort of thing is important to me. . . one of the few ways I'm OCD.

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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Tony
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"Life without
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inconceivable"
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Posts: 341
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #4 - 12/22/22 at 15:23:53
 

This sort of thing is important to me. . . one of the few ways I'm OCD.

I think a lot of us can relate to that sentiment.  

Congrats Lon!  Once they find their place, let us know how they and Sarah sound!
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Torii MkIV w 25th Ann | CSP 2+ | ZRock2 w 25th Ann | ZBIT | Cambr. CXNv2 | Denafrips Pontus II | Media Converter | Decware I/Cs | Decware Pwr Cbls | ZWIRE Speaker Cbls | Omega SAHOM & Bass Baffle | Sennheiser 650 | Furman Conditioning l Room Trmt. GIK Acoustics
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #5 - 12/22/22 at 15:26:00
 
Yes, probably most of us are OCD in some ways about our components.

Will do Tony. I'm hoping this thread will be full of impressions from others as well of the tubes they are using in the 300B amp.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Carlsbad
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Posts: 155
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #6 - 01/07/23 at 16:26:39
 
I just put my amp order in.  I have another 300b amp in transit to me that I'll play with and evaluate some tubes.  I also have a custom amp being built so by the time Syrah is build I may not need her but you have to keep your options open.

I'll be doing some 300b tube evalations and will post my results.  The amp is a Tektron amp from italy, point to point, manual bias.  Should be pretty good as an interim.  However, if it is significantly inferior to the ZMA, it won't get much listneing time....one day at a time.

Jerry

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Decware ZMA w/ 25th mods, input selector switch
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Doug
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Posts: 227
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #7 - 01/15/23 at 05:48:18
 
Following in Lon’s footsteps, I picked up a pair of Sophia Electric Classic 300B blue glass tubes at 50% off regular price. This was a demo pair that had around 100 hours of use.  Fortunately, Sue allowed me to have a one year warranty on this perfectly matched Grade A pair for a very small up charge.

The package landed on my front porch late this morning.  I brought them inside, let them come up to room temperature, removed my Western Electrics, and inserted the Sophia’s.  

My main system has been completely shut down for the past two weeks—which is a somewhat complicated and troubling story—so it took a couple of hours for all the components to fully warm up and come into their own again.  

Once the system settled in, I began listening, and boy oh boy, these Sophias are really great tubes.  I am a little surprised at just how good they are, but I shouldn’t be, because I have used a variety of Sophia power, pre, and rectifier tubes across the past decade and a half, and I have never used one that I didn’t absolutely love.  After 8 hours of listening to all kinds of music today, and knowing that these tubes will sound better and better over the coming weeks, I’m ready to say that these Sophias are serious contenders for the best 300B tubes that money can buy.  They are extremely impressive tubes!

I’ll make some direct comparisons to the Western Electrics in the coming days, but day one has shown that the Sophia Classics are the real deal.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
Cary 300SEI Mk6 WE300B Tubes
…..driving Voxativ 1.6’s with no crossover
LFD NCSE Driving 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
Wireworld, XLO, Stager, Duelund
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #8 - 01/15/23 at 11:33:08
 
Doug,

Wow! That is what I was hoping you would find and divulge. I am eager to try out my own pair of the Classic 300B and this doesn't make the wait easier. In time I hope to have a pair of WE300B as well, and it seems as if these will be two good tubes to have! I'm eager to read your comparisons. Thanks for sharing!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Tony
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"Life without
..music is
inconceivable"
A.Einsteln

Posts: 341
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #9 - 01/15/23 at 14:32:58
 
Doug said:

Following in Lon’s footsteps, I picked up a pair of Sophia Electric Classic 300B blue glass tubes at 50% off regular price.

Hi  Doug,

I am trying to find out more about how you and Lon were able to make that purchase.  I logged on to the website https://sophiaelectric.com/ and found a form to enquire.  Is that the correct website?  Did you deal with a specific individual?  I have plenty of time, but I was curious.

Thanks
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Torii MkIV w 25th Ann | CSP 2+ | ZRock2 w 25th Ann | ZBIT | Cambr. CXNv2 | Denafrips Pontus II | Media Converter | Decware I/Cs | Decware Pwr Cbls | ZWIRE Speaker Cbls | Omega SAHOM & Bass Baffle | Sennheiser 650 | Furman Conditioning l Room Trmt. GIK Acoustics
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Paul2
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Posts: 33
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #10 - 01/15/23 at 14:46:02
 
Tony,  I did the same and ordered a pair.  Easy-peasy!
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#2 - Mac Mini or CXNv2, Teac DAC, Wilsenton R300, La Scala's (different room)
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Tony
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"Life without
..music is
inconceivable"
A.Einsteln

Posts: 341
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #11 - 01/15/23 at 14:59:42
 
Thanks for the info, Paul.  

So do I have the correct website - is that the one you used?  Did you speak with someone or do it all online?

Tony
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Torii MkIV w 25th Ann | CSP 2+ | ZRock2 w 25th Ann | ZBIT | Cambr. CXNv2 | Denafrips Pontus II | Media Converter | Decware I/Cs | Decware Pwr Cbls | ZWIRE Speaker Cbls | Omega SAHOM & Bass Baffle | Sennheiser 650 | Furman Conditioning l Room Trmt. GIK Acoustics
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Paul2
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Posts: 33
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #12 - 01/15/23 at 15:24:42
 
You have the right site.

Just ordered online.

Over the years I have found that the advise Lon gives on tubes is better than most others.
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#1 - Mac Mini or CXNv2 or Oppo SACD, PS Audio DAC, ZROCK2, CSP, 2x SE84UFO's mono-blocked, Tube Tot's
All Decware wire from the wall to the speakers
Acoustically treated room
#2 - Mac Mini or CXNv2, Teac DAC, Wilsenton R300, La Scala's (different room)
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #13 - 01/15/23 at 17:05:41
 
At the moment it appears they do not have demo pairs to purchase:

https://sophiaelectric.com/products/sophia-electric-grade-a-classic-300b-tubes

Perhaps Paul got the last pair.

It's possible they will have some in the future--when I ordered mine was the first time I noticed they were offering demo pairs.

I bought mine due to my experience with Sophia Electric and the fact that they are designed to work well with the Aqua 274B which I really do like.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Doug
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Posts: 227
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #14 - 01/15/23 at 19:10:50
 
From time to time Sophia offers demo tubes, as well as tubes with strange manufacturing defects.  Besides the demo 300B pair I just picked up, I have  purchased two heavily discounted 274B rectifiers that both had the same interesting defect—a small piece of loose glass in the tube.  

With Sophia special deals, it’s one of those situations where you have to keep an eye on their website.  It’s not like trying to buy a used ZROCK2 that will be gone in a matter of minutes, but checking the Sophia website every few days is advisable.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
Cary 300SEI Mk6 WE300B Tubes
…..driving Voxativ 1.6’s with no crossover
LFD NCSE Driving 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
Wireworld, XLO, Stager, Duelund
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Doug
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 227
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #15 - 01/23/23 at 02:00:12
 
Day 9 Thoughts on Sophia Electric Classic 300B Blue Glass Tubes

In the most general sense, I find the Sophia Classics to produce a more full bodied sound than the Western Electrics. The Sophias have all the detail of the WE’s, but they are richer across the entire frequency range. The Sophias also present a slightly more forward sound stage, which makes them seem, at times, a tiny bit aggressive compared to the WE’s.

The Sophias definitely have a stronger low end than the WE’s, and in my system, on some recordings, it can be a little too much of a good thing.  On many recordings, however, it is a fantastic asset.

The full bodied sound might be characterized as greater density, which I have found to be very welcomed in recordings of singers.  As I type, a recording of Mark Padmore singing Handel arias is playing, and Mark sounds far more like a real person singing down stairs in my listening room than he has with the WE’s.  This is caused by the fullness, the density, the richness that the Sophias bring to the music.  In recordings of sopranos, this is especially apparent.

I also love how the Sophias amplify trumpets, trombones, and cymbals.  Metal bodied instruments just sound more real with the Sophias, and again, this is due to the increased density of the sound.  No one would ever describe the Sophias as sounding thin or weak.

The tendency toward aggressiveness that was mentioned above is likely the main attribute of the Sophias that makes many recordings sound more like live music than those same recordings do with the Western Electrics. But once again, on some recordings this tendency can be too much of a good thing.

By contrast, overall, I hear the WE’s as being incomparably airy, light, fast, highly resolving, and mysteriously beautiful.  And yes, there is without doubt magical and mystical beauty with the WE300B tubes that simply cannot be put into words.  After nine months with the WE’s I can state without hesitation that they have never made any recording sound unpleasant, but on occasion recordings can sound a little light or thin.

The WE’s and the Sophia Classics are each wonderful sounding tubes in their own ways.  I consider myself extremely fortunate to have experienced both.  When it comes to the Decware Sarah, I have a hunch that the Sophias will be counted among the favorite 300B tubes for many.


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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
Cary 300SEI Mk6 WE300B Tubes
…..driving Voxativ 1.6’s with no crossover
LFD NCSE Driving 15” Woofers
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
Wireworld, XLO, Stager, Duelund
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20681
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #16 - 01/23/23 at 02:04:33
 
I was thinking of asking you for some impressions Doug, thanks for weighing in.

Exciting! I am glad that I went for that demo pair and can honestly say. . . I can't wait to hear them! Seems as if a person is fortunate to have the Sophias AND the WE300B. . .I want to be in that club as well and hopefully will be this year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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BlackBess
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Posts: 55
Re: 300B Tubes
Reply #17 - 01/23/23 at 05:09:36
 
Out of the box I’d have to say the Wathen Cryotone 300B tubes sound pretty nice. I’ll have to investigate further.


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