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The End of the World? Nah, Just the New WE 300B!

45.47.136.180

Posted on March 21, 2020 at 09:25:45
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
Some people had doubts that we would ever see the new 2019 2020 WE 300B. Well I got a confirmation email (and phone call!) from Western Electric yesterday telling me they would be shipping my new WE 300Bs in the next 1 - 2 business days. I won't count my chickens until they hatch but it appears that they really will be here very soon.

I actually have some mixed emotions about this. After waiting well over a year for these new WE 300Bs, I couldn't wait any longer and purchased a pair of Takatsuki 300Bs. Compared to other 300Bs I have heard in my system (JJ, and borrowed Genalex, EH and EML) the Takatsuki 300B is fantastic! Bass, dynamics and pretty much everything else.

Compared to the JJs that I have been using long term, the Takatsuki 300B has made my system sound 50% better. Even if that is an exaggeration, a 25% improvement is pretty significant, wouldn't you say? Especially after some break-in (approx. 100 hours).

I recently had an amp manufacturer over for a listening session. I wanted him to hear a particular piece on my system. After listening to it I asked him what he thought of the piece. He said something to the effect forget about the piece, the sound of your system is so much better than I remembered it. The only change was the fully broken in Takatsuki 300Bs.

How well will the sound of the new WE 300B stack up? Given the very high bar set by the Takatuki 300B, I may never find out, at least in my system. According to WE, I was first in line for the new 300Bs. I have a day or two to decide if I should cancel my order, buy them as a collector's item (and keep them sealed) or rip open the box and do the Takatsuki shootout!

Gerry

P.S. My subject line was not to make light of COVID-19. Please take the warnings seriously and stay safe!

 

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Takatsuki 300B vs. Genalex Gold Lion PX300B? , posted on March 21, 2020 at 16:26:23
Jon L
Audiophile

Posts: 5769
Joined: April 6, 2000
Clearly, you need to compare the Takatsuki to WE and let us know...

Was the Genalex you borrowed the PX300B? I actually really like the PX300B tube but am looking for 300B tube that has the PX300B sound PLUS just a little more of treble extension/sparkle/air. I don't want any warmer, smoother, relaxed sound.

Will Takatsuki 300B accomplish that?

 

RE: The End of the World? Nah, Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 22, 2020 at 13:24:09
drummerwill
Audiophile

Posts: 962
Location: St Louis Mo.
Joined: January 7, 2003


Great job Gerry , I want to hear more of you're 300B comparisons .


Thanks
Willie

 

Bought a pair of Charlie Whitner's WE 300B tubes back in the early..., posted on March 22, 2020 at 18:14:54
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
2000s when they were made in Kansas.

IIRC, got them from PentaLabs.

Good 300B, over the first year or two one became noisy and Charlie replaced it with a new 'B-Stock' tube (fine with me, who cares about cracked bases) but it did take a while then a second became noisy as well and by that time Charlie was out of the business, but...

I had gotten is phone number some how so I kept at him till I received another NEW replacement.

Still using the replacement up until I stopped using the amps two years ago.

If I ever crank them up again, WE 300B, if as good sounding as the ones he make in Kansas, would go again.

OTOH, I heard that the reason the stopped making 300Bs in Kansas years ago is that he made tubes until the supplies to make them ran out and there was no way to get more because the stuff isn't made any more.

Hope not.











 

So Whitener's 'WE 300B' were sourced from Penta Labs?, posted on March 22, 2020 at 19:09:19
Jay Buridan
Audiophile

Posts: 7566
Location: Michigan
Joined: January 21, 2004



If so, my guess is that the new ones will be sourced from Shuguang Replica Series.






"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. "
― W.C. Fields

 

No, Penta Labs was a distributor for Charlie's WE 300B tubes..., posted on March 22, 2020 at 19:44:57
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Penta Labs distributed a lot of 'industrial' tubes back then and still today.





 

RE: The End of the World? Nah, Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 23, 2020 at 05:25:05
lokie
Audiophile

Posts: 1741
Location: Georgia, USA
Joined: January 28, 2003
I think Audio Note has a new 300B tube as well.

Keep us posted.

 

RE: The End of the World? Nah, Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 23, 2020 at 15:59:57
calloway
Audiophile

Posts: 715
Joined: February 12, 2000
I gave up on them over a year ago. I tried the Elrog 300B and the Psvane WE 300B and Psvane ACME 300B.The Psvane WE 300B is the best in my system. will be very interested in your opinion of the new WE 300B sound..

 

UPDATE: Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 24, 2020 at 10:01:38
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
I got a call yesterday from the 404 area code and the person on the other end had a proper southern accent. It was Charles Whitener himself wanting to make sure I still wanted the tubes and to confirm that I'm getting the first pair. The only thing he asked was that I let them know what I think of the sound. I just got my tracking number and the tubes should be here tomorrow.

Jon L. - Yes, the Genalex was the PX300B (is there any other type branded Genalex?). I know these are considered among the best "reasonably" priced 300Bs but here's the thing - while the borrowed Genalex/EH/EML were all better than my JJs, none of them made me want to rush out and buy a pair. IOWs, the improvement was relatively minor compared to the JJs. Within 10 seconds of hearing the Takatsuki 300Bs, I knew these were at another level (or two or three or...).

I didn't buy the Takatsuki 300Bs blindly. The same amp manufacturer who I mentioned in my original post had a customer's amp from another builder in for servicing. That amp had the Takatsuki 300Bs in it, so we got to hear them in a couple of amps. They made every amp we tried them in sound much better.

To answer your question Jon, I think the Takatsuki would accomplish what you are looking for. They are definitely not warmer/smoother (midrange-centric?) like the original and 1990s reissue WE 300Bs. Now the question remains where does the 2020 WE 300Bs fall within the spectrum?

Calloway - I also had a pair of (early) ELROG 300Bs and thought they sound excellent. Even better than the 1998 reissue WE 300Bs that I had at the same time. Of course they had the reliability problem and I wasn't going to get burned a 2nd time. So are you saying that Psvane WE 300B is better than both the ELROG and Psvane ACME 300Bs?

I didn't cancel my order but now I have to decide whether to open up these new WE 300Bs. I can't really afford to keep $3K worth of 300Bs around but maybe I will take one for the team!

Gerry

 

RE: UPDATE: Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 24, 2020 at 16:55:46
calloway
Audiophile

Posts: 715
Joined: February 12, 2000
Gerry E...in my system i like the Psvane WE 300B better than the other 2. Both the ACME and new version Elrog 300B are great and very close to the Psvane WE 300B but not quite as good to my ears..I will replace the Psvane WE 300B in the next few days with the ACME to recheck my thoughts. I am looking forward to the early thoughts on the WE 300B tubes coming out of Atlanta..

 

The 4300? Think this is also Psvane production. nt, posted on March 25, 2020 at 17:05:29
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5873
Location: North Island
Joined: April 4, 2000

Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

Well, did you get them yet ???, posted on March 28, 2020 at 05:58:27
ABliss
Audiophile

Posts: 1063
Joined: March 16, 2001
Been waiting on your review :)

 

Quarantine..., posted on March 28, 2020 at 06:38:11
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Got to leave those Fed Ex and UPS packages out on the porch for 72 hours for all those coronoviruses do die off.

UV radiation helps, also 190F for a few hours (6-8?) might do the job.

That said, reading a three day old newspaper every morning is getting old. :-(



 

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, posted on March 29, 2020 at 08:47:55
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
I haven't done any critical listening or comparisons yet because I want to give the tubes some "break-in" time. My Takatsuki 300Bs sounded best after approx. 50 - 100 hours of use. However, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly so far:

The Good: The tubes were shipped 2-day express at no charge. I assume the latter was due to the ridiculous manufacturing delay. They also included a couple of very nice WE T-shirts and another WE tchotchke.

Of course everyone wants to know about the sound. I'm very impressed with what I have heard so far. The bass sounds sounds full and extended, the mid-range very smooth and the highs "silky". Based on my experience with the Takatsuki 300Bs, I expect bass and dynamics will improve but they are already more than acceptable. One of the better qualities of these new WE 300Bs is the sound staging. Instruments are well defined in their own space with lots of "bloom". If I had to sum it up, a very beautiful sound.

The Bad: I'm not really sure if this is bad but it's not good either. The tubes tested 78/58 and 79/58 on my TV7 tester. Actually, those are pretty strong readings but my 4-month old Takatsuki 300Bs still test 88 and 92 (I tested them immediately after the WE 300B test). Even my old 1998 reissue WE 300Bs, which I no longer own, tested 86 and 87.

The Ugly: The seals on the bottom of the individual tube boxes were already broken when I received them. When I asked WE about this, they told me that "...for your particular order, an additional round of testing was performed on each 300B after the (boxes) were sealed." I'm not happy about this but I was going to break them anyway, so I won't make a big deal about it.

In summary, a few questionable attributes but there's no denying the sound quality. After a little more usage, I plan to do more critical listening and a direct comparison to the Takatsuki 300Bs. I probably won't keep both pairs and as of now, it could go either way. I'll post another update after the direct comparison.

Gerry

 

RE: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, posted on March 29, 2020 at 19:12:40
Gerry E.,
Thanks for the review/insight of the WE300B/Takasuki 300B.
Before I purchased my present amp/pre-amp from Don Garber,
I met him at his house (I had previously purchased a Super X)
and listened to a pair of his 300B mono's with 1950's WE's. They were
wonderful. Even though Don offered to build me an identical
pair with WE tubes (at a nominal markup, $500 I believe) I went in
my original direction, 421a and Evo pre-amp. As an aside, the 421a
that Don supplied me with, date code 58-52, still has has all it's flashing
and tests better than 100% for emissions, after 12 years of constant use.
They/it also sound wonderful.
I have never heard the Takasuki's, but have heard only good things about
them. I'm not a big fan of any re-issue, tube or vinyl, as I believe that they
probably lose something in translation.
Good luck in your final selection, Regards...mike

 

RE: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, posted on March 30, 2020 at 06:34:44
Larry I
Audiophile

Posts: 2168
Location: No. Va.
Joined: June 28, 2000
I know people who have been waiting for much more than 10 years for their tubes to arrive (they pre-paid for the tubes). I haven't heard the latest, but, if they are like the 1990's reissue, they should be quite good. Those 1990 reissues were also quite durable, except for mediocre gluing of the tube to the base.

The price certainly beats hunting around for original WE 300b's with engraved base.

 

Yeah, I think I have several pairs of the 1990s batch, posted on March 30, 2020 at 08:29:27
Jay Buridan
Audiophile

Posts: 7566
Location: Michigan
Joined: January 21, 2004
And had to re-glue one or two bases.






"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. "
― W.C. Fields

 

Elrog 300B vs. Psvane 300?, posted on March 30, 2020 at 14:30:45
Jon L
Audiophile

Posts: 5769
Joined: April 6, 2000
I actually bought some Takatsuki 300B's, but I would love to know the sound signature differences among Elrog 300B, Psvane WE 300B, and Psvane ACEME 300B.

 

Silky?, posted on March 30, 2020 at 14:35:05
Jon L
Audiophile

Posts: 5769
Joined: April 6, 2000
"mid-range very smooth and the highs silky"

I just bought some Takatsuki 300B's, so we'll see.
It's hard to know exactly what someone means by "smooth" and "silky," but I actually tend to avoid tubes that have sonic signatures (to me) that lean towards "smooth" and "silky"

I prefer my tubes (audio in general) clear, vivid, breathy rich.

 

RE: UPDATE: Just the New WE 300B! , posted on March 30, 2020 at 16:45:26
calloway
Audiophile

Posts: 715
Joined: February 12, 2000
Gerry..please keep us up to date with your thoughts on the WEs ...I am on their list but my guess is that i am pretty far down..

 

RE: Elrog 300B vs. Psvane 300?, posted on March 31, 2020 at 16:02:41
calloway
Audiophile

Posts: 715
Joined: February 12, 2000
Jon...There is not a significant difference among them.It is just a preference and is probably system dependent.I was expecting the Elrogs to be noticeably better, than the Psvane WE300B, but did not think it was sonically superior.I did not have the ACME at the time. I bought the ACME 300B and compared both Psvanes and have been going back and forth with them for a month at a time with each having a slight advantage in the bass....the WE300B and maybe the ACME in the high frequency range. all are great tubes.Rachel...of Grant Fidelity... is great to work with.I will probably get a pair of the Atlanta 300B tubes in the near future and do another comparison.

 

Cheap Shot, posted on April 1, 2020 at 08:45:28
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
We do our best to describe what we hear. Of course it's very easy to question someone's descriptive words. If you don't like "smooth" and "silky" then you must love Art Dudley's and Herb Reichert's word du jour "colorful".

I'll take the high-road and define smooth and silky for you:

Smooth - This should be self-evident but to me it means the opposite of rough or uneven. Another example would be "well balanced".

Silky - The opposite of harsh or raspy. Silky seems especially appropriate because of the phenolic coated cloth diaphragm my tweeters use.

After additional listening to the new WE 300Bs I would add "honest" and "truthful" as opposed to "flashy".

Gerry

 

I would have called the original re-makes from Kansas..., posted on April 1, 2020 at 09:19:58
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
that I purchased in the early 2000's, right before he closed down, as 'neutral' and 'uncolored'.

Not bright and certainly not 'warm' or 'tubey'. And they stayed that way up until about two years ago when they went into storage due to a move.

Be good if the newest editions are the same.











 

Thank you for the description, posted on April 1, 2020 at 13:21:47
Jon L
Audiophile

Posts: 5769
Joined: April 6, 2000
And I hope you didn't misunderstand my previous post, as it's hard to communicate the intended tone when writing stuff. I was just typing out loud and guesstimating what things might sound like.

 

New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 1, 2020 at 15:43:31
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15701
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005



Try one of these instead.

 

Plus they were NOT microphonic..., posted on April 2, 2020 at 08:04:01
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
A huge plus for 300Bs.





 

Microphonic?, posted on April 2, 2020 at 08:09:40
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
I have found most globe 300Bs to be microphonic and even KR ST shaped tubes I have are too microphonic albeit they otherwise sound good.

The WE300B Charlie made in his Kansas days was the least micorphonic tube I can recall having tried.





 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 3, 2020 at 02:04:43
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 986
Joined: December 25, 2014
Meh. Whatever floats your boat. It amazes me that peeps obsess stuff at the margins of a paradigm when their paradigms are, well, shite.

Irrespective, you are worthy.

"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 3, 2020 at 10:02:21
Gordon Rankin
Manufacturer

Posts: 2889
Joined: June 9, 2000
Just my opinion but I was never really happy with any of the PSvane 300B's including the expensive WE ones.

They were all really noisy and lacked dynamics.

Charlie has some new money behind him and someone that will keep him cattle prodded into making product. The prices are going to be much higher and volume lower to start.

I remember when they restarted the Kansas City plant they wasted a boat load of tubes. Then retooled the vacuum machines and then started making the tubes. Of course that happened again when Charlie had to move the plant south.

Thanks,
Gordon
J. Gordon Rankin

 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 3, 2020 at 16:47:16
calloway
Audiophile

Posts: 715
Joined: February 12, 2000
Have not found either to be true in my system..with either the WE300B or the ACME..300B

 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 4, 2020 at 03:44:06
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 12878
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Have you seen any of these or read any views of these tubes. I know that their 211 AN/PSVANE partnership is getting raves and of course the renowned Mastering Engineer Steve Hoffman has reviewed them - replaced his Elrogs.

But very few folks have or can afford the 211 amps.

The new Meishu Tonmeister is the first 300B amp that I have really liked - I didn't much care for the old one which was a little on the pipe and slippers side of the spectrum.

I am waiting for the 2a3 partnership as that's what I have. They're working on it.

This is Steve's 211 coverage.

 

Papa get's his Audio Note gear for free..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 10:07:56
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6551
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
February 1, 2012
....any review from him is tainted by the cozy relationship that he has with AN.

That is not to say that the tubes are not fantastic. Just that Papa is not an objective critic in this instance.

 

RE: Papa get's his Audio Note gear for free..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 11:03:55
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 12878
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Steve gets loaners from a lot of makers. He keeps the ones he likes the best.

So you're saying the tube sucks and Steve is a paid off liar?

No chance at all he could be telling the truth and he genuinely thinks the tube is terrific?



 

RE: Papa get's his Audio Note gear for free..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 13:30:03
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 986
Joined: December 25, 2014
He said Steve could not be objective in his opinion. I take that to mean there are stronger/greater unconscious biases involved than if he were not receiving "loaners". Seems reasonable.



"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

Long term loan of equipment is hardly a new..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 13:55:39
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
phenomenon, at least as it applies the the audio press. Recall Peter telling me some years ago that he was hoarding a LARGE supply of United Electronics 38111a. That's a pretty good tube! If his new PSVane is even close, then it's a winner.

Considering what Audio Note gets for their gear, would it make any sense at all to put their name on a crappy Chinese tune?

That said, SOME Chinese tubes sound GREAT fresh out of the box but after a few hundred hours fade.

Charlie's Kansas made WE300Bs held up well over time so I might go for round 2.











 

Do you read English?, posted on April 4, 2020 at 14:09:01
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6551
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
February 1, 2012
My post is quite clear. I said that the tube may be fantastic. But you clearly have your own agenda. We can call you "little Papa" from now on, LOL.

And BTW, get it right for once, just because your reviews make you an AN fanboy, don't make stuff up. As Papa says in the link below, Papa's $100,000 Ongaku was not a "loaner" as you say is so common, it was a present.

That fish wrapper, Dagogo clearly has reviewers that have no idea what they are talking about.

 

RE: Long term loan of equipment is hardly a new..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 14:13:48
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 986
Joined: December 25, 2014
Sure. Only point I'm making is the Viridian was referring to unconscious bias and perhaps not calling people liars etc.

I'll leave the 300b audiophile discussions to others.


"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

This is not a matter of a long term loan..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 18:12:13
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6551
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
February 1, 2012
....not sure where you came up with that Ivan, maybe from RGA. Papa got a $100,000 amp as a present. Please see below:

 

RE: This is not a matter of a long term loan..., posted on April 4, 2020 at 18:36:34
91derlust
Audiophile

Posts: 986
Joined: December 25, 2014
Seems reasonable to suggest that could lead to some bias.


"Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems to characterise our age." Albert Einstein

 

Thank you. Nt, posted on April 4, 2020 at 18:46:32
viridian
Audiophile

Posts: 6551
Location: Portland, Oregon
Joined: May 26, 2005
Contributor
  Since:
February 1, 2012
Nt

 

LOL! That would be a VERY long term loan. , posted on April 4, 2020 at 19:23:44
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Again, not all that unusual, although at $100,000 worth, maybe a bit unusual after all.

All that for a good review of a Chinese 300B? If so, Peter is slipping.

But then I seem to recall stories of Harry Pearson having a few pieces of gear for quite some time as well.







 

RE: Do you read English?, posted on April 4, 2020 at 20:54:48
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 12878
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Fair enough. I missed that. Obviously it could very well lead to a biased opinion.

 

And the winner is?????, posted on April 6, 2020 at 10:12:34
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Inquiring minds and all of that.





 

We Are!, posted on April 7, 2020 at 11:05:15
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
We now have at least two truly excellent currently manufactured 300Bs to choose from (Takatsuki, WE). So far, they are surprisingly similar in sound. Unfortunately they are among the more expensive 300Bs. Both the wife and I did separate single song A/B comparisons last night. Here are the results followed by some disclaimers:

I went first using Donald Fagen's "On the Dunes" track on his Kamakiriad album. I used this because it's an excellent recording and I own a special promo gold CD copy. Both 300Bs were excellent but I thought the Takatsuki reproduced Fagen's voice a little bit better. Then the wife listened to Justin Hayward's "The Swallow" on his Strange Times album. Again, another excellently recorded album, especially that song. She said she listened for certain things within the song and preferred the second tube (the WE 300B). So, two simple tests and opposite results.

Disclaimers:

1. I knew which tube I was listening to but my wife's test was "blind".
2. In both cases, we preferred the tube that was the second one listened to. I have often wondered if there is some bias in favor of the tube to go second when doing a quick A/B comparison.
3. My 5 month old Takatsuki 300Bs have had a lot more break-in time than the new WE 300Bs (more about that below).
4. It should go without saying that this was a very limited test with only two songs, each one listened to twice in a row with a switch of tubes in between.

I was surprised to get another call from Charles Whitener. He called me to address my concern about the strong but lower test results of these brand new WE 300Bs. He said that they use $100K test equipment to test the tubes before they leave the factory and all of the tubes in the first batch tested extremely strong. He also showed me on my individual test reports how well the tubes did on the life tests. Last, he explained that with the special oxide coating they use on the filaments, these new WE 300Bs could take up to 500 hours to sound their best.

I would also like to note that I take issue with Fred Crowder's review of the Audio Note 4300E on Dagogo. Near the very end he writes "...the AN 4300E's are sonically superior to the Takatsuki 300B... ". He hadn't mentioned anything about the Takatsuki earlier in the review but puts out that statement in the conclusion section. He doesn't give any context or relevant information about how he arrived at that conclusion. For example, when did he compare them, how did he compare them, is he going strictly by memory and why they are "superior" (his word). The only qualifier he gives is that he used his Audio Note (U.K.) Balanced Kegon amps to evaluate the tubes. I wonder how many extra 4300E sales this unqualified and gratuitous single statement will generate for Audio Note?

Gerry

 

RE: We Are!, posted on April 7, 2020 at 20:35:08
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
"I wonder how many extra 4300E sales this unqualified and gratuitous single statement will generate for Audio Note?"

Considering how much Peter gets for his gear, how little (relatively) he gets from his tubes, I don't think it matters that much.

But if the new WE tubes from Charlie are as good as you say, there is hope for us all. Especially if I get my 300B monoblocks cooking again and my near 20 year old WE300Bs need replacing (they have no getter flashing left).



 

RE: We Are!, posted on April 8, 2020 at 06:14:17
RGA
Reviewer

Posts: 12878
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
You can always e-mail Fred and ask him. Or perhaps leave a reply in the comment section below the review. I never get an e-mail telling me if I get a reply so I am very slow to respond if ever.

I do know that Fred buys his equipment and I have met him and the dealer who was very happy to receive the cheque for the M9 preamp (Audio-federation). No free gifts there.

One thing that is generally important to note about "tube sound" is that if you read endless things about tubes on various forums you will find that there is little consensus on which tube sounds better - and part of that is very likely circuit dependent.

A Mullard output tube might be best in 9 amplifiers but maybe some other brand is better in the tenth amplifier.

Since Audio Note is testing all these tubes - and Peter owns them all as he has a tube collection over a million - when he is testing the tubes in his circuits - it may be that his tubes beat or get very close to some of the best NOS tubes. The key part though is "in an Audio Note amplifier". Put that tube in some other amp and it may be good but a notch or 2 worse.

Since Fred owns an AN amplifier - perhaps the AN tube sounds better. Would stand to reason. Put the tubes in a Cary 300B and the reverse could hold true and the Takatsuki might sound superior. And then two people can listen to the exact same thing and disagree. So you might put the AN tube in your amp and like the AN tube more - much to your surprise and you might here both tubes in the AN amp and much to your surprise like the Takatsuki better - how will you know until you try?

Regardless - people tend to be heavily biased in some fashion whether pro or anti a company or product. Some people will love something or someone no matter how horrible or nice they are and others will do the exact opposite.

I would not really worry about it because the only people Peter is likely going to sell tubes to are Audio Note 300B owners or "perhaps" people who have another 300B amp but have AN somewhere in the chain. I mean there are not a helluva lot of 300B amp owners when you think about it.

The guys who can afford P4 monoblocks - wow - can probably buy all the most expensive 300B tubes on the market. And then they will each decide which one sounds the best.

It would stand to reason that anyone who buys Audio Note "probably" has the same sonic taste as Peter Qvortrup. Thus, it then follows that these people would "probably" have the same sonic taste when it comes to tubes. Since Peter's favorite sounding amplifier in his stable is the 211 - then there is a very good chance that his favorite sounding 300B will be something that mirrors the 211 characteristics.

If you ever get a chance - listen to the Audio Note Meishu that has been selling for 20+ years and the new Meishu Tonmeister. The latter to me is vastly better but not everyone is likely to concur. Because I prefer 2a3 and 211 and 45 over the 300B - the new Tonmeister has more drive grunt and power etc etc - but for some people that might take some focus off the gentility of what they like about 300B amplifiers.

Way back circa year 2000 I directly compared a Cary 300B against a Meishu and Audio Note Kit 1 (300B) and to me all in the same room same volume same speakers source music etc - the Cary came in a distant last place. To me it wasn't even remotely a contest. Now - I am not "right" or "Wrong" it's just a taste thing.

A few years later I heard a Ongaku/Jinro and felt the AN 300B amps lacked oomph and drive (even though that was the strength against the Cary) - and every other major 300B amp including the one Jack Roberts loved all sounded weak willed to me.

I then heard the 2a3 and thought it was much better as an all rounder to the 300B amps including the AN's. And I preferred the sound over the doubly more expensive AN 211 amps.

Lastly - one other thing is the combination of tubes. Peter is looking at all the tubes in tandem - X preamp tube and how it works with Y power tube. Perhaps if Fred changed some of the preamp tubes then the combination of X preamp tube with the Takatsuki 300B would, combined, sound better than the AN 300B tube and the preamp tube or driver tube supplied by Audio Note in the preamp. These things to me work in tandem.

Usually I find the term "better" to be a less helpful - better at what? Usually something will do one thing better at the expense of something else.

I think the 2a3 is better as an all-rounder - it rocks - is seems more powerful to me. Same for the 211. But - there is gentility or beauty to the 300B - described by a couple of different Hong Kong dealers as beautiful or "lady like" that can't be denied. If I were rich it would be great to have a bunch of different amps and tube types for different music and moods.

And don't forget that 45 - I have only heard the AN 45 amp (pretty affordable comparatively) and that thing has a sound that is in some ways the best of the lot of them. It's just sooooo low powered.


 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on April 8, 2020 at 12:26:14
bluetube
Audiophile

Posts: 62
Location: HengYang.HN
Joined: May 31, 2002
The new 300B designed and produced in China has made great progress in recent years,AN 4300E is a very common design,it is just a variant of fullmusic 300B (but not produced by fullmusic). The price of AN 4300E is not cheap,and it seems that the AN trademark is very useful.

The latest 300B in China are LinLai E-300B,SuperTNT 300BK.300BQ. which is far better than AN 4300E in terms of design. These 300B prices are not more expensive than AN 4300E














 

Great post. Great pictures., posted on April 8, 2020 at 19:28:53
jusbe
Audiophile

Posts: 5873
Location: North Island
Joined: April 4, 2000
Makes me want to try a 300B amp again.


Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

RE: LOL! That would be a VERY long term loan. , posted on April 8, 2020 at 19:51:21
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 2228
Joined: June 23, 2009
I don't think Peter is "slipping". Remember that cost of manufacturing that thing is multiple times less than 100k. Probably less than 10k.
Gents who participate in that forum can afford the best and and how much of advertising space you can get for $10k?? Papa is a world known recording engineer and to some much more credible than any of the reviewers. I think it was a well calculated gift.
And as for me I enjoy my fully black gated clones (still need some tweaking ) of AN Quests with REAL 2001 NOS WE300B tubes.

 

So keeping both pair?, posted on April 9, 2020 at 08:25:45
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 41932
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - Santa Fe, NM
Joined: February 26, 2001
Be very interested to see how well the newest version of Charlie's WE300B ages over time.

That, to me, is a huge deal as many Chinese tube sound great for the fist few hundred hours, then become kind of 'dead' or 'dull' sounding.

Also many 300Bs are microphonic, which my late 90's, early 2000 Kansas made WE300Bs never were. I have a pair of KR made 300Bs that are so microphonic I can't stand to use them. :-(





 

RE: Great post. Great pictures., posted on April 9, 2020 at 15:39:33
bluetube
Audiophile

Posts: 62
Location: HengYang.HN
Joined: May 31, 2002
More pictures of LinLai E-300B







 

LinLai 300B tube. Sound?, posted on April 9, 2020 at 17:12:57
Jon L
Audiophile

Posts: 5769
Joined: April 6, 2000
So how do they sound compared to others?

 

RE: LinLai 300B tube. Sound?, posted on April 10, 2020 at 09:05:40
bluetube
Audiophile

Posts: 62
Location: HengYang.HN
Joined: May 31, 2002
In a few days, there may be a comparison video of SuperTNT 300BK,300BQ, 300BE,LinLai E-300B,EML 300B and WE 300B

 

That is THE Question - Right?, posted on April 13, 2020 at 09:40:47
Gerry E.
Audiophile

Posts: 2132
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Joined: February 19, 2000
For now I'm keeping both pairs but eventually will sell one or the other. They are so similar sounding it's hard to differentiate. After additional listening I *think* the Takatsuki 300Bs are very slightly more upfront/forwarding sounding but not in a bad way. If that's correct then one's system and personal taste may dictate which one would be preferred.

In several postings you made the very important point of longevity, a Western Electric trademark. AFAIK, the Takatsuki 300Bs have passed the "longevity test". Of course we have no idea about these new Series 3 WE 300Bs (the serial numbers start with a '3'). However, they are offering a 5 year warranty if you send in the warranty card within 10 days (I did).

If the WE 300Bs continue to improve up to 500 hours of use, as Charles W. indicated, I will probably keep them and sell that Taks. I'm surprised by this because they set a very high bar.

Gerry

 

On The Subject of Free ONGAKU's, posted on May 12, 2020 at 05:13:28
Peter Qvortrup
Manufacturer

Posts: 940
Location: South of England
Joined: December 8, 2000
Dear Viridian,

I can confirm that Steve is borrowing the ONGAKU Kensei it was not a free gift, but a long term loan, I trust that clarifies.

It will most probably be replaced by something even better at some point, Steve's feedback is very useful to us and I am sure our equipment helps Steve with his mastering, which was already amongst the best in the industry.

Sincerely,
Peter

 

Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on May 12, 2020 at 05:20:24
Peter Qvortrup
Manufacturer

Posts: 940
Location: South of England
Joined: December 8, 2000
Dear Wojciech,

If you think it is possible to make an ONGAKU for $ 10K then come and work for me, because we cannot make one for twice that.

As I said in an earlier post, the ONGAKU Steve has is on loan, it is not a present.

Hope this explains?

Sincerely,
Peter

 

RE: New Audio Note (UK) 300B tube, posted on May 12, 2020 at 05:45:47
Peter Qvortrup
Manufacturer

Posts: 940
Location: South of England
Joined: December 8, 2000
Hi Gordon,

Long time no speak, how are you?

I think it is important to comment on your issue with the Psvane 300Bs, we moved away from Shuguang and several of the other Chinese 300Bs to Psvane as their version not only sounded better but were less problematic and more consistent, but the down side is they are slightly more expensive than some.

Consider that we use around 2,500 300Bs per annum what would be the point of using an inferior tube?

Sincerely,
Peter

 

RE: Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on May 12, 2020 at 09:50:04
Wojciech
Audiophile

Posts: 2228
Joined: June 23, 2009



Dear Peter
I stand corrected. I'm told that you're not the easiest person to work for so I'd rather work for Emily :). All and all I wish you and the factory the best and 1:10 production costs to sale ratio as well.
Surely, trying to make a preamp from scratch using AN method of PTP wiring on the board made me realize what a pain in the arse it really is, and what skill is required for a clean assembly.
Warm Regards, W

 

RE: Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on May 14, 2020 at 05:19:22
Peter Qvortrup
Manufacturer

Posts: 940
Location: South of England
Joined: December 8, 2000
Hi Wojciech,

I know I am a pretty hard task master, as I think anyone who expects an exacting set of standards met can be considered difficult, don't think my Daughter is any different, she is probably more so!

Point to point hard wiring is a very exacting and time consuming job requiring a considerable level of skill and dedication, which is why it is so rarely used.

The job offer stands, but as you now perhaps realise the 1 to 10 ratio between cost and retail is completely impossible, given material and labour costs.

Sincerely,
Peter

 

RE: Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on May 15, 2020 at 06:26:50
kobasa@xs4all.nl
Audiophile

Posts: 219
Joined: August 21, 2018
I think you are right about the extreme production to sale ratio at AN Wojciech.

I know that long time ago at the golden age of tubes every radio, amplifier and so on was handmade and hand wired. They cost a fortune too in those days but never so exctreme as AN.
The differance is is that AN is "high end" , whatever that means, and for high end equipement manufactures ask what ever they Want to. If there is a fool who wants to pay for they are lucky.

Probably Peter will say that the materials will cost a fortune but none of the materials used in the AN cost a fortune in the real world, only at AN.

 

RE: Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on May 22, 2020 at 12:40:49
kobasa@xs4all.nl
Audiophile

Posts: 219
Joined: August 21, 2018
did anybody read this information?

https://www.audionote.co.uk/output-transformers

specially the link for "more information"

What a crap they wrote there. Crap about the permalloy, crap about the "anealing at low levels performance" even crap about the copper frames.

I know most people don't know anything about transformer technology but what they wrote on the AN website is just crab, and they are misinform there costumers.


 

RE: Loans & Costs & Such Things, posted on June 22, 2020 at 13:47:44
kobasa@xs4all.nl
Audiophile

Posts: 219
Joined: August 21, 2018
i tried to find the article of Andy Grove about interstage.....
Although i really think Audionote is a rubbish transformer manufacture (what i mean they ask way to much for there transformers) i did like the article Andy grove wrote about interstages. Unfortunately they removed the article (also a link at Monolith Magnetics is removed : https://www.ankaudiokits.com/agrove_interstage.html ) Andy is the man who designs the transformers at AN and i think he knows how to make a decent transformer only he wears an iron suit from Peter Qvortrup. Peter is the asshole who makes the decisions at An and he thinks about money and not how to make a great transformer.

 

RE: The End of the World? Nah, Just the New WE 300B! , posted on December 1, 2020 at 06:46:16
DigitalTube_NZ
Audiophile

Posts: 1
Location: Wellington
Joined: December 1, 2020



Has anyone tried STC4300A's (UK licensed 300B's), probably the equal of the original WE300B's. And they may not cost much more than the reissued WE300B's???

 

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