Some system observations on Yggdrasil and 300B's

Discussion in 'Leaderboard, Overboard, and Deals' started by batriq, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    This post is about the Yggdrasil in my system, and separately about the New Sensor PX300B.

    Before adding the Yggdrasil, my system consisted of:
    Marantz SA8005 > Dyanco PAS4 (recapped by me) > 300B amp (refurbished by me) > Zu Union speakers + REL sub.

    I had a Bifrost Uber that I upgraded to MB and added it to the system (via coax from the Marantz). The BiMB beat the Marantz when it comes to staging, but didn't have the dynamic range of the Marantz. Particularly, the lower mids were lacking in the BiMB. So some recordings sounded better with the Marantz directly feeding the preamp, and others sounded better with the BiMB. I really wanted to try out the Yggdrasil, but was hesitant because I thought it would share the same sound signature as the BiMB and of course the price (at retail it's more expensive than any other component in my system except possibly the amp). With encouragement from @zerodeefex, I went ahead and bought a (used) Yggdrasil. The Yggdrasil combines the best qualities of both the Marantz and the BiMB and beats them. It is so good, that that Marantz is no longer connected to the preamp, just to the Yggdrasil through RCA coax (and I thus ditched the SACD layer of some of my music). Music sounds like it should through the Yggdrasil.

    On to the 300B tubes. I've tried many 300B tubes including: Chinese punched plate, JJ, Western Electric (new production), EML 300B, and the New Sensor "Gold Lion" PX300B. Originally I only had the Chinese and the JJ tubes. Then I bought the PX300B. Right after they arrived and before I even had a chance to try them in the amp, my friend offered a pair of WE300B and a pair of EML300B for a combined price that is unheard of (really). I couldn't pass up that generous offer and picked these up. Yes, the WE's are awesome, and the EMLs extend more in both directions, and I was loving them. Then one day I decided to try out these PX300B tubes sitting on the shelf. They had some of the delicacy of the WE and the neutrality of the EMLs. After some hours on them, they sounded even better with the bass gaining more prominence and the treble more sparkle. I don't know how many hours I have on them now, but I haven't removed them from the amp since. The Marantz/BiMB/Yggdrasil impressions above were all done with the PX300B. These tubes are excellent (but give them time to break in), and at $330 I would recommend dropping the desire to obtain more expensive 300B's.

    That's it ... hope people find this at least slightly helpful.
     
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  2. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    That 300B information was extremely useful for me to read. Thank you so much for that!
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Thank you. This is really good to know. It's been tough finding a GREAT 300B. Were the EMLs you used mesh or solid plate? I actually think the budget EH300B are not bad. Curious of the the differences between the Gold Lion and the EH (since both are made by EH).
     
  4. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    Marv, I compared the EH300B and the JJ 300B. The EH300B, while not bad in any way, was really upshot by the JJ 300B. The JJ had more 3D, more body, more "thereness". Top end was more believable and real...

    It was excellent, but then a buddy lent me his original Western Electric 300B pair in mint condition. It was such a moving experience with that amplifier, I just dropped the whole idea of purchasing the amplifier altogether, as getting an original pair like that is way too difficult!

    I tested it with an Indian Classical instrument called the "Sarangi" Here is the track:



    This was with the Blumenstein Naga speakers. It uses the Fostex FE83en. I didn't go listen to my main setup that night because I was so mesmerized...
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  5. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    The EML's I used are the standard (not XLS) solid plate. I considered getting the mesh plates at some point but shied away from them due to the 1.4A filament draw since my amp was designed for WE tubes (on a related note, the new WE tubes list the filament current as 1.24A in their accompanying papers, and the PX300B specify 1.25A nominal).

    I'm not surprised the EH300B sound good. Beside the gold pins, the PX300B seem identical to the Gold Grid EH300B. The difference may lie in the tube selection.
     
  6. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I'm constantly tempted by 300B amps. Such a lovely sound from them.
     
  7. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    Here's a relevant review that I recently found: http://wallofsound.ca/audioreviews/triode-roundup-seven-common-man-300b-tubes-compared/
    It compares the JJ, EH300B GG, and the PX300B among others. The reviewer agrees with us that the JJ > EH300B and the PX300B > JJ
     

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