Western Electric 300B Impressions and Measurements

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by purr1n, Jun 21, 2022.

  1. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    I have had all 3 tubes, gold lion, JJ, still have the linlai Global E and the reissue WE 300b's. My preference goes in this order
    JJ, Gold Lion then there's a jump to the Lillai global's, then the WE. To my hearing the WE is much better then the LInlai in these areas. The space around the instruments and the depth of the sound field on headphones and speakers is greater and bigger. Tonally the WE sound more organic( bad word I know) wood instruments sound woody and deeper. If you think of a piano on the LInlai a piano sounds like a Yamaha while on the WE it sounds like a Bosendorfer or Steinway. The golden coloration of the We is beautiful. Bass is more pronounced with greater depth and the top end has not harshness. Both the LINlai and the WE have excellent detail. I enjoy the correctness and beauty of the WE, well worth the investment.
    The first set I bought was noisy even after 500 hours and after playing for 10 hours straight. WE figured out with my amp that the tubes needed a higher plate or filament voltage(unsure which) and sent me a new set, they are dead quiet.
    best,
    Josh
     
  2. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    How about bass? I feel that 300Bs never were ace in this regard, but am wondering whether there are any changes between those you have. Thanks!
     
  3. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    the bass is better with the WE, more heft, clarity, punch. On acoustic bass it is richer tone with great attack. the WE makes the others sound colder and somewhat flat in comparison.
    best,
    Josh
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    At the end of the day, I still feel the WE is has a classic 300B sound (as opposed to KR and EML). By classic 300B sound, that means "organic" bass. If the Studio B didn't have the feedback from the tertiary winding of the output transformer, I would have cared less for the amp and the tube. FWIW, @Josh Schor and I both use Studio B with speakers and headphones. (Less headphones for me).

    For no-feedback SET amps, the 300Bs sound just as bloated and rolled as the rest. I tested a early prototype of the 300B without the feedback, and it was no different. Again, this depends upon one's perspective. I happen to prefer the more solid-state 300Bs for NFB SETs. Some audiophiles go gaga over the "300B" sound, others like myself (and @Josh Schor) question: "um, 300B, not sure about that". The Studio B just happens to ameliorate or tone down these "worst" IMO qualities of the 300B.*

    Bottom line: the amp, the output transformers, the circuit, are going to make a difference -and- the WE 300B is still a "classic" 300B, for better or worse.

    *45 -> 2A3 -> 300B -> 845. These tubes are very similar, but they roughly double the plate area w/ corresponding longer filaments with each jump. More power as we go up, but less desirable sound IMHO. 2A3 is considered the sweet spot by many.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    LOL, that sounds like bullshit.

    However, be aware of AC line voltage at the outlet. If too low, the high-frequency heater boards on the Studio B will just barely clip and be the cause of some noise.
     
  6. Josh Schor

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    All I know is that with the new set they are dead quiet. Maybe first set of tubes were just bad?
     
  7. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    Its definitely the Studio B that makes all of this work for me, I have never liked 300b tubes until I heard this amp, with the WE for me it goes up a level. Like you Marv with my new speakers I am listening to them more then my headphones.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    It happens. However it's good to hear that you got no questions asked excellent customer service.
     
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  9. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    Indeed.
     
  10. Josh Schor

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    I'm now completely frustrated with the WE 300b reissues I have. First set was noisy even after 500 hours, would play them for 10 hours and they were so noisy. The new set ( have close to 300hours on them) they sent me are dead quiet but it blats or farts intermittently, I have narrowed it down to coming from the amp not the speakers and have run my Lina global e 300b with no noise or farting noise. WTF, I emailed with Craig at EC said its impurities in the tube, I do not know but its unacceptable for $1,500 there going back. Now what EAT, Elrog, Takatsuki ???
     
  11. Josh Schor

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    Okay I was very heated with my last post. It may be the amp I heard the farting with the LinLa global e 300b tubes, oh well will have to get some help from my electrical engineer friend and take a look inside.
    best,
    Josh
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Did it fart before the Jupiter caps? I actually don't know the internal layout, but if the interstage caps are near the high-frequency heaters, the beeswax could start melting.

    Test with other tubes to rule out WE 300B causing the issues. It doesn't seem like a tube issue.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  13. Josh Schor

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    Will open up amp and see whats up. Happens with WE and LinLa tubes
     
  14. Souldriver

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    I know they were surveying to see what other tubes people were wanting, mostly as a response to guitar players. I wonder if that would be a shift for them away from 300b.
     

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