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Which 300B tubes?

Hari Iyer

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#1
Over my past one months amp modification stunt, i had by mistake shorted the filament with the ground. This caused fire works at my home like some welding is going on in my room. I switched-off the amp in 10 sec and discovered the shorts. After i wired them correctly and re-connected the Shuguang 300B-98 which was now thoroughly abused. To my surprise the 300B worked well without showing any signs of fatigue. But until recently the right channel 300B-98 starts giving up after an hour or so of playback and shuts down. This calls for a new set of 300Bs and hence the post.

Buying a new set of 300Bs is not different from buying a ladies handbag. There are around 12 to 15 different brands to choose from and each claiming to be similar to the original Western Electric WE300B (i dont know what that mean either). There are solid graphite, carbon plates, mesh plates, gold grids and all at a different price point making the choice even more confusing. also there are couple of 300B tube comparisons made in stereophile.com, enjoy the music, tube store and so on. Reading all this makes it more confusion and leaves with you with far less choice. Since i have been now using the Shuguang tube for almost 5 years now, i may try something different. Mesh plates from EML would have been the first choice but they are far too expensive for my budget. The original WE300B was easy to let go for the same reason which retails 1000+$. The Psvanes have a crude form of mesh plates and fits my budget, but again Chinese reliability is keeping me away from them. Left with few more choice of TJ full music mesh plate (a 100+$ expensive than Psvane), JJ Tesla, Electro Harmnix gold grid. KR 300B also would be a good choice but there were some issues in grid shorting etc. Ganelex PX300B is a tough contender and is in my wish list too.

No matter which 300B you finally purchase, it has to match well with my amplifier which has undergone many modifications. Hence reading reviews of them makes far less sense. IMO all 300B tubes will have its signature and there will be some pros and cons with all of them. Hence what fits your budget makes the choice more easy than reading countless reviews about them. I often find most reviews to be baised.

FMs who have exposure to various 300B sonic signature are welcome to pitch in with their opinion.
 
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Hari Iyer

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#2
Looks like I am the only fortunate guy in India/ HFV forum to have experienced a 300B sound signature. Yes it's nostalgic to own one for sure. Many views but no reply to the post kept me wondered.
 

Nikhil

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#4
Looks like I am the only fortunate guy in India/ HFV forum to have experienced a 300B sound signature. Yes it's nostalgic to own one for sure. Many views but no reply to the post kept me wondered.
From your post I was not sure if you wanted recommendations or were giving us a blow by blow account of your tube search.

I would happily recommend best300b.com which is run by the son of Lukasz Fikus (LampizatOr). They have a very special tie up with KR Audio and have some very nice tubes on offer. There was some talk of the new KR Audio tubes being really good due to the know how at the KR Audio facility.

Here is the direct link to his product pricelist (from his website)
http://best300b.com/wp-content/themes/businessx-child/PDF/BEST300B.COM_PRICELIST.pdf

Good luck with your search!


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Hari Iyer

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From your post I was not sure if you wanted recommendations or were giving us a blow by blow account of your tube search.

I would happily recommend best300b.com which is run by the son of Lukasz Fikus (LampizatOr). They have a very special tie up with KR Audio and have some very nice tubes on offer. There was some talk of the new KR Audio tubes being really good due to the know how at the KR Audio facility.

Here is the direct link to his product pricelist (from his website)
http://best300b.com/wp-content/themes/businessx-child/PDF/BEST300B.COM_PRICELIST.pdf

Good luck with your search!


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Thanks Nikhil for the links and your perspective. From the pricelist it was not clear if the quoted price is for a single tube or a matched pair. If its for a matched pair, then price is very competitive. The shop link is currently down - maybe i should check after some time.

BTW, i am also bidding for an EH 300B gold grid tube which ends this Sunday. I may have to buy them if i am not outbid by someone else. Will wait till this Sunday for deciding.
 
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#6
I like my Shuguang black treasure better than psvane something that came stock with my amp.

But the best if you can afford it probably is the Tataksuki (haven't heard it). Someday I might buy a pair.
 

Hari Iyer

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#7
Thanks essrand, I have now already ordered the Psvane mesh plate 300b/n tubes as they were within my budget yesterday. The Shuguang treasure tubes, I believe are twice as expensive.
 
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