Which 300b amplifier: Nagra 300p, Luxman MQ-300, Wavac EC-300B, Air Tight ATM-300R, Shindo Cortese 300b

bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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#41
Hi I would go with the Airtight 300b or NAF 2a3 with tree O96. Preferably the NAF. These speakers work better with the lower watt SETs, after trying jadis integrated, Silvercore 833c 20w, airtight el34 34 watts, mastersound 845 and Riviera hybrids (which are excellent amps but not for devore)
 
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#42

essrand

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Jan 8, 2018
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#43
The Luxman MQ-300 is only 8w. Choices, choices...
That's not an issue, there's a guy running Devore Nines with MQ-300.

Do let me know what you decide in the end, either way I would love to hear (if you get one of them) what you think of them in O96s?
 
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#44
That's not an issue, there's a guy running Devore Nines with MQ-300.

Do let me know what you decide in the end, either way I would love to hear (if you get one of them) what you think of them in O96s?
Oh I wasn't afraid of the 8w being an issue - I was simply pointing out to @bonzo75 that the Luxman was indeed a lower watt SET. I will certainly post back on this thread if and when I get a SET for the O/96s.
 
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#45
@essrand After quite a bit of researching, getting some of John DeVore's impressions on various amps, and talking to dealers I went in a bit of an unexpected direction - I just picked up a Line Magnetic 805ia and am really enjoying the first 48 hrs with it! As low as the cost was I felt it was a good risk (even without listening first) and I admittedly got a great deal from an authorized dealer who had one already in stock. The synergy between the LM with it's 48 SET watts, 805 power tubes, and 300B driver tubes coupled to the O/96's is really stellar. The sound is almost intoxicating with its immediacy, wide open space, bloom, nuance, and rich lucid beauty of tone. Quite extended on bass but cohesive while using the 8 ohm taps, while the treble is very smooth with no sharpness. I do feel that the extra watts are helpful in controlling the 10-inch woofer. I think what Ralph has said about having headroom with SET amps is likely spot on.

I was prepared to spend 3X what I did. I suppose a bit of tube rolling will be in my future after ~100 hrs as I get even better acquainted with this amp.

I'm pretty sure I will dabble in a 300B amp sometime in the future but this amp has me quite engaged right now.
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
2,133
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Hong Kong
#46
@essrand After quite a bit of researching, getting some of John DeVore's impressions on various amps, and talking to dealers I went in a bit of an unexpected direction - I just picked up a Line Magnetic 805ia and am really enjoying the first 48 hrs with it! As low as the cost was I felt it was a good risk (even without listening first) and I admittedly got a great deal from an authorized dealer who had one already in stock. The synergy between the LM with it's 48 SET watts, 805 power tubes, and 300B driver tubes coupled to the O/96's is really stellar. The sound is almost intoxicating with its immediacy, wide open space, bloom, nuance, and rich lucid beauty of tone. Quite extended on bass but cohesive while using the 8 ohm taps, while the treble is very smooth with no sharpness. I do feel that the extra watts are helpful in controlling the 10-inch woofer. I think what Ralph has said about having headroom with SET amps is likely spot on.

I was prepared to spend 3X what I did. I suppose a bit of tube rolling will be in my future after ~100 hrs as I get even better acquainted with this amp.

I'm pretty sure I will dabble in a 300B amp sometime in the future but this amp has me quite engaged right now.
Hi DeadWax,
Congrats!
All products of Line Magnetics are good-buys.

However and IMHO their low-profile "Western Electrics Tribute Series" is the real gem!

Such as this AS-125 int amp with 211 tubes :
http://m.lm-audio.com/products_detail/&productId=193&productColumnId=1&orderStr=7&pmcId=167.html
Capture _2020-08-24-10-52-23~2.png
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,663
1,212
388
Switzerland
#47
@essrand After quite a bit of researching, getting some of John DeVore's impressions on various amps, and talking to dealers I went in a bit of an unexpected direction - I just picked up a Line Magnetic 805ia and am really enjoying the first 48 hrs with it! As low as the cost was I felt it was a good risk (even without listening first) and I admittedly got a great deal from an authorized dealer who had one already in stock. The synergy between the LM with it's 48 SET watts, 805 power tubes, and 300B driver tubes coupled to the O/96's is really stellar. The sound is almost intoxicating with its immediacy, wide open space, bloom, nuance, and rich lucid beauty of tone. Quite extended on bass but cohesive while using the 8 ohm taps, while the treble is very smooth with no sharpness. I do feel that the extra watts are helpful in controlling the 10-inch woofer. I think what Ralph has said about having headroom with SET amps is likely spot on.

I was prepared to spend 3X what I did. I suppose a bit of tube rolling will be in my future after ~100 hrs as I get even better acquainted with this amp.

I'm pretty sure I will dabble in a 300B amp sometime in the future but this amp has me quite engaged right now.
Thanks for the interesting feedback. I think for a speaker like the O96, which is sensitive but not THAT sensitive, have the extra headroom of a large bottle SET is a good choice. I think you might have found that the lower powered 300B amps would be gasping somewhat on that speaker. I am sure the LM sounds quite effortless. IMO, you really need a speaker >100db if you are going to use a 300B or smaller output tube and not in parallel. I had a 20 watt JJ-322, which is a very well made and good sounding parallel 300B SET and it worked well on my 98db and 94db horns but it really struggled when you got down to 91 or 92db conventional speakers...something my 25 watt Aries Cerat Genus simply doesn't have an issue with. I think some of that was the big bottles in the Genus (813 output tubes) and the rest was the huge power supply (although the JJ did not have a small power supply by any means). Going down to 6-10 watts with a single 300B could be tough indeed even on a nominal 96db (I think real measurements were a few db lower) speaker.
 

essrand

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2018
28
3
68
#48
@DeadWax

Thanks for circling back. Only last week I was wondering what you would end up with.

Very unexpected, but I have heard great things about LM and Devore and looks like you concur. Congrats!

I been recently thinking about the Luxman MQ-300, but my logic to choose Nagra 300p was that this speakers perhaps need more power. But my modulometers in Nagra has never crossed 2W no matter the volume. So I often wondered about the amp that got away :)

I think DeVore might have been right about the 96dB sensitivity as opposed to the 92dB that Atkinson measured, though. But always good to have headroom I am sure.

Glad you are enjoying it. Good to enjoy audio nirvana at 1/3rd the price, usually it goes the other way around. You spend 3 times as much. Enjoy!!
 

Bob Heinatz

Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2010
43
10
413
#49
I owned the Air Tight for a couple of years and loved it. The bass was very strong. I am now using 2a3 mono blocks and like the sonic presentation of the 2a3 tube much better than the 300b.
 
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bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
15,232
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#50
I owned the Air Tight for a couple of years and loved it. The bass was very strong. I am now using 2a3 mono blocks and like the sonic presentation of the 2a3 tube much better than the 300b.
Agreed on 2a3 but which brand do you have? I loved the NAF integrated 2a3 I heard on the devore. Also which tubes are you using
 
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#51
I owned the Air Tight for a couple of years and loved it. The bass was very strong. I am now using 2a3 mono blocks and like the sonic presentation of the 2a3 tube much better than the 300b.
And you were using O/96 speakers?
 
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#54

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,283
2,062
470
#55
@essrand After quite a bit of researching, getting some of John DeVore's impressions on various amps, and talking to dealers I went in a bit of an unexpected direction - I just picked up a Line Magnetic 805ia and am really enjoying the first 48 hrs with it! As low as the cost was I felt it was a good risk (even without listening first) and I admittedly got a great deal from an authorized dealer who had one already in stock. The synergy between the LM with it's 48 SET watts, 805 power tubes, and 300B driver tubes coupled to the O/96's is really stellar. The sound is almost intoxicating with its immediacy, wide open space, bloom, nuance, and rich lucid beauty of tone. Quite extended on bass but cohesive while using the 8 ohm taps, while the treble is very smooth with no sharpness. I do feel that the extra watts are helpful in controlling the 10-inch woofer. I think what Ralph has said about having headroom with SET amps is likely spot on.

I was prepared to spend 3X what I did. I suppose a bit of tube rolling will be in my future after ~100 hrs as I get even better acquainted with this amp.

I'm pretty sure I will dabble in a 300B amp sometime in the future but this amp has me quite engaged right now.
Congratulations on the LM805ia DeadWax, I love mine.

How you are hearing it is a great reflection of the amp’s character even stock. The thing that there’s still more in there to be had even just with valve upgrades. I’m figuring you’ve read already that 6SL7 and 6SN7s are a great place to start with and there are many confirmations from owners on driver and output upgrades as well where real gains can be had across the board. The bass stock is exemplary, but valve upgrades will surprise you what authority this thing can have. The fact that it is sexy looking as well is just pure bonus.

My amps both had internal upgrades with mundorf caps and resistor as well.

I have preamps running up front of both as well.

I tried LM219IA on the 0/96 monkeys but definitely think the LM805ia would be an even better match again. Great choice.
 
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Likes: DeadWax

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,283
2,062
470
#56
Hi DeadWax,
Congrats!
All products of Line Magnetics are good-buys.

However and IMHO their low-profile "Western Electrics Tribute Series" is the real gem!

Such as this AS-125 int amp with 211 tubes :
http://m.lm-audio.com/products_detail/&productId=193&productColumnId=1&orderStr=7&pmcId=167.html
View attachment 68610
CK I’m very glad there’s no drooling smiley emojis available on offer or I’d be looking rather inappropriate right now :eek: (again!)... now thats a sexy beast of an amplifier. The old school lab amp look is timeless.
 
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Likes: CKKeung
Apr 11, 2020
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#57
I’m figuring you’ve read already that 6SL7 and 6SN7s are a great place to start with and there are many confirmations from owners on driver and output upgrades as well where real gains can be had across the board.
Thanks for the input! I had a pair of NOS CBS Hytron 5692's on hand from another amp and they certainly added some depth to the soundstage and smoothness to the top compared to the stock EH 6SN7's. I do wonder if they removed a touch of the sparkle though. I have a 1950s Brimar 6SL7 on order to replace the stock one that looks Russian but I can't really identify it. Eventually I may get a pair of Psvane ACME 805's.

Are there any exceptional tube combos you've tried with the LM amps?
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
2,283
2,062
470
#58
With the octals I really like the Sylvania and the RCA VT-231 and Melz have also been great match there as well. Trying ACME for both 300B and 805 valves is my next to go to. I might try and get in the Psvane 6SN7 globes that Grant Fidelity are recommending as well. Will be great to get your thoughts on the Brimars... but even with stock valves the music sings easily through this amp. I can suggest an incisive preamp up front (like an otl type) is also really worth exploring.

You’ve probably seen this but this thread that Thomas started (and he has an LM SET amp as well) has lots of great advice.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/shootout-of-nos-6sn7-tubes.30637/
 
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Likes: DeadWax

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