Gazza: I've earlier read your posts on the Manley 300B and found them inspiring and informative. Good that you join our chat about this fantastic unit.
I think Santamaria has a point, a general one, about all audio gears having limitations as well as strength. Manley 300B is no exception. However, I'm also surprised by his impressions about lack of treble (dry sounding), not being dynamic and distortion. I think it is easiest to agree with Santamaria's impression of some rolling of in the high frequencies, but this is not so prominent on my speakers since Tannoy is also a little bit rolled of in the top. Anyway, I don't find this correlated with being dry sounding.
Santamaria, you write that you also have tube amps with EL34 and some very good Sonus Faber. But could your impressions be more an effect of a lack in synergy between, each on its own very good, equipment?
About distortions: I wonder what you mean by this. After our exchange of impressions I have tried to analyze and see if I can hear this specific shortcoming in my setup. And I can not hear distortions other than what I can hear in all kinds of tube gear I have heard. However, I notice that Manley 300B introduce some more tube noise than my last preamp, Leben. This means that when there is no music on I can hear some noise when my ear is close to the speaker (30-40 cm distance). Yet, this noise is even less when using headphones. By distortion do you mean tube noise?
Santamaria writes about the virtues of musical body, harmonic richness and smoothness with the Manley 300B: I couldn't agree more. These are in my opinion, together with dynamics, the most important dimensions in listening to music, more than transparency and holography. Yet, I find Manley 300B more transparent and holographic in its musical presentation than Leben RS-28CX, which also was very good at presence, harmonic richness and smoothness.