Why Are There So few Headamps Based on 300B Tubes?
post-741811
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 19

BoyElroy

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
502
Reaction score
10
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Posts
502
Likes
10
Pardon my ignorance if I'm way off on this, but I'm curious why there seem to be so few 300B SET tube amps designed for headphones. I'd imagine that a relatively low powered 7 or 10 watt 300B amp would be pretty ideal for driving 'phones. I know that Manley and Cary have a couple of models between them, but there doesn't seem to be much beyond these.

Anyone have any info. on this?

TIA--
 
     Share This Post       
post-741813
Post #2 of 19

usc goose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
4,294
Reaction score
20
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Posts
4,294
Likes
20
probably because most headphones need less than a watt.

just my guess though...
 
     Share This Post       
post-741847
Post #3 of 19

jpelg

Needs a regular fix of 'Fi
'06 Nat Meet Co-Coordinator
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Messages
8,675
Reaction score
26
Location
The Elm City
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Location
The Elm City
Posts
8,675
Likes
26
Probably more because a good set of 300B's would cost more than several dedicated headphone amps all added up together.

That being said, the Cary 300sei makes for an absolutely wonderful headphone amp, imo. At least bozebuttons' headphone-only modified one does.
 
     Share This Post       
post-741854
Post #4 of 19

lan

Videographus Supremus:Makes audio cables using super-advanced materials, like "some clear tape" and "some not so clear tape."
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
8,604
Reaction score
13
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Posts
8,604
Likes
13
goose and jpelg are correct.

All headphones don't need that much power and 300Bs are relatively expensive tubes. You'd be better off with 2A3s.
 
     Share This Post       
post-741921
Post #5 of 19

darkclouds

Particular about his Sméagol Grammar we thinks he is.
Joined
Sep 27, 2001
Messages
1,988
Reaction score
10
Joined
Sep 27, 2001
Posts
1,988
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally posted by lan
goose and jpelg are correct.

All headphones don't need that much power and 300Bs are relatively expensive tubes. You'd be better off with 2A3s.


Then again, 2A3 don't sound like 300B

More than anything, it's the price that's holding back the production of 300B only headphone amps. I'd imagine they wouldn't be able to sell very many headphone amps at the price.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742051
Post #6 of 19

BoyElroy

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Messages
502
Reaction score
10
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Posts
502
Likes
10
Thanks for the fast response, everyone. So I guess there's no practical reason not to make my own dedicated 300B SET headamp, then. Maybe add a diy "impedanzer" and I should be "set"
 
     Share This Post       
post-742120
Post #7 of 19

Swampwalker

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
256
Reaction score
10
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Posts
256
Likes
10
Only the $400 or so that a pair of decent 300bs will set you back (or more if you want WEs)!
 
     Share This Post       
post-742139
Post #8 of 19

lan

Videographus Supremus:Makes audio cables using super-advanced materials, like "some clear tape" and "some not so clear tape."
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
8,604
Reaction score
13
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Posts
8,604
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally posted by darkclouds
Then again, 2A3 don't sound like 300B



True but that's a matter of taste.

I do use 300B with my K1000s though.


BoyElroy, it's too late for you to join the May NYC head-fi meet as the room/places are filled but get on the standby list just in case. Maybe you'll be lucky. THere might even be some 300B action there.

http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showt...threadid=64328
 
     Share This Post       
post-742167
Post #9 of 19

KShaft

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
484
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
484
Likes
10
Yeah, it must be cost. and yet I find myself asking the question as well. The cary 300 sei has been my favorite amp so far, Im sure a good part of it is the tube itself.

At the same time, theres quite a few cheaper 300b amps. Not what wed here call economical, but there are some 1k amps and 1.5k monoblocks roaming around. For me, its all a question of how much is the tube and how much is the amp(comparing to my reference the 300sei). It could sound way different, or it could sound very similar.

k.s.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742231
Post #10 of 19

smokey

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
591
Reaction score
10
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Posts
591
Likes
10
BoyElroy,

I'd agree that cost is the one limiting factor for the lack of 300B headphone amps out there.

However, if you're going to design your own amp, how about trying the 45 tube. According to some discussion on AA they seem to think that all else being equal the 45 tube sounds better than the 300B, the problem being the lack of output from the 45. With headphones thats not a huge problem.

Anyway, good luck.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742581
Post #11 of 19

kentamcolin

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Messages
1,375
Reaction score
13
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Posts
1,375
Likes
13
Quote:

Then again, 2A3 don't sound like 300B


That might be a good thing! First I'll admit to have never heard 300B & 2A3 side by side or 300B with headphones. 300B's tend to have a warmer, tubier sound due to top and bottom roll off. From what I have heard a good 300B is a rather addictive sound as it's very easy to listen to, but some (not all) find the sound to be "bloated". 2A3's don't have the roll off and are very musical, perhaps better suited to detail which I like in headphones. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742625
Post #12 of 19

KShaft

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Messages
484
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 11, 2001
Posts
484
Likes
10
Well Ken, we wouldnt know since you havent written a review of the si2a3 yet!


k.s.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742746
Post #13 of 19

Mastergill

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2003
Messages
815
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jun 17, 2003
Posts
815
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by kentamcolin
That might be a good thing! First I'll admit to have never heard 300B & 2A3 side by side or 300B with headphones. 300B's tend to have a warmer, tubier sound due to top and bottom roll off. From what I have heard a good 300B is a rather addictive sound as it's very easy to listen to, but some (not all) find the sound to be "bloated". 2A3's don't have the roll off and are very musical, perhaps better suited to detail which I like in headphones. Correct me if I'm wrong.


Yes, you're wrong!


What you describe is a sound from typical 'average' 300B amp from the 70s and bad design from today!.

There's not so much 300B headhamp 'cause yes it's expensive, it has always been with 300B amp in general. IMO the price of the tubes is less a problem with headphones amp as you will never need more than a pair. It is also a tube famous for being difficult to drive, thus resulting in poor design and 'poor' sound. 300B at it best is something you need to hear to believe, and once you heard it right, you cannot go back to any other tubes, period. And you just want everything's made with that tube!
In fact this triode is the more linear of all tubes ever made. You can have flat freq. response from a few hertz to ultrasonics...if the design is good.
Don't blame the tube, blame the designer.
 
     Share This Post       
post-742889
Post #14 of 19

tk_suki

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Messages
331
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Posts
331
Likes
10
Cayin(aka Spark, Audio Space) makes one, but aint cheap! Especially w/ 4 x 300Bs $2.4K list. The stock tubes are ok, Sovteks?, but replace with EATs at $800/pair and well you get the picture $4K for a 300B integrated amp with decent headphone out. (for kicks will try and A/B against the stealth with both stock and EATs), but doubt an accessory headphone jack will compete, but believe the rest of the output will e.g. speakers, of course mixing components pre vs integrated.
 
     Share This Post       
post-743565
Post #15 of 19

kentamcolin

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Messages
1,375
Reaction score
13
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Posts
1,375
Likes
13
Quote:

Well Ken, we wouldnt know since you havent written a review of the si2a3 yet!


Yes, I probably owe a review. Problem is I've never really done a "review" and it would be a tall order indeed to review this amp after reading reviews of other amps priced as low as $200 and called "divine" or "awesome". All the good verbs have been used. I'll be getting together with a few folks tomorrow at Ray Samuels' place to share a listen so you can all get some more impressions, and Tuberoller did an excellent job describing the music it makes when he stopped by a few weeks ago. I hope as many of you as possible get to hear this amp at future Chicago area meets to hear how special it is. I also hope to have the chance to hear a good 300B design as well.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top