300B Amp Owners- Please describe what your 300B sounds like

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by stereoguy, Apr 16, 2022.

  1. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    300B Amp Owners: I have done a lot of reading and boning up on 300B amplifiers, particularly the Cary 300 SE. But nothing is more valuable than hearing from actual 300B owners and their listening experience.
    I have read that the 300B is an amazing reproducer of vocals, and that it is best suited for Jazz, vocal music, and choral type music. Also , that Soundstage and 3D Holographic presentation are great with a 300B amp.

    On the down side, I've also read that Rock music is not all that well served with a 300B.

    I play a tremendous amount of early 1960s instrumental music, Johnny and The Hurricanes, The Ventures , The Challengers, etc. Would I be dissapointed in the reproduction of guitar instrumentals?

    So, please 300B owners: Tell us about your amp, what you like about it and also your dissapointments.

    thanks!
    the Stereoguy
     
  2. Although I haven’t had one in quite some time now if I had to sum it up I would describe them as having a “glorious midrange”.
     
    Manimal likes this.
  3. Razakoz

    Razakoz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Utah
    I have a 300b headphone amp (wa5le) and it's very holographic with a great soundstage. It's not slow or syrupy sounding either, it actually has a lot of attack and speed to the sound.
     
  4. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    Location:
    Appleton
    Writing about sound is like dancing about mathematics.
     
  5. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, ID, USA
    Mine are a “modern” design so not syrupy. I drive Triangle Tituses (2002 vintage with upgraded crossover). Still sounds glorious.

    I don’t choose music based on these or my SS chain, just whatever I happen to feel like using at the time.

    I’m away but will have a listening session with both and report later …

    Sorry I don’t have a lot if any of early 60s rock instrumental music. I do have some Creedence Clearwater revival, and maybe some others from the mid 60s. I keep forgetting I did subscribe to Qobuz so I could dial up just about anything. I know I like Ventures so I’ll listen to some of their tracks. It might be a few days till I get home and settled. I do doubt that my system sounds like the Cary 300SE though.

    PS: Reading Robert Harley‘s review of the SEI in Stereophile, maybe my system does sound somewhat like it. I think that was one of the amplifiers I drooled over back in the day. Never got around to getting one though. I don’t think I’d worry too much about his comments that the amp didn’t reproduce the immense sense of scale that the bigger amps do. I don’t think you’re going to hear that unless you have an exceptional system and room treatment. I do have have a more than decent system and a pretty good dose of room treatment, and I still don’t hear everything there is.

    That said I’m not really missing anything. Both the tube and solid-state chains that I use reproduce things very well, I don’t really hear a big difference between them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  6. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thank you.
     
  7. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I have a Cary 300sei. How would I describe its sound? In one word, magical.
    In another word, tubiness to the maximum.

    It is very tonally accurate, lifelike, and sweet.
     
  8. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    5 string: how would you compare the Cary to a solid state amp in terms of Soundstage and sonic Holography? Thank you.
     
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    Thank you for paraphrasing Steve Martin.
     
  10. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I would say that it compares to the best solid state amps that I have heard. I have McIntosh separates MA6600(<=ss)+C2600 (<=tube) which I consider my reference and the Cary is up there in terms of soundstage.
    The tubes that you will use also play a role in this. There are some great 300B+6sn7 combinations and the 300sei reacts nicely to tube rolling.
    My only problem with the Cary is that it needs efficient speakers to shine. However, even with my Stirling LS3/6 with 84 sensitivity it makes great music.
    Currently, I am using a pair of Harbeth C7 with it and they sound beautiful together but I am listening in near field in a medium sized room.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  11. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Forum Sciolist

    Location:
    Tri-Cities TN
    I wish this were a quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  12. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    Location:
    Appleton
    I was a bit off-
    “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.“ — Martin Mull
     
  13. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Forum Sciolist

    Location:
    Tri-Cities TN
    But somehow I can imagine (interpretive?) dancing about mathematics... And what is Architecture or anything for that matter that can't be described by dance or mathematics?

    Sorry for the threadcrap, please forgive me. It's my imagination you see...
     
    jonwoody likes this.
  14. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC

    Thank you very much for that. I am told that the new issue WE 300B are very good sounding tubes.
     
    5-String likes this.
  15. Three quid

    Three quid Chief Eggplant

    Location:
    United States
    Rich, meat-on-the-bones, in the room, rolled off
     
    jusbe likes this.
  16. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    depending on the sound or preference youre after for too. The 300B SET is more magical to the midrange. I have both SE and Push Pull. The PP is not as divine in midrange although its still magical and a bit more faster and produce amazing dynamics even below 100hz. Both amps has their own distinctive sound and specialties. The SE is better in more acoustic jazz and vocals. The push-pull amp is more all around. I enjoy listening even lets say the music of rippingtons. I can listen to as much as like the album below with no frills: or even 80's synth and rock music as long as its not heavy me"n"tal. :-plnktn-:............
    There's nothing better or best its all your personal preference.

     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  17. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
  18. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thank you Classic Car Guy. Those clips sound very, very good.

    BTW, my favorite Classic Car : the 1961 Thunderbird, in Sea Green with White Top.
     
  19. Jim Hodgson

    Jim Hodgson Galvanically Isolated in Greenpoint

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    @stereoguy … I believe there was more than one iteration of the Cary single-ended 300B amplifier—with some of them using 6SL7 to drive 300B. That’s def worth a google, IMO, given that driver stage design is what tends to make or break the 300B experience.
     
    jonwoody likes this.
  20. Classic Car Guy

    Classic Car Guy Forget Scientific & Enjoy the Music

    Location:
    Northwest, USA
    I notice on the tube amps I owned with different output tubes like EL84, EL34, KT88, KT120, 6AV5, 6L6, 7027....... The 300b is the amp that has more
    dramatic change in sound even on an output tube switch. Very-very noticeable! So its very nice switching sounds like if I use a copy of WE300b output tube and a telefunken 12at7, the sound is very clear excellent highs, with magical 3d sound while the preamp tube is pushing a lot of bass and very detailed midrange. Combining the two is holographic.
    With the pair of 300b mesh output tubes is by far has the strongest bass dynamics that I tried and very warm output pairing its with a Raytheon black plate or even an old Sylvania blackplate sounds like youre listening to a reel to reel recorder. Brilliant, punchy and warm.
    Very hard to really explain, The sound is just monster amp.
    Switching from EL34 to 300b amp on my first night and I was listening to Ultravox Mr. X. I could have sworn Midge Ure was right next to me whispering in my ear. Man I jump out of my seat like a scared puppy..
    Just like that..... Welcome to the world of 300b. 5-string and benzion got me on this amp and it was really a hell of a ride.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
    5-String likes this.
  21. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    Yes, I have heard that the new WE are very good. It is in my mind to try them at some point.

    Right now, I am using a pair of Shuguang Treasure Series 300B-Z with two early 50s RCA 6sn7GTB Side “D” Getter short bottle at the driver stage and a Sylvania silver top at the input.
    All these have great synergy together and they sound amazing.
    I have found that the 6sn7 tubes in the driver and input stage make as much impact on the sound as the 300B if not more.
     
  22. stereoguy

    stereoguy Its Gotta Be True Stereo! Thread Starter

    Location:
    NYC
    Thank you guys for all that great information.
     
  23. Oddiofyl

    Oddiofyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
  24. CoolJazz

    CoolJazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern Tennessee
    You can't get the sound of an amp without the speaker being involved. The speaker becomes very, very important with the 300b. You must view them as a partnership, very much in harmony to get the most musical quality from a 300b type amp.

    CJ
     
  25. Ontheone

    Ontheone Poorly Understood Member

    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Totally agree! A 300b amp will likely play best with a high sensitivity, high & flat impedance speaker...particularly if a SET circuit is employed.
     

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