Shindo tends to work best in all-Shindo setups. With the Luxman I’d tend to lean towards Airtight. I myself have a Wavac EC300b and rate it very highly.
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@dinho The ATM-300R has less of what is considered the classic 300B sound than the Shindo. The midrange-centric, lucid beauty that characterizes many other 300B single-ended amps isn’t really where the Air Tight amp is at. It certainly still has a full measure of the single-ended-triode clarity and beauty, it is quite transparent and broadband. So it really depends what sonic attributes you're looking for.
@antigrunge What other 300b’s did you consider before deciding on the Wavac and what’s the speaker pairing?
Airtight is not better built. They have a different aesthetic, but not better. I have owned both Airtight and Shindo. both are well built. But Shindo is a bit better. I have opened up both and looked carefully at the wiring and layouts. Shindo is essentially hand built with all point to point wiring using silver wire.
only thing about Shindo is that they color all their boxes green like green wine bottles. Airtight is usually silver / aluminum faceplates with a gray tone paint on the sides and top.
Thanks for your considerations.
I think that Shindo have the layout / topology more "free" than Air Tight.
Ken's genius was legendary... often two pieces of equipment of the same model, could be significantly different, depending on the "insight" at the time of assembly.
I believe that Ken's son may have inherited this freedom in assembly... lol...
When I saw both inside, I fell the Air Tight more "clean" and intuitive. The Shindo was more "confuse"... lol
Anyway, the sound is more importat after all.
Salute from Brazil.
I appreciate your insight and impressions from the perspective of someone who has had the pleasure of owning both renown Audio brands. Undoubtedly one could not possibly go wrong with either of these amplifiers. It simply would be what sonic attributes are most desired and cherished. My gut feeling tells me if I can only have one of them I’d choose Shindo.
I get the sense that the AirTight may be more audiophile approved.’neutral ’ yet I suspect that the Shindo grabs deeper into the musical soul and emotion. Speculation I readily admit.
If you are looking for something ultra musical and very traditional sounding for a 300B, check out the Art Audio Diavolo. It is supremely well designed and is a popular choice in Europe. Aesthetically, I think it is very good looking and build quality is first rate. My biggest issue as the US importer is that these amps never die. I regularly talk to people who are in year 15 or 20 of ownership and looking at a refurbish, rather than replace.
Your preamp is well suited to the Diavolo with 1v of output and you will get the lush, musical mid-range that people crave from a 300B.
Air Tight and Shindo are undeniably brilliant. I think your comments above are spot on regarding these two brands. Shindo would be the better choice based on your description but I also agree that Shindo is best with all Shindo.
Yes... the tube rolling is "another hobby" inside this audiophile crazy hobby... lol...
Thanks for your offer.
Be an audiophile here in Brazil is very difficult. Our customer tax, with an "personal importation", are the 100%... insane...
If I buy an equipament and pay for you, for example, U$5k, I will need to pay more U$5k in tax.
And I will need pay another tax over freight too...
Even with dealer, if you pay U$10K for an audio gear, here I will pay, in better scenario, U$ 15k for the same audio gear.
Luxman would be an excellent choice. But unfortunately it is, at least here, in another price class.
Our Luxman dealer charges a price that makes it much more expensive than Shindo and Air Tight.
The Air Tight itself can, at a higher cost, be ordered with the Takatsuki.
I've been following some topics about the 300b valve and, once I choose the power, I'll have another fun guaranteed with tube rolling.
. "Shindo amps are more flavor, than better."
That can apply to literally any audio product to one degree or another. They all will possess some amount of sonic signature and listeners /potential buyers just choose the signature/character they most prefer.
I definitely appreciate and desire what well implemented 300b amplifiers bring to the table. Now in regard to the Shindo Cortese F2a I can't recall reading anything negative about it. Consistent universal praise over the years. Horses for courses will always ring true.
That's interesting that many prefer the Shindo F2A over the 300b version of the Cortese. I rarely see a 300b version come on the used market but more often see the F2A's so I presumed perhaps the preference was opposite. I know the F2A has had 3 design iterations over the last 10 years or so. I'm not sure I've seen many of the newest iteration come on the used market and it certainly is the version that interests me most.
I even considered the F2a version of Cortese. In the end, I surrendered to my passion for 300b.
And, nowadays, we have many options, both in terms of quality and price, for the 300b.
Taking advantage of Ken Shindo’s passion for wines, I can say that nowadays, for 300b, we can almost be true "sommeliers", taking advantage of each 300b for its "flavour", "texture", "taste" and "harvest".
Sorry for the weak "poetic license"... lol...
Perhaps slightly off topic and maybe I need to start a different thread but let me pose a quick question on the F2A. Originally the Cortese F2a was a single 6aw8a tube per F2a tube, and went through an evolutionary change years later to dual tubes per f2a tube and a few circuit updates. The current model, uses a tube rectifier on top of the chassis and different input/driver tubes altogether and was designed by Takashi Shindo.
Can anyone provide listening impressions between the current and immediately prior version of the F2A amp? Shindo moved the retail price up by $2,500 during the last version.
Unfortunately it is not possible, at least in theory, to import used equipment to Brazil.
3rd World is not easy... lol... we need to have a great sense of humor to understand our almost medieval legislation...
Brazil has always been called "the country of the future". I think we will always be like this... a future, but one that never materializes and is fulfilled... lol...
Haven't heard the Shindo. I do own the Air Tight, however, and it's my endgame valve amp - to me, the sound of my system is just the sound of music. I no longer feel the urge to find out whether there may be something better out there somewhere. With my DeVore O/93s, it sounds plenty exciting and fiery to me - the exact opposite of an "audiophile" sound, and I even use the very clean sounding LTA microZOTL MZ3 as a preamp!
FWIW, the late Art Dudley was blown away by the ATM-300R, calling it one of the finest amplifiers he had ever heard. He was enthusiastic about the Shindo F2a as well, but he felt that the Shindo worked better with his 16 ohm speakers.
Thanks for your opinion.
Knowing that apparently there is no way to go wrong with any of them, I think I will opt for the ATM300R (Air Tight has a more "consolidated" importer here in Brazil). Plus, I feel more "comfortable" with the Air Tight import policy.
To reduce costs, Shindo would have to come by ship and would take approximately 7 (seven) months to arrive.