Difference Between 2A3s and 300Bs

Help a newbie out...what's the physical and sonic differences between tube amps that use 2A3s and 300Bs. Thanks!
If power is not a issue, the 2a3(2-3 watts) will be far more superior than the 300B(8 watts). The 300B are very good in mid and high only, the low is not very good(less control). The 2a3 will beat the 300B in mid, high and low(with more punch and control). I currently using 2a3 tubes(my triode amp can use both kinds of tube) and I have no desire to buy a pair of 300B.
Lefti: It really depends on the amp, the tubes (including the drivers as well) and the rest of your gear. I have not listened to a great deal of these amps but my impression (on my own) was that the 2A3 amps were a little more linear and I liked the "balance" a lot when they were paired with 95+ db speakers. They will not properly push speakers in the "real world" efficiency range from my experience, so the phrase "if power is not an issue" says it all as htis is not the case for most of us. Unfortunately, IMO of course, affordable speakers in this efficiency range (100db is more like it for full scale music production) are usually not anything that I would take home with me. There are a few that I am still condidering that look promising (like the Hammer kits) that I have not listened to yet. As far as the 2A3 blowing away the 300b tubes in the mid and HF's, this has not happened in my world. Both tubes do well in this area. Another thing to consider about bass response of different tubes and amps is that if your speakers do not go really low it is kind of a mute point (or one of lessened decibals at least). I am using a 300b amp because the power output of 2A3 tubes does not work in my situation. The 7-8 watts that I do have however suits my needs. I am not going to trash any amps by name in this post but will say that there are relativley expensive models (that have received rave reviews)that are based on both tube types that I do not care for and ones that I do like. Your best bet is to audition the amps before you buy.
In my opinion, a tube amp is much more dependent on its sound by the parts behind it, than the tubes. That's what separates an EL34 based amps from Air Tight and Jolida. Transformers are the most expensive and important part of an amp. The difference between an OK amp, and a great one. Circuit topology and passive parts quality are also vastly overlooked. We tend to overly concentrate on tubes(myself included) because that is the one area of an amp we can easily tinker with. And, we can get different sounds using different tubes. I always use the analogy of a car. It is very rare people change engines(transformers), but we do find different brands of gasoline(tubes) to offer us different performance. So we buy the gas we like. That being said, I do have opinions on the 2A3 vs. the 300B. The 300B were in the SETs I listened to first. Very open, a bit bright in some instances, more lively than I was expecting. Very nice. I disregarded the 2A3 completely. "It was too low in output. Who would be interested in a 3 to 5 watt amp? Blah, blah, blah" After a year or so, I listened to a 2A3 amp. Then more of them. The experience really opened my eyes. Showed me how much a fool I truly am. And once again proved to me how stupid it is to judge books by their covers. The 2A3 has a better sound to my ears. Those miniscule watts seem much more powerful in person than you could ever expect. I did read that Dennis Had states a 2A3 based amp is able to put out between 25 and 35 watts during music playback(we don't listen to 8 ohm resistors). The bass of this tube is MUCH better than a 300B. Very well extended and surprisingly tight. Midrange is simply more natural to my ears. Not as in your face. More sunny and laid back. High frequencies are also nice. I plan to buy a 2A3 amp at some point. I am really enamored with them. Now you are not building a good system if you partner either a 2A3 or a 300B to a Thiel or a PSB Gold i. But, if you get a pair of speakers that present quite a benign load to an amp, you may find yourself finally getting off the merry go round of gear(at least for a while). I would like to read the opinions of others regarding this question. As I am interested in seeing if their opinions mirror mine. I respect Dekay's opinion immensely, but it appears we are of different opinions in this issue. No problem. Vanilla and chocolate...
One man's experience: The 2A3's sound much more musical than the 300's, more natural mid's that are absolutely lifelike, and airy highs. The bass is suprisingly good, at first blush not as deep and full as a 300, but after listening, actually as deep and full, just tighter and more defined. The 2A3 sounds more articulate than the 300, to me, like a thin veil or film has been lifted from the sound. Clean. Different tubes sound different, I like the RCA NOS 2A3's, but the KR Enterprise 2A3's are just phenomenal, especially bass. These tubes put out less power than the 300's, and are obviously therefore more speaker dependent, but with the right speaker, the 3-5 watts from a 2A3 will suprise even the harshest critic. Another thing to consider, the tubes aren't alone in the amp circuit, and different 2A3 based amps sound VERY different. I have a pair very simply designed Don Garber Fi 2A3 monoblocks, and when I swapped out the stock OPT's for Tamura OPT's, the sonics went through the roof. Cliff notes version: to me the 2A3 is just more musical, delicate and detailed. Thanx to the above posters, I always learn something from this site. Mark
Trelja: I don't see where we disagree in that my first statement is that the amp itself makes as much difference as the tubes themselves. Also in regard to bass my Reynauds do not go low enough for this to be an issue at the volume levels that I listen. With full range speakers I am certain that it would. In other words the fat mid bass of the 300b supplies a generous foundation in my application and also works well down to the low E string on a Fender Jazz bass that I suspect would be just above 40 htz or so at the center of the note less harmonics. The 300b will not do low pipe organ notes of some concert drums but then neither will my speakers. I am charmed with the overall balance of some of the 2A3 amps that I have listened to but am quite happy with the 300b as I use it. If I ever go with super efficient speakers I would then want to try a 2A3 amp as well. My problem has been finding such a speaker that I can both afford and live with. I am also curious about the modern Lowthers that have modified voice coils to remove some of the brightness. Lowthers though, the older ones at least, did not seem to have much low bass either. I wish that there were more info on the Hammer Dynamics speaker which at their website is large but attractive, IMO, when finished in white. I am also not completely sold on either of these tubes as being the best as my old push/pull Mac 30's sounded very musical and dynamic as well when paired with Rogers Ls3/5a speakers, but I was also using vinyl as a source then.
I am glad to hear we have some common ground Dekay. It makes me feel better that a guy like you thinks along the same lines as me.
Trelja: Yes we do have some like tastes. I for one am a sucker for El34 based amps (even those that are not that great overall). Sound like anyone you know?
dekay, ewe really need to czech these out - ewe seem like a prime prospect! seriously, these tings are wery inrtriguing...


regards, doug

Doug: Those are really extreme considering that they are made from glue/lam wood. I couldn't handle that much wood in one place (I prefer just a few pieces to warm up a room if it needs it), but I like the "Big R" concept, (kind of reminds me of the letters in the Hollywood sign). I can envision them though in a sizeable room with vaulted ceilings. They would make lousy bedside tables down the line though. LOL. I will go back to the site and check out the tubes later.