I am impressed with the Tak 300B but have not heard the Elrog offering. 15% less power should not be a concern to a 300B tube user “If” they properly matched their speakers from the onset.
If the extra 15% makes a difference, I am of the opinion that you have the wrong speakers to begin with.
I recently acquired the Elrog 300Bs. I detect no decrease in dynamics, playback volume, or anything else that may be related to decreased power. My previous tubes were Psvane T1 (black bottles). My speakers are 94dB efficient.
I have not heard the Taks, so I can't compare the 2.
I, too, am curious about the comparison. I have not heard the Elrogs, but have been a fan of the Takatsukis for several years. I even bought a back-up pair ... just in case. They are available from Amazon for a premium, but can be sourced directly and easily from Japan for about 1200USD. Charles also likes the EML XLS that are less expensive than either the Elrogs or Takatsukis.
Anyone know what a 300B Western electric went for back in 1962? Take a step back and look at the big picture. We are celebrating a price decrease from 2K to 1.2 K for a pair of vacuum tubes. No wonder our wives think we are crazy. But oh, the midrange. Ach, what does she know of midrange? Unless there are reliability issues, I will never buy another 300B. I love the Elrogs. Still, I'd love to have a pair of Taks for a comparison. Yep, we are all stark raving mad. But, oh, that midrange is blissful. Bottom octaves are really there. Good sounding tubes!
Brownsfan, how does the Elrog compare to your previous Psvane 300B ?
Hi Bill, well again you make a good point regarding the cost of the 300b tube.look at it this way, those tubes can easily last up to 10,000 hours some say even more. That equals many years of sheer musical enjoyment and appreciation.The Frankenstein amplifier is a very easy circuit on the 300 B output tube per Israel Blume. When you consider how much money can be spent on various components and yet people are left dissatisfied and frustrated, the premium 300b in a good amplifier is worth it given what it delivers. Bill, you mention the mid range and that's true but honestly the 300b in a good amp will just as we both know provide an extraordinary natural sound. What price can be placed on that rare accomplishment.
Pani, Much better! Everything, resolution, definition, imaging, low frequency response, you name it. Just a much better tube. I really like the Elrogs.
Take the cost of the Elrog and your Frankenstein amp.' With that sum what
could you purchase that will better what you are hearing now? We are not
crazy. You can spend much more and have a far more mechanical or
electronic character. Bill your money was Very wisely
Charles, agree completely. I didn't think twice about buying the Elrogs. I have no doubt, I will never regret the decision.
It is just that I am by nature very frugal on things non audio. I spent a total of $400 on my first 4 cars. My current rig costs substantially more than my first house. I dare say 99% of the population would say that is just crazy. We all do an occasional reality check as an exercise in self regulation.
Good music, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of human achievement. So few people share what everyone on this forum values so highly. J.S. Bach walked away from his job for 6 months and walked 200 miles to hear Buxtehude. He would fit right in here, I think.
I like the Bach example. Quality of life is important and knowing what makes you happy is the foundation. I haven't a single regret for the purchase of anything in my audio system. The joy I experience listening to music is deep and fulfilling, I feel fortunate.
You guys have made this thread much more interesting than I expected :-). Keep it coming.
Brownsfan, thank you for the reply. Now Elrog seems to be a worthy replacement for the more expensive 300B tubes out there.
I thought you sold your Wavac EC 300b amp because you sought more power for your Tannoys. I recall that you did enjoy that amplifier.
Source and price for the Elrogs?
True Audiophile.com 1099.00 USD per pair.
Have you tried/heard the Elrogs yet? I am anxious to learn your assessment, as I've valued your input re 300B's.
I have a pair of the Takatsuki's (which are just sublime!) and also a pair of SERP's. The SERP's are very good, but for my tastes the Tak's are worth the difference I price!
I have a pair of EML 300BXLS 'stuck' at US Customs in Chicago (it's been over a week now!), so soon (hopefully 😄) I'll be able to compare those as well.
My Manley Neo Classic 300B pre/headphone amp of course uses a pair, and the AN Quest Silvers I have on the way will also run a pair, so I'm seriously considering adding a pair of the Elrog's to my inventory.
Randy, I, too, will be interested in Charles' opinion. I had a pair of SERPs that were relegated to the closet as soon as I heard the Takatsukis.
Randy, I will have the chance to hear a pair of the Elrogs in about one or two weeks. One thing I have come to learn is the preference for a particular tube is dependent somewhat on the amplifier and it's circuit. For example I know people who have compared EML with Takatsuki and prefer the TAK. My amp just really sounds Terrific with the EML, maybe more so than other amplifiers would. The Elrog is according to Bill/Brownsfan a supreme match with Frankenstein and I don't doubt his impressions by any means. It should be an enjoyable comparison of these three premium 300bs.
If the Elrog 300B is anywhere near the sonics of my Elrog 845 Charles will have a happy grin like the Chessire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I have no doubt that these tubes will be great.
The Elrog will be the 11th 300b that I will hear in my amplifier. I can tell you that each of the previous 10 tubes sonic character was easily sorted out with the Frankenstein. Bill and I have the same amplifier and line stage, so his positive endorsement I put much trust in(I also completely respect his ears and taste). Jeff hearing your system with these Elrogs motivated my interest to seek them out. It funny because I am already full of joy with my current stash of 300bs with the Frankenstein. I realize I have nothing to lose and potentially something to gain.
I'm very happy right now w KRs in the LadyDay+ monos I bought a couple of months ago. But of course the early impressions I've read about the Elrog's have piqued my interest. The LadyDay+ is a kit amp with some additional upgrades that I bought used. A new pair of the Taks would cost almost as much as the amps, so I'm a little reluctant to go down that route (read "a little reluctant" as a euphemism for "too cheap")!
I have read good things about that amplifier, what speaker are you using with them?
Oh I see you have the Merlins. How is the LD SET compared to your Wavac MD 300b?
Charles, I'm looking forward to your take on the Elrog myself. Your input in the past helped me purchase my Franks and 300b tubes. I'm very happy with my purchases. Thank You!
I am very happy that worked out so well for you. I know just because I love the SET experience doesn't mean they'll please everyone else.
Charles, I'm very happy with what I hear, but again, I have no experience with the top tier tubes. My frame of reference is Psvane T's and TII's. You are the guy who will shortly be in a position to rank all of the top notch tubes, at least as they perform in the Franks.
Charles- Oh, my. I guess I really need to update my systems page. I have not used the Merlins in quite a while (anyone wanna buy a pair cheep!!!)and the Wavac amp is long gone. I see it kicking around on the 'Gon every once in a while, either that or there are lots of WAVACs w dented power xformer covers where the hold down screws tore loose during shipping. But I digress. The LD+ amps are driving a pair of DIY open baffle speakers I bought from another 'Goner. Very nice ribbon mahogany baffles. Feastrex 5" field coils w whizzer and phase plug rolling off naturally in the bass to a pair of 12" subs mounted on each baffle. The subs are driven by 500 wpc Class D plate amps. I'm loving the tonality of these speakers and you basically get most of the advantages of a full range driver w/o the trade-offs. The one down side is that I know three AC outlets for each channel downstream of the pre-amp. One for the field coil PS, one for the monoblock and one for the subs. Add in the pre-amp, transporter, headphone amp and disk player, and it's been a bit of a hassle. And lots of places to make a mistake in hook-up!
Nice! Those Feastrex field coils must sound heavenly with your Lady Bird SET amplifier.
Hi Charles, yes I did put my wavac on sale but when it actually I came to selling it I developed cold feet! It is such a phenomenal amp that I could not gather where I will go next after the Wavac is gone. It remains my go to amp every time even though it really is not sufficient to power my Tannoys. If I get a really good offer I know I will have to let it go. Till that time I have been thinking to just put some nice 300B in and enjoy it to the fullest.
Your Wavac EC 300b is held in the highest regard. I recall you got a FM Acoustics amplifier to drive your Tannoys. Needless to say, those two amplifiers are very different. I imagine you enjoy both of them.
Thanks for the kind words, Charles. Having the subs on the same (open) baffle as the mains takes a lot of the integration problem out of the equation, I think. Add in the advantages of a point source/quasi-single driver that covers nearly all of the frequency range of most of the music I listen to (americana, roots, folk, singer/songwriter) and I'm really quite happy these days. I've always been more of a gestalt type of listener anyways, looking for the shivers down your back emotional response kind of guy. Although I must say that I am hearing some micro-details lately that I have not heard before. Things like the sound of a guitarist's fingers sliding over the windings on metal strings as they move up or down the fretboard. OTOH, I don't really place too much emphasis on imaging/soundstaging, partly because I have my system in my living room and have to be able to accommodate couches, easy chairs, TV, etc.
...thanks for all the input on the Elrog 300b tubes..i will be installing Psvane WE 845s..2 matched pairs, this week and am considering whether to get the Elrog 300b or the Psvane WE 300bs to replace the Sophia 'Royal Princess's i currently have.is there such a thing as a 'synergy' with tubes in an amplifier ?
Calloway, There is certainly such a thing as synergy (or lack thereof) between particular tubes and pieces. But just as significant is the fact that certain tubes will play to a particular persons values better than others. If it were me, I'd wait to see what Charles thinks of his Elrog 300Bs. He has had all the top tubes in his Franks, and he also has a top tier set of ears.
I will be fascinated by Charles' early read on the Elrogs vs EMLs, Taks, Sophias, and others he has had.
Brownsfan...that sounds like good advice..will wait to read what he thinks...
Pani, what Tannoys do you have?
Hi Charles, all said and done, once an SET man will probably always remain an SET man and that is why even the FM doesnt cut it for me.
Arthursmuck, I have a Tannoy Turnberry SE.
Your reply is interesting. I thought when you got the FM Acoustics amplifier it was the solution for increased power needs you desired. Long term listening will eventually sort things out. I recall you were very happy with the FM Acoustics initially.
Charles, it is not an easy one to describe. It is a bit like analog vs digital debate, as long one has only heard digital it is enjoyble but if one gets used to analog then the shortcomings of digital is too glaring. The more coherent and emotional sound of SET seems to get hard wired in the brain day by day. The part of the brain which used to work to join the dots becomes lazy and inactive with prolonged listening on SET. That is why I guess it becomes difficult to re-adjust to a non-SET amp unless it can do the dot-joining trick for you :-).
I guess digital and analog is also something like that, one is made up of dots while other is a continuous line.
I get your analogy, for what ever reason it differs for me. I can move easily between good digital and analog systems. The gap you describe isn't there for me in that comparison. There is however a sonic gap I experience with SET vs many non SET amplifiers. The emotional connection and naturalness/realism is glaringly obvious for me. It just demonstrates once again our unique individual bias and needs. Anyway I am glad you kept your wonderful Wavac as you wisely trusted your ears.
I agree the difference between good digital and analog is small today. The difference between single ended and anything else is still huge.
Yes it has unfolded that way for me. I'd choose digital source with tube electronics rather than analog source with solid state electronics in a forced to choose hypothetical situation. Obviously some would prefer the analog and SS option.
Your brain and my brain must be wired in a similar manner. Best.
nothing sounds as good as a GREAT SET amp..
Charles, I was just giving an illustration. Even I can move between a good digital and analog rig. However I do not agree that the difference between good analog and good digital is small. The difference is still significant IMO but because they are different sounding one can prefer one over the other or enjoy both.
And yes, the difference between SET and non-SET though is too fundamental. Before the wavac I used to have Naim amplifiers and I loved them. It will be interesting now to bring in a Naim amp into the system and listen. If I do not end up liking it (highly unlikely) I will accept that I have been silently baptised :-)
I'd choose digital source with tube electronics rather than analog source with solid state electronics in a forced to choose hypothetical situation
+1 Charles. Well said.
We are all different , my digital/analog comparison was strictly a personal
observation and nothing more. I certainly respect that you have had a
different experience and that's to be expected as we are all individuals with
our own taste and preferences. I am sure there are a number of listeners
who would share your point of view in that there is more of a gap between
digital and analog than I appreciate, that's just the way it goes. I am curious
to see how your Naim amplifier experience vs your Wavac turns out. It
should be fun.
I think its time that Audiogon opened up a Single Ended thread.
Question for all the single ended fans:
What do you think of solid state single ended amps, like the Pass Aleph J2 ?
I think it should be interesting considering that it removes the "signature" of any particular tube and its output transformer and also delivers healthy 30 watts. The important question though is, how engaging does it sound. Anyone ?
If I were to venture into SS amps a First Watt type would interest me(simple class A circuit/few parts).You're exchanging a particular tube signature for a transistor signature. Any and all audio components/devices have a signature. Some people say get rid of the output transformer, okay fine. An OTL will present its signature as well, different, but still a signature. It's just a matter of what flavor or character you want and are attracted to. The SET flavor is delicious and suits my particular taste buds.