I listened to that Amp a few years ago but with a 99dB speaker....that was ok.
The 300B does not have the abilities to Drive unsensitive Designs, 93dB is normally not enough for such amps but you should try first.
I listened to Westminster speakers also with 200w, their owners wanted it that way.....
Hi Pani, I have a pair of Wavelength Cardinal XS @ 10 watts (& Wavelength 45s) in a 12' by 15' room (somewhat open on one side) My speakers are Beauhorn Virtuoso w/Lowther DX4 (106, with MORE than enough volume) You really need to borrow or have someone bring over quality 300Bs to try or at least buy used.
The problem is that the power rating doesn't tell you much. There is a
hierarchy that exists in the ranks of 300b amplifiers , based of quality of
construction, power supply and transformers. This is why one will drive a
particular speaker well and another ( same stated power rating will
struggle). The two WAVAC SET 300b amps may have the same power on a
test bench but likely sound "very" different and vary in their drive
I don't agree with the blanket statements made about these amp's
limitations, you must consider which 300b amp is in question for reasons
already explained. My 8 watt SET drives my 94db/ 14 ohm speakers easily.
Isochronism is right, at some point you simply must get these amps on
your tannoy and find out for yourself.
I have a 300b Jolida amp that sounds much louder than the 8 watts would have you believe. It might be because of the structure of the harmonic distortion. Our ears/brain judge volume in part by certain distortions. So I appreciate that it "sounds" louder without actully being at a higher SPL. I figure it is saving my hearing!
Speaker/amp matching is, IMO, much more critical with a 300b SET so I also recommend that you try the 300b amp with your speakers if possible before purchase or get confirmation from others that are using your speakers with a 300b amp.
When I had them hooked up the Sophia Electric 300B mono blocks easily drove my Tannoy Kennsingtons to very high levels in a large 16' X 30' room with 10 foot ceilings. Using the deHavilland UltraVerve as pre.
It often comes down to the transformers and the overall caliber of the circuit. There are some SET amps that are very powerful and others not so much. I don't know about the Wavac, I would have thought that they would be in the high power bracket yet others say no, so...
I just found a review by Jack Roberts at Dagogo of the EC-300B, where he begins by stating that he also had previously lived with the MD-300B for quite some time prior. I found it strange that he did not give a comparison between the two.
I then found his previous review of the MD-300B. He basically says about the same for the both.
At three times of a price difference... there should be a big difference...
I have no experience with Wavac, but...
In a moderately sized room I had some years back, a pair of Cary 300B monos cleanly drove my (89db IIRC) Merlin VSM speakers as loud as I ever wanted to play them.
Just one more data point for you.
One other issue with Tannoy speakers and their sucess rate (or failure) with 300b SETs is that some models are easier driven and a more efficient load than others.It`s probably a mistake to assume all the Tannoys will have a similar result with the same amplifier.
Tannoy offers different designs for particular applications. I very much appreciate their offerings, the Westminster Royal SE.. WOW! Placed properly they will shine!
I have tried some 300B amps with my Tannoys in my room. The Audio Note Conquest with 18 watts (parallel single ended 300B) could easily drive it. But when we talk about only 8-10 watts I do not know yet.
It is clear that each 300B amp have different capabilities in driving a speaker, especially a real world speaker. Can the MD-300b do it ?
By the way, Westminister Royal is not suppose to be an easy to drive speaker, even though it is 99db sensitive. It needs amps with very good control AFAIK.
I used an MD-300b w my Merlin VSMs in a 23 x 14 x 8' room. It was JUST beginning to run out of gas on complex music and levels that I would consider the max for me. At 4 db more efficient, I think that the Tannoys would work, assuming a relatively flat impedance w frequency plot.
There is a Wavelength Triton Signature(upgraded wire and transformers,power,output and interstage) for sale on this site.This is a very highly regarded version of this 300b SET amp!Built by Gordon Rankin and these don`t come around often.
Charles1dad, I dont want to get into something that I have never auditioned. I like Audio Note stuff and have heard them and now I love Wavac stuff having listened to them. I will rather keep it within these two brands. I removed Sophia Electric amps from my list only because of a lack of audition.
Okay, now understand your position.I suggested the Wavelength(especially the Signature models) as I know they and Coicident are very upper echelon 300b SET amplifiers that I`m familiar with(both are rare to find used). There are other very good choices also. Best of luck to you.
Sensitivity of a given speaker is inly one information, even more important is, what kind of X-over is inside? Some can be a black hole for tube amps, even when speaker sensitivity gives the impression, that low powered amps can be used (Wilson is among such examples). Some tube amps are quite robust and have the ability to drive a wider range of speakers than others (Lamm ML2.1 is such an example but between ok and great there is also a difference) but I never heard a 300B amp in its full glory below 98dB speakers...
If you are not sure if you will have enough power, maybe consider a different amp. I have a VAC 30/30. It has 2 300b's per side and is quite powerful. I believe its rated at 32 watts per channel. It sounds just as powerful as my old AR VT100. It had absolutely no problems driving a pair of Martin Logan SL-3's for about 2 years. I still have it and have no plans of selling it.
The only reason I am trying for this wavac (even though I also like the more powerful Audio Note) is because there is no other amp I have heard which does things that the Wavac can do. My impression comes from EC-300B.
Pani, a potentially very important point that nobody seems to have noticed yet is that the frequency response spec on the MD-300B has a lower limit of 40 Hz!!!
Assuming that spec is not in error, that would make the MD-300B a non-starter as a candidate, in my book. Besides that being an indication that the bottom octave will be severely rolled off, it is most likely also an indication that there will be adverse sonic effects at somewhat higher bass frequencies, due to phase shift issues.
In contrast, the EC-300B is spec'd to 20 Hz, and also has twice the bandwidth of the MD-300B at its upper limit (100 kHz vs. 50 kHz).
Also, I note that the EC-300B weighs nearly 60% more than the MD-300B, and appears to use completely different tube types in the input and driver stages.
All of which would seem to indicate that the sonics of the two amplifiers are likely to be considerably different.
Good points Al,two 300b SET amps from the same manufacturer with significant differences in price,weight(likely bigger and better transformers) and front end tubes in the circuit.It`d be no way to extrapolate the sound of one amplifier based on hearing the other. Pani you could still really like the WAVAC MD 300b version but you need to hear it on your speakers.
You may like the MD but you do like the EC. Depending on the speaker (and your ears), the differences could be small or huge.
From reading your posts, I think the EC is the one for you. Yes, it's more expensive but there is an old saying: "Sometimes the cheap comes out expensive".
I have and love 300b amps. They all had that glorious midrange but the better ones have extension in both directions.
My only worry is whether the MD can drive the Tannoys. I dont want the deepest bass at this point, but mid bass required to enjoy stuffs like Dire Straits, Guns n Roses etc should be there and adequate.
By the way, I am considering their preamp, the PR-X2. On their website they specify an output impedance of 10 kohms!! Could that be a typo ?
I am considering their preamp, the PR-X2. On their website they specify an output impedance of 10 kohms!! Could that be a typo ?
Don't know. It would probably be best to contact Wavac directly with that question.
I've seen a few cases over the years, involving components made in countries in which English is not the native language, where the "output impedance" spec was really referring to minimum recommended load impedance. Don't know if that is the case here.