I can't add anything about the preamp but I just took delivery of a Stingray II and I am amazed how nice it sounds. I am so impressed I bought a pair of Neo-Classic 250's without even hearing them.
You have a great system. I would love to hear the Snappers, I bet they are wonderful. Those Tannoy speakers with the Alnico magnets must be heaven with the Snappers. Please keep us/me updated.
Joeinid, thanks. I see why you go the Manley road: it's cool. What preamp will drive those beastly 250?
If you can believe this, I sold an Ayre KX-R (which is a nice preamp) and bought a McIntosh C2300. I really like the C2300 more but do not need the phono section. I swapped in some Gold Lions in the line stage and they definitely improved the sound. I have some Psvane and Mullard NOS waiting in the wings for when the Neo-Classics arrive. I can't wait.
I would love to hear those Tannoy's but I am very happy with my Nola Micro Grand References. My Nolas and some sweet tubes will be just the ticket to heaven.
Enjoy your Manley 300B preamp and let me know how you like it.
Just to clarify, when I said "I like the C2300 more" it's because the C2300 has a little more warmth, Yes, the KX-R is more resolving but I find now with the C2300, I don't think as much about what I'm hearing, I just focus more on the music. To quote a friend, "It's more delicious". Plus, it's nice having tone controls (with full bypass function) and a full function remote that does everything from my listening position.
Joeinid, it sounds like your McIntosh plays music. I have never auditioned Nola speakers; not easy to come about in my country. But I have read great things about them.
It seems that there are few with a Manley 300B on the forum right now. Too bad for me :-( "Anybody out there?" (Pink Floyd: The Wall)
Joinid: I'll write about my impression when it sings music in my home.
Unfortunate I'm still waiting for my 300B and would love to hear about it. I know there ain't that many of them, but is there anybody who would chip in with some experience on this fascinating preamp?
I have heard that this unit is also a good headphone amplifier, which drives power hungry headphones with ease.
Chatta: I've read about it's qualities as a headamp, and am at the moment researching into, for me, an unknown territory: headphones. Any experience with cans that match with this preamp?
Vow, this is something! Just got the preamp, and up and running. I'll come back with impressions after some digesting.
Hi Musicophile. Have you had a chance to form some impressions of your 300B preamp? Curious to know how you like it.
Yes, I am gaining some impressions of Manley Neo-Classic 300B. When I change a component I always get sensitive about a couple of things and I have then to listen for a long time to get the nuances. And I'm not a guy who changes gear often.
The preamp has played around 110 hours. So it probably still need some breaking-in. However, it doesn't seem to change as much each day now.
My first impressions is that this Manley 300B preamp interprets the signals from the source in an authoritative way: it portraits music in a bold and dramatic way. Music is played with dynamic swings, both in micro and macro parts. The timbre of instruments and voices is rich and organic. Yet, the most unexpected quality is that is more transparent than my last preamp: Leben RS-28CX. This comes forward in a clearer presentation of low noises in a piece of music but also a more holographic and dimensional projection of the music into my living room.
Musically the 300B satisfies me immensely. It seem to have the magical qualities of the 300B tube, but playing together with the Snappers it really rocks: plenty of bass, slam and drama. So this match gives that midrange magic with a lot of power. And speaking of midrange: voices just stand out of a band. It is so clear, natural and with an inner glow.
I think I've become manleyfied: 300B and Snappers are staying.
As always with a new tube amplifier I buy a spare set of tubes. Even if Manley stuff is seldomly stable, it is part of living with tube magic that you need to change a tube once in awhile. And you don't want that to happen after a nice bottle of Pinot Noir is opened and some pals is digging into the new tune of some fave artist.
Any advices on a tube setup that has good synergy with this Manley preamp. I'v been reading about Shuguang Treasure series and TJ mesh plate. But what about the other tubes: 6SL7, 5AR4 and OD3? Any experience with what of all the combinations that works together?
My Manley 300B preamp is retubed as follows:
EML (Emission Labs) 300B (solid plate)
Japanese (Mullard copy) 5AR4
Tunsol NOS 6SL7GT
This combination has worked well to take the preamp to an even higher level of resolution and dynamics.
Thanks Fwinston. I'll check them out. Any other experiences from other users of this preamp?
I've retubed my Manley preamp to be synergistic with the retubed Manley 250 amps running Maggie 20.1. I realized early on that I could make some significant changes in the sound and found a match that works for me. The amps are running:
SED EL34, GEC A2900, RCA 12bh7 blackplates
The 300B preamp now has:
EML 300B Mesh, Philip miniwatt Metal base gz34, Brimar 6sl7gty and RCA OD3.
Still have a set of Western Electric 300Bs, but the midrange was too rich and colored. The EMLs really clarified the midrange.
Mtrspt5, it seems you have a great system. I'll check out some more about the EML 300B mesh. Could you swap in the EML directly or was it necessary to adjust bias?
My local tube dealer talks positive about the Golden Dragon 300B mesh. Any experience with this one?
I'll also check out the Brimar 6sl7gty.
I've read somewhere that you have to check out if your amp (in my situation: preamp) can swap directly to EML 300B mesh. That this 300B works best under specific conditions. Mtrspt5; how is this with Manley 300B, did you have to adjust bias in order to use the EML mesh?
Sorry for the delay in my response. I did not have to do any bias change to the tubes. They work great in the preamplifier-very under stressed.
Mtrspt5: thanks, good to know that you don't have to adjust anything because of EML. However, I have just got a pair of Psvane 300B grade A from Grant Fidelity (great service) that need burn in time And, from my experience with Black Treasure it will take some time. At the moment I'm at holiday; so I'm abstinence after some listening on my system :-(. And since you have a Manley power, like me, that uses EL34 I can tell you that I also ordered a pair of quads of 6ca7 Black Treasure. So as you probably can understand, I'm eager to check out my system.
At the moment I only use a pair of Golden Dragon 6SL7 in the preamp. So I could check out your Brimar; is this the best choice?
I have the 300b preamp and really like it, mostly use it for headphones these days. My main preamp is the Allnic L5000 DHT preamp, which is almost too wonderfully special to describe, but the Manley isn't chopped liver and is fantastic with headphones.
I use Svetlana 300b, entirely too sensuous sounding and not bad on price.
JJ 300b's are models of clarity and space with the Manley.
I have been using the Manley 300b with Stax Lambda headphone. I took a Stax transformer intended for speakers, the srd 5, and soldered the wires to a banana jack to plug into the Manley 300b headphone socket. The Manley has more than enough juice to give a magnificent headphone experience with the Stax.
Cool, a setup with Stax. You have two awesome preamplifiers. Have never heard Allnic, but read about them.
Good to know that Svetlana and JJ also are musical in Manley.
Which 6SL7 do you prefer?
I am using some lowly shiney metal plate NOS RCA's. They have a lot of clarity to counter the 300b tendency toward lushness.
I also have no complaint about the original Russian 6sl7, Manley chooses tubes that are pretty well adapted to their products most of the time.
I use 5Z3 rectifiers ST type with tube adapters.
I had some brown base tung sols 6sl7s, which are pretty expensive nowadays, but wound up using them in another item, didn't sound better than the more ordinary types.
The Svetlanas sound like they were made for the Manley 300b, though, really nice.
I'll check the RCA 6SL7 out.
Why do you use "5Z3 rectifiers ST type with tube adapters"? And not ones that don't need adapters?