These are very similar to old Vaic amps, which were manufactured in the same facility some time ago....Clean,detailed and good bass from tube amplifier(some people say not very chocolaty!!!)
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Believe it or not I'm driving my 81dB efficient MBL 101Es with their 20 wpc 300B integrated.
I will be ordering a pair of their monoblocks but I won't know which ones until I hear one of their 845-based products.
Though 20 watts are not enough for my speakers, these are the finest amps I have ever had in my house.
I should note that these 300B amps produce a very clean and powerful sound, they are not warm and fuzzy.
Hi, may I ask: does this SET amp sound like solid state? I'm asking because some of you don't like the typical SET sound and prefer a neutral, fast and dynamic sound with good bass like... solid state sound. So why are you buying a SET with "only" 20W/pc while you can buy a good sounding solid state amp with 150W/pc for the same money and without the tube hassle? I hope I'm not offending anyone. Just curious.
First up, I'm not buying the 20 wpc amp, I am going to buy either their 40 wpc or 117 wpc monoblocks. I just have the little integrated amp on loan.
This amp sounds nothing like typical solid state and very little like premium SS.
In my current system I have been through the following amps (in reverse order of preference):
Manley Neo-Classic 250 monoblocks (250wpc)
Atma-Sphere MA-2 mkIII monoblocks (220wpc)
Hovland Stratos monoblocks (640wpc)
The Hovlands, by the way, are the only SS amps I've ever liked.
If you've seen any of my 'odd' postings about the sound I'm looking for then you'll know that I am fanatical about spatial presentation.
I haven't thought in terms of "neutral, fast and dynamic sound with good bass," for years. I just think, 'am I in the presence of real people playing real instruments in my room?' Or, better still, 'am I in the presence of real people playing real instruments in their room?'
The Mastersound 300B has the most natural, room-filling sound that I have ever heard. It's a simple as that. Everything else that I gain once I get a proper linestage and phonstage hooked up to their monoblocks will simply be gravy.
Right now, in the US, they are as follows:
300 B Monoblock: $11,695
845 Monoblock: $14,995
PF 100 Monoblock: $39,995
(These are the limited edition amps using four 845s to produce 117 wpc)
I haven't heard any of their 845-based offerings so I can't comment on the sound.
If you live in Canada, like me, the prices would be slightly different. For all I know, these prices may change after this week's CES.
They seem quite expensive. If you want Italian design and flare, why not Viva, which are somewhat cheaper. To answer Chris's perfectly valid point, I use a 22watt Viva Solista int and 180 watt SS Karan K180, through my 89db sensitive Acoustic Zen Adagios. The Viva has more grip and drive, better base and control, of the speakers. The Volume is roughly equal too, I listen at about 8 to 9 with both. Not all Watts are created equal.
>>why not Viva, which are somewhat cheaper<<
The Viva amps are not cheaper.
Even the integrated Solista at $17K is more than any Mastersound product including the 300B and 845 monoblocks.
Comparatively speaking, the Mastersound integrateds are "bargains" vis a vis the Solista ($17K) and Little Solista ($8K).
Dealer disclosure on both lines.
I had a chance to the hear the Mastersound Compact 845 amp in my system compared with the 300 PSE.
If I went through a checklist of twenty audiophile-approved criteria most checks would probably end up with the 845. I would then unplug the 845, put in its box, and enjoy the 300B.
One sounds like real people playing real instruments in my room and the other sounds like an incredibly good stereo.
I have heard the 220,el34 based, the 230 kt88 based, the 300 BE and the 845. They are all terrific. They are more muscical and have more push and space than the comparably priced Pathos or Raysonic integrateds. If you want dynamics buy the 845. It can separate and space every instrument. The 220 has more height compared to the the 230. Yet the 230 gives more distinct separation and placement and deeper bass. The 300 can do it all. Each has a quality which is pleasing and distinctive. I have also compared them with Van Den Hul, B&K, and Sphinx separates and Roksan and Sonneteer integrateds. These are all very fine in their own right, but the tube pieces make the music sound proper and engaging.
They are built with the utmost care and thought.