Neutral and open sounding 300B tubes


Friends,
I am looking for a pair of traditional 300B tubes. My wavac came with a stock pair of 300B tubes which are of the cheapest variety. I bought a pair of Emission Labs 300B XLS and it was a totally different flavor, more dynamic, more bandwidth but a little less colour and touch which 300B are normally known for. I am thinking of trying another pair of 300B tubes which is of traditional variety but is not very coloured. Clean, neutral and open sounding without loosing too much of the 300B magic. My budget is $1000 for a pair. So that definitely eliminates original WE300B and Takatsuki (Japan) 300B. Probably I am left with only the Chinese options, Shuguang, Sophia Electric and TJ full music. Looking for some suggestions here.

I listen to all kinds of music so please suggest good all-rounders.
pani
Pani,
I suspect that certain tubes lock in or mate better with a particular amplifier. The EML XLS and Takatsuki are excellent in my amplifier.
You may want to try the Psvane black glass or their W.E. Replica 300b. Also consider the Sophia Royal Princess and the EML mesh plate .
Charles,
The Psvane Treasure mk2 are a very nice natural tube. Another alternative would be the Shuguang Treasure 300B-Z which are on sale at Partsconnexion for 1/3 off at $300/pair.
The Shuguang Black Treasure was my workhorse tube for well over two years, it's very reliable and good sounding. In my system it was simply out performed by the Takatsuki, both EML tubes and the Sophia RP. Outcomes "could" be different with the Wavac's voicing which is probably different from my amplifier.
As Charles1dad indicated,what he experiences with Takasuki may sound
different in a Wavac amp.
Although my amps are not 300B powered I have heard many 300B tubes from the same maker sound very different in different amps.So different that you would think a 300B wasn't being used
I have been tempted to go the 300B route (very seductive) but find it difficult to part with my 845's
Good luck
Hi Pani, Which Wavac amp do you have? What speakers? This might help pin point a tube. Perhaps you can arrange an audition of various tubes through someone that lives near by.
Sophia RP or Psvane WE replicas
Goldeneraguy.
You are right, one brand of 300b tube or amplifier can sound quite different from another(personal experience has clearly confirmed this). I understand your feelings for 845 amps, I like them also and could live with a good one very easily.I've become so fond of my 300b SET that I'll stay put.
Charles,
Pani,
There are a pair of the Sophia Royal Princess avaliable on audiogon for 675.00. That's a very good price for them, they don't pop up used often. It could be what you are seeking.
Charles,
Hey everybody

I just want add this extensive tube roll test of a good amount 300B tubes done by the late Ian Grant of Grant Fidelity for everyone to review.

http://grantfidelity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=281

He covers a lot of 300B tubes so I hope this helps everyone. I know it is one person's take on these tubes but it is better than nothing.
If you have output transformers in an amp, you cannot choose a 'better' 300B because you'll  have sound artifacts, so the differences will be muted/distorted.  If you have a resistor based volume control, you cannot choose a better 300B, because again the differences will be muted. If you have an OTL amp AND  a Transformer or LED volume control, you can then give us all an accurate description of the sound a 300B.
Well, my experience is quite different I must say. My Coincident Frankenstein MK II mono block 300b SET has output transformers. Over the years I have had the opportunity to use a wide variety of 300b tubes.

Elrog
EML XLS
EML Mesh plate (a legitimate "mesh plate")
KR XLS
Takatsuki
Shuguang black Treasure
Western Electric Reissue (1990s)
Electric Harmonic
Sophia Royal Princess
Sophia Mesh plate (actually a perforated plate, not a true mesh).

With my system I could very easily and pretty quickly discern and hear distinctions (subtle and not so subtle) amongst all of this tubes. Each one of them clearly has their own unique sonic character.
BTW my system utilizes the Coincident Statement Line Stage which has transformer volume controls. What 300b OTL amplifiers are available?
Charles


Have you thought about KRs?  One of the things that is interesting about the KRs is that they offer a higher plated dissipation than a typical 300B, 50w vs. 40w.  Wonderful all around tube that will bias a little higher without compromising tube life.    

It is a bit slow in getting them because of COVID 19 but these are on your budget ($1000).  They deliver more than the EMLs.  

The other interesting tube is the the Sophia Classic in Blue Glass.  They are best with Sophia's rectifiers.  

Be cautious of the EML mesh plate.  You need to potentially lower the bias as it operates best at 22w and will burn up above 28w.  This is not a problem on other 300Bs.

We sell a lot of 300Bs and I have EML, Sophia's current stock (which is abridged) and KR.  Site is www.artaudio.us  
Two variables that must be taken into account are
The individual listener’s specific hearing and taste.
The specific 300b amplifier design/circuit.
Some brands of tubes just match better with certain amplifiers and less so with other amplifiers. Not really surprising this would be the case.

I had the KR XLS and the EML XLS at the same time. IMO both are exceptionally good sounding upper tier tubes. Directly compared in my system I preferred the EML by a modest margin. I could easily understand someone else preferring the KR XLS. Both are excellent 300b choices. So were the Takatsuki and Elrog in my Coincident Frankenstein 300b mono blocks.

This is why I find it difficult to make universal recommendations. The above mentioned variables (and others) come into play. Someone could say that the Psvane ACME (Or their W.E. Replica 300b) tops them all in their system. Bottom line, there are very good choices available amongst upper tier 300b tubes.
Charles