Congratulations! This seems to be a very high quality 300b SET amplifier. I believe that you made a wise decision to choose top tier 300b tubes. You may as well use this level of tube to get the most of an amplifier of this caliber. This SET would no doubt sound good with the lower cost 300b but not to its fullest sonic potential.
Curious that the reviewer made no comparison with his Border Patrol 300b amplifier. I'm convinced that both sound fabulous but wonder how they differ in their respective presentations.
So I had called Matt of Toolshed to ask him a question about rectifiers and he told me he just ,became an OEM dealer for Westerm Electric so I didn't hesitate ... NO shortcuts with this one.
Although those were pricey, NOS E180F and 6688 tubes are cheap and easy to find. NOS Mullards for $6 ? Thank you, nice not getting raped on input tubes. Also picked up some nice Amperex for $20 ea.
Pretty excited for this amp.....mine is similar to the review unit.... Bolivian Rosewood front and rear, Figured Cherry sides , Bronze Hammertone transformer covers.
Genuine Western Electric wiring throughout, silver foil coupling caps, stepped attenuators, silver/wet tantalum caps, .05% tolerance resistors.... high quality in and out. Will kick ass....
I’m strongly inclined to agree.😊
I look forward to your listening impressions and what changes you’ll hear compared to your Quicksilver amplifiers. Fun times lie ahead.
I ordered back in July. I was the last slot in his build queue for 21 . I have seen several photos of it's progress and it should be ready soon. I told him at the beginning I wouldn't ask him when it will be ready and I intend to keep that promise.
I should have it in a month or two....
If you are interested give Matt a call, he is the only one that can estimate wait time. He has been great to work with.
Matt mentioned on Instagram he will be doing a small run of non commissioned amps that he will offer . So for some , the timing may be right and there won't be a wait.
I didn't REALLY need a new amp, my system sounds great as is so not in a hurry , but I really think this will be worth the wait though
Right, that's the great thing about this amp, it can handle two sources so you can try direct and with a pre. You can A/B two dacs, or two preamps. Pretty sure I'll be using the Zesto for a while, it's THAT good. When I first started looking for an amp I thought $3500 or $4500 would be my budget. That I think would have only been a lateral move as my Quicksilvers are pretty damn good. And of course once I committed I added options so I'm a little over budget...... just a little.
Look forward to hearing how you like it.
Yes, it is such a great piece of equipment. I sent it to Zesto a few months ago. It had a bad tube socket. George and Carolyn are awesome to deal with some of the nicest people you will meet in audio circles. The repair was super reasonable, couldn’t have been happier. While it was there I had them do the ESP torroid power supplies that are in the latest models. It has the blackest background. There is absolutely no noise. Explosive dynamics , perfectly voiced. It’s a great piece . These are a good value if you can get find one used.
The rear panel is what sold me, I bought it sight unseen. It can drive two stereo amps via RCA and two via XLR simultaneously, balanced transformer coupled inputs and outputs.
I heard from Matt today. My amp is done. He was doing a final test on the circuits and then will run it in for about 100 hours before boxing it up and shipping. He said it will need a good 500 hours to fully break in and the tubes about 1000 hours. Once it's in my rack I'll post initial impressions and then update them periodically.
what are your listening impressions?
The amp has it all. As you would expect, the midrange is to die for. Very solid bass and a massive soundstage. Players are positioned as they should be.
In my system the amp lacks a little gain going direct from the DAC. I have ordered a DHT Supratek pre amp to match up with it so we'll see how that plays out.
I'm very happy with my purchase and can see living with this for quite some time.
I understand perfectly. When you acquire a truly superb sounding audio product/component you cherish and appreciate it. There’s no desire to flip it for something else (Essentially it pulls you off the merry go round). Congratulations!
BTW I believe that you will love your Supratek preamplifier paired with the terrific Toolshed 300b amplifier. You have chosen an excellent signal pathway for your audio system.
Wow! You are developing a marvelous audio system. Are you getting specifically the Pro-Ject RS2T ? If so an excellent CD transport choice (Nickola II as well LPS). What DAC will you be using? You’re going to be a very happy listener for many years.😊
@oddiofyl I took similar path in procuring my 300B monoblocks, custom build is nice way to go. Especially like to choose build off menu of options, looks like you made some good choices, like that amp.
Firstgrowth, Matt is letting it cook right now. He sent me some great build pics , but I’ve only seen the inside and early metal work. He sent me a vid of it lot up yesterday but I think he purposely had low lighting…. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Should have it in a week or so I would guess.