Which 300b amplifier for Devore O/96

I am looking to upgrade (and simultaneously downsize) from Coincident Frankenstein Mk2 300b SET monoblock amps to one of these stereo amplifiers.

These are the four candidates so far: Nagra 300p, Luxman MQ-300, Wavac EC-300B, Air Tight ATM-300R, Shindo Cortese 300b

My preamp/dac is Bricasti M12 and my speakers are Devore O/96.

I am not looking nor interested in any other 300b amps at this point.

If anyone has compared one or more of these amps (esp on an Orangutan) do chime in.

Where I live I can probably demo the Nagra and the Air Tight but nothing else.


Showing 4 responses by essrand

Yeah its 5 not 4 amplifiers.

@atmasphere @jsautter you guys have given me fodder for thought.

I feel like my Coincidents were powerful enough. But now you are making me doubt that. Will put those amps back in, listen more and get back.

So I am guessing out of my choices your vote would be for the Nagra 300p (its a push-pull 300b, 20W).

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful inputs.

After reading @almarg @atmasphere and @jsautter I put my 300b Coincidents back on and played some music with a with great dynamic range. This song goes from 66dB to 98dB in 10 minutes and back down.
I thought my 8W amp was able to handle it quite well without running out of steam. I put my 200W SS (class D, Lyngdorf TDAI-3400), I liked the Coincidents better and it even had as good or better bass.
Perhaps like the cliche we always hear in mags, the quality of watts not quantity matter here.

@riaa, yes I remember Matt @ Pitch Perfect Audio used Shindo Cortese with O96, and Art Dudley used the Air Tight ATM-300R on the Devore O93 (lesser sensitivity that the O96s by 3).

Hence I rounded up these set of 300b amps as my final list.

Maybe they sound even better with PP tube amps, I have not tried that combo yet, so I will take that into account.

In the coming weeks I will try to get a home demo of the Nagra 300b and compare them with my Coincident 300b that should conclusively tell me if I need more watts.

@pah, wow! The Kondo Overture was in my shortlist as well. You are making me want to put it in the running as well.

@cal3713 , yes will keep this thread posted as developments occur. Think our journeys are quite similar.

@shkong78, I was considering getting Takatsuki 300b tubes, I heard with the Coincident Franks they are sublime. WE 300b for $6000 are simply insane, I won't even go there.

I can't try it. I would have to buy it to try it. Will audition (sadly not on a O/96) when I am in NYC next month.

Yes, I agree its apples to oranges comparison. Sorry, I was not clear, but what I meant was that the dynamic range seemed not different with 200W Class D vs the 9W 300b amp? I didn't feel like I needed any headroom, but then again I never go beyond 100dB since I live in an apartment complex.

I have contacted tubeaudio.com, will let you know what he says.

I have contacted the west coast shindo dealer as well, lets see what he says.

@firstnot I got in touch with tubeaudio.com, never heard back.

But I did hear back from the West Coast Shindo dealer who told me that although a lot of people do use Cortese with O/96, a little more power might be preferable.

I played my Coincident 300b at 90-100 dB and @almarg @atmasphere I need notice the need for headroom and distortion and congestion in the loud passages. It was quite noticeable after hearing the same music at a fellow audiophile who had a SS amp (400-600W Karan Acoustics on a 92dB Kaiser speakers), the previous day. I am learning a lot here thanks to you guys.

So I have to redo my list now and make sure I get at least 20-30W in my amps. The options are now limitless with PP tube amps. 

New List (as of now): Nagra 300p, Kondo Overture (used only, can't afford new), Shindo Haut-Brion (if I can find one).