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WE 300B production to be up in Sept. 2018

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They are planning to have the new production facility up and running in Sept. of this year. Approx. $600 for a single 300B...They should be making them within ten minutes of where I live. 

 

Bruce

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It is my distinct pleasure to announce that the WE 300B electron tube will re-enter production this year, in time for its 80th Anniversary. The famous triode was developed at Bell Labs in 1933 in the form of its predecessor, the 300A, which was modified, patented, and then produced at many historic works facilities beginning in 1938. The 300B has journeyed from the original New York tube shops, to the legendary Hawthorne Works, Allentown Works, Kansas City Works, then the Huntsville Works. The sparkling new tubes that will roll off the line this September will be assembled here in Rossville, Georgia at a new and reimagined electron tube works facility. Furthering our commitment to manufacturing excellence, we are installing new hydrogen reduction ovens, automated cathode cleaning lines, new laser welding systems, a state-of-the-art water deionization plant, and an updated testing system with improved accuracy. However, the 300B will still be manufactured from its original tooling and assembly specification standards.

 

Although we’ve invested in a modernized production line, many of its aspects will of course remain true to tradition. For example, the core material, the so-called “secret sauce” embedded in each cathode is derived from an original Hawthorne Works 1963 melt. Western Electric’s attention to each delicate detail and historic promise of quality place the WE 300B in a category of its own.

 

The new 300B’s will be priced at a reasonable rate of $1299 per matched pair or $599 for a single. They will also be available in quads and octets. Each tube ships with our peerless 5-year limited warranty starting September 1, 2018. By internal estimates, this is a conservative timeframe we can easily achieve, barring any unforeseen setbacks. A complex process like this involves many moving parts—literally—and we appreciate your patience.

 

In addition to announcing the availability of the 300B, I’d like to share some of our adventures in product development. Continuing our 80th anniversary celebration of the 300B, we are unveiling a new single-ended amplifier called the 91E, as an homage to its famous predecessor the 91A, first introduced in 1936. The 91E embodies a new proprietary Class A2 parallel feed current source topology (patent pending), combined with toroidal output transformers, and microprocessor controlled automatic bias. It will achieve in excess of twenty watts per channel—a never before realized level of performance for the 300B in a single-ended circuit.

 

Be on the lookout for a limited edition monoblock set of this amp topology called the 91C Metropolis. Only 500 of these beautifully designed 300B amplifiers will be available!

 

Stay tuned!

Charles Whitener
President, Western Electric

 

 

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I've never heard a 300B amp. I would imagine it has to be pretty special considering the price of the tubes.

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One would hope that they start production of other tubes in addition to the 300's... 

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26 minutes ago, kevinmi said:

I've never heard a 300B amp. I would imagine it has to be pretty special considering the price of the tubes.

Considered by many the best in sound, a good 300B amplifier with the Western Electric 300B tubes. The best price I have seen for pairs of NOS WE 300B's was around $2200. I have seen used pairs on Ebay sell for $3300. The life expectancy when operated within published specifications is 40,000 hours.   That is how much they are respected. Even at $600 apiece they are too rich for my blood even though I have a 300B amplifier. Below is the tube specs of the original WE 300B. Pay attention to the curves on page 5. No other active device to my knowledge has curves that are as linear as the WE 300B.

 

http://www.tubebooks.org/tubedata/we300a_b.pdf

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I have looked at a variety of 300b amps online over the past few months, but have not yet heard one.

Does anyone want to offer suggestions about a specific maker? Is a DIY project an option?

 

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I built mine from a respected schematic from years ago. I spent close to a grand in parts for my build. Amplifiers built for the 300B get pricey. If I were to buy a retail one I would probably look at the Chinese offerings. I have heard it said that that the difference between a 300B amplifier and a 2A3 is, not much, except the power difference but then I have never heard a 2A3 amplifier. 

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Tom Christianson at nuerochrome Audio makes a nice set of boards for the 300b. That will be my next project after a new preamp and probably before I ever finish my f5.

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20 minutes ago, wdecho said:

I built mine from a respected schematic from years ago. I spent close to a grand in parts for my build. Amplifiers built for the 300B get pricey. If I were to buy a retail one I would probably look at the Chinese offerings. I have heard it said that that the difference between a 300B amplifier and a 2A3 is, not much, except the power difference but then I have never heard a 2A3 amplifier. 

 

So far the Cary 2A3 amps have been my preference over the Cary 300B amps and Cary 845/211 amps I have used in my system.

 

All are excellent IMHO just slightly different and of course  it's possible for our preferences to change if we change anything in the reproduction system (including room).

 

miketn

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55 minutes ago, No.4 said:

Tom Christianson at nuerochrome Audio makes a nice set of boards for the 300b. That will be my next project after a new preamp and probably before I ever finish my f5.

F5 and F6 are my least favorites of the Firstwatt amplifiers I have built. Aleph J, M2 or BA2 are much better choices IMHO with horns. The BA-2 in push pull as are the other 2 is my favorite among the push pull offerings I have built. I also built the PP F7 version as well but not the actual schematic but what the diyaudio crowd came up with. Alright but I still prefer the BA-2 with the BA-3 front end. The BA-2 is the same as the F4 but with a front end included, BA-3. 

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I have heard it said, one has never heard a 300B amplifier until they install the Western Electric ones"  but a lot could depend on the amplifier topology as well and how the circuit is biased for a specific brand. 

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I heard the WE prototype 300B at the small repair shop in the WE building in Rossville. A stereo amp, built on a single large pcb, with solid state rectifiers. It was powering a smaller pair of the Gauder Acustik speakers. Source was a prototype WE CDP with a tube stage and the ability to do 24bit/192K  It sounded good, but the tech who worked on my Welborne Labs 2A3 amps said he was very, very impressed with my amps. I had even put in the Sovtek 2A3 before dropping them off for him, and I don't think they are as good as the EH 2A3 tubes. They believe they are looking at $2500-3000 on preorders of the amp, but they aren't thee quite yet. I'm guessing that is without tubes... :huh:

 

I would like to hear the 300B in my own space. It's really hard to tell in a large workshop full of equipment.

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A word of caution here, if your amp isn't voiced for the particular tube it won't sound very good. I had a real nice 300B amp years ago that I tried the WE 300B tubes in it, I wanted to hear what all the fuss was about concerning the WE 300B tubes. Well they sounded terrible in my amp and I am not saying the tubes were bad or anything, my guess is my amp wasn't voiced or setup with using those in mind. Anyway put the meshie's back in and all the magic came back, lesson learned and I sold the tubes for what I paid for them.

As a owner of Klipsch speakers most of us can use what ever amp we like, I went from that 300B amp to the 45 amp and have never looked back and never will. The 300B amp was really nice I loved it but, it was very lush and laid back and kinda lacked the inner detail that I like. The 45 amp is just better in all aspects to me....

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