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Softone Model 8 300B integrated. Ping Jeff Medwin


Les Lammers
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1 hour ago, richieb said:

 

} I owned the 300b version several years ago. I was ok, nothing to write home about or to keep. The name was somewhat revealing - 

“Softone”. 

This is a completley revised version of the original. It's not the same amp. I had an original years ago and it did not do it for me either. I had there excellent Model 4 phono preamp and still have the Model 3 transport. 

 

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/softone-300b-set-amplifier

 

BTW Richie,

 

I posted this here a few years ago and read your comment on the original. 😉

 

Review on a Chilean audio site: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=es&sp=nmt4&u=https://www.hifichile.cl/index.php%3F/topic/18595-el-amplificador-300b-single-ended-hecho-en-jap%C3%B3n-m%C3%A1s-barato-el-softone-model8-300b/&xid=17259,1500000,15700021,15700186,15700191,15700259,15700271,15700302&usg=ALkJrhi3yCmB-L79uc4JVyL0hBFRP--FJw

 

You Tube: Driving 4 inch single driver speakers.

 

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1 hour ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

  Les, 

 

 I agree, it certainly is both interesting and unique.   This is a quick initial response :

 

Notice, on the below deck photos, seems like every cap in there is an electrolytic.  Whereas, in my builds, every cap is a film, prefer to do multiple film cap bypassing, to shape the sonics.

 

I know a 12AU7 as the main gain stage tube, is not particularly considered a great sounding gain stage tube, its more liked as a cathode follower tube. 

 

Its a three stage amp, with the FET as the middle stage, and I prefer two stages amps.  The FET is OK.

 

I believe they are competently applying solid state circuits with tubes.

 

The amp has a nice compact ( short lead length ) printed circuit board.   On state of the art, I prefer real wire, point to point.

 

I like their use of large Wattage metal film resistors, but I have never found a Japanese or Chinese made resistor that compares to the best chosen USA, German, and Audio Note ( UK ) production.

 

I like their direct coupled audio path.   Series ( cap-coupled ) tube amps should be avoided.

 

This amp is clever, and it MAY be better than many many other commercial amps of medium price you can buy. It can never be state of the art.

 

I would normally say buy it, try it out, and determine if YOU like it on your system.  If I don't like a piece, I would resell it on eBay.  But Les, in this case, there is little if any following of the amp in the USA, to my guess, so you could take a big hit on resale. 

 

The amp's R Core output transformers I have worked with, and they are absolutely fine, and only at their best in the bass after 400 hours of break in, playing music.

 

These are just my INITIAL thoughts Les !!  I have limited time early Sunday AM ( services and Sunday school awaits ).  I don't know HOW to advise you, if I should, or what else to suggest.

 

If you get this, please please tell us your thoughts !!

 

Jeff Medwin

 Thanks Jeff. It is an interesting design. I am considering it for use in a small streaming system. I know it's not SOTA 300 B but likely better than many inexpensive amps.

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Jeffrey, you are failing to consider the most important factor here- the extreme non-linearity of the human auditory system!  This has been so well documented that blanket recommendations about what sounds best are only of value to an individual.  No one can have any idea of what you are hearing, nor you of what they are hearing.  It is often a case of a person wanting to believe that they hear what someone else says they should- power of suggestion at its best.

 

 

Maynard

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Jeffrey, we engineering types often make fun of ourselves.  Hence the cartoon I had posted.

 

Person A hears a system and says it’s incredible.  Person B hears the same system and says it’s awful.  Explain why this phenomenon occurs.  
 

Do a search entitled “Non-linearity of human auditory system” and read a couple of dozen studies before you reply to my question.

 

Apologies to the OP,  but I think this is relevant to the discussion.

 

 

Maynard

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I am not arguing design philosophy with you!  All I want to know is how a system set up for your personal hearing will be perceived as sounding the same by someone else.  
 

In my experience on here, anything publicly posted is open to commentary by all.  If the moderators disagree with my interpretation they are free to delete my comments in this thread.  
 

 

Maynard

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4 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

 

 

Daniel, 

 

I thought I sent you a response.  In any case, I need you to send me a copy of the schematic of the amp, and the power supply.  Why?  On YouTube videos,  they show for 10 seconds each, and its hard for me to either copy or study them !!   See what you can come up with, that does not disappear in ten seconds.   Thanks.

 

Jeffrey Medwin

 

Thanks, I'll see what I can do!

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21 hours ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

 

 

No problem, received it.  Good enough.  Will get back within 48 hours.

 

EDITED:  Suggestions now sent to Daniel, to be done by him, in this order:

 

a) 2A3's fixed bias supply needs a R/C section of added filtering, and conversion to film caps, 

b) RCA jacks, add to within 2 inches of 6SN7 input tube's grid, bypasses volume control, becomes a " direct in " option

c) Upgrade resistors - plate and cathode resistors, of 6SN7 front-end tube's two triode stages

e) Upgrade cathode resistor bypass caps, from a (usual) cheap-sounding electrolytic, to a quality film

 

Basic circuit - was kept intact.

 

 

 

Many thanks for this Jeff, will print this out and keep it handy! Will correspond if I feel the itch to get some of these suggestions done.

 

Daniel

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1 minute ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

 

 

Daniel, I sent you a PM last night with very specific parts designated for upgrade and specific replacement parts to use. Be sure to copy and follow that explicitly.

 

Mods will transform amp, from a C- to a B or B- I'd say.  You'll easily hear and enjoy the differences.

 

Jeff 

 

Strange, I'm not receiving any of your PMs. Can you please try again? Otherwise please send an email to ray.pierrewit@gmail.com

 

Thanks,

Daniel

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  • 2 weeks later...

Triode amps such as the Model 8,  using global negative feedback are also boring to hear, continuously playing music back, out-of-time. Are we building SE amps, or, are they SE tuners ??  E.E.s are trained in their classrooms,  to add negative feedback loops to SE all-triode amps.  Discriminating music-lovers will RIP THEM OUT !!”


 

Jeffrey, given the above, what is your take on Decware amps? 

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Jeffrey, since this thread is being followed by so many I want to go on record by saying that there are many in the field who neither agree with, nor share, your design philosophy.  Some of the finest sounding tube equipment is based on established engineering principles which differ from yours.  Your blanket condemnation of commercially available equipment is ridiculous.  I advise buyers to use their own ears (not yours!) to determine which equipment will best serve their listening preferences. 
 

 

Maynard

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I don't like 99.9% of the commercially available amps.“. 
 

I must assume that you have heard all of the commercial amps.  That is quite an achievement!  You have not heard even a fraction of the amps designed and built by guys who do not publish their work and limit their activities to local areas.  Once again, I do not believe in blanket recommendations as it is impossible to know what the other person is hearing.  Perhaps I am blessed by not being able to hear the polarity of a wire, color differences of cable ties, or a 1/16” difference in wire length.  It keeps my life more simple.....
 

 

Maynard

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On 2/23/2020 at 8:36 AM, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

You are entitled to go on record, but everyone should realize, there is a very high probability you have likely never attended multiple RMAFs, nor have you, and many others,  likely ever heard these tube amps I am discussing !!  

 

It doesn't make his statement any less true.

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On 2/23/2020 at 8:36 AM, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

You are entitled to go on record, but everyone should realize, there is a very high probability you have likely never attended multiple RMAFs, nor have you, and many others,  likely ever heard these tube amps I am discussing !!  

 

Which amps, your DIY amps at the firehouse? Or are these some amps that someone is selling?

 

Please knock off this constant personal stuff. If you have something to say other than what your personal opinion is do it.

 

Maynard is simply pointing out, politely  and diplomatically that the mainstream audio engineering community does not share your views. From what I can gather that is certainly true. 

 

Speaking for myself only,  I'm to the point where I skip to the end of any post you make  to see if there is anything of substance. Something more than your experience, your ears, your preference. I can go buy Stereophile if I want that, and at least they are going to provide what rhey perceive to be different, and why it sounds better to them.

 

Maynard  is pointing out to people that you are in the fringe, you can either come back with something to substantiate your assertions or not. Your personal experience based upon your ears doesn't cut it.

 

As I told you before,  we don't need you to save us from what we are missing by not having heard these amps. It's clearly our loss, oh well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Jeffrey D. Medwin said:

 

Agree.   Nor is mine any less true, to the best of my knowledge, he has never attended a RMAF show over the last dozen years, to hear what I was referring to.

Boy Jeffrey you sure showed him. Wooooo boy.

 

Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn.

 

You can't fix dumb.

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