Author Topic: 2A3 tube options  (Read 479 times)

Offline Response Audio

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2A3 tube options
« on: July 12, 2021, 09:40:18 AM »
We are soon releasing our Master Reference preamp. The Master uses a 2A3 input tube (not a buffer).
I am looking for other's opinions on various 2A3 tubes to test out. Preferably current production.  What are your thoughts.
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Offline Folsom

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 07:33:18 AM »
I wish I knew more about which tubes are liked and why... I just haven't got to memorizing all the specific ones and their sounds.

Offline P.I.

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 11:52:32 AM »
I recently heard some of the newer production Sovtek 2A3 and they were quite good.  Quiet, good bass (which can be an issue with 2A3 tubes) and the overall harmonic balance sounded right on female vocals, some lute music by Dowland and some great orchestral pieces.  They never sounded constipated.  Generally I'm not a fan of Sovtek, so I was surprised.
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Offline Response Audio

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 12:23:05 PM »
I am running Sovtek now. As you said, I was quite impressed with the sound of these tubes in this type of circuit.
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Offline P.I.

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 12:36:34 PM »
I am running Sovtek now. As you said, I was quite impressed with the sound of these tubes in this type of circuit.
My friend that has the 2A3 amp was using Psvane before and the Sovtek was much better, particularly in the LF.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 02:28:57 PM »
That's interesting, I always thought that Psvane were "premium" tubes.
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Offline Response Audio

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 07:42:34 AM »
Tubes are a personal choice. I am simply looking for peoples opini9ns on various manufacturers for our 2A3 products. It was originally designed for the 300B but have found the sound of the 2A3 better. Keep in mind these are preamplifiers.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 03:00:30 PM »
Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:

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Offline Response Audio

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 03:34:54 PM »
I've been running 300Bs in tbis circuit for some time now. After modifying the filament supply for a 2A3, I prefer the 2A3. Not to say the 300B doesn't sound amazing (we have numerous Harmonias out there with 300Bs) but it can be a bit too much of a good thing with 300Bs feeding a DHT amplifier. However we do still offer both. I'm currently running an Anaview Class D module and both tubes sound great with this amp. Just a bit different.
I would never put down the 300B.

Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:
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Offline P.I.

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 10:31:28 PM »
Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:
It is a strange disturbance, for sure.

300B amps are amazing in the terms of liquidity and harmonic content.  They do everything "right" when it comes to making music in an overall context. Very balanced and lovely sounding.  Not a rock and roll tube, they just make music.  Love me some 300B mojo.

2A3 amps...  different in several ways.  IMO, the 2A3 conveys the beauty and, uhm... emotion that is present in well miked acoustic music like no other tube.  Female vocals are just timbrally correct, like no ther tube.  You want great low watt bass?  These are not the motor.  Extended highs?  No, not so much.  Glorious, believable mids that can move one to tears with the right source material, absolutely!

I can see why Bill is all about the 2A3 as a preamp tube.  You just gotta get the first amplification right.

Cool.   :thumb:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2021, 10:33:10 PM by P.I. »
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Offline P.I.

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 10:45:42 PM »
A follow up.

Back around 2000, I was a Cary Audio "installer" dealer.  I had 2 of their products that I loved for different reasons.  I had CAD572SE MkII monoblocks that just kicked ass!  Great bass, a huge soundstage, an unsurpassed boogie factor and their thoriated tungsten filaments provided all of the light needed in my room.  Great amps, wish I had them back.

The other SMPS was the Cary 2A3 push/pull stereo amp.  Even if being a PP amp it had a subtlety and nuance that no other amps I have ever owned.  I wish I had it back.

Lord!  I love tubes...

Then there is the Schitt Aegir I gave here now.  More, later.  That will need a new thread.
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Offline tmazz

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2021, 06:58:56 PM »
I've been running 300Bs in tbis circuit for some time now. After modifying the filament supply for a 2A3, I prefer the 2A3. Not to say the 300B doesn't sound amazing (we have numerous Harmonias out there with 300Bs) but it can be a bit too much of a good thing with 300Bs feeding a DHT amplifier. However we do still offer both. I'm currently running an Anaview Class D module and both tubes sound great with this amp. Just a bit different.
I would never put down the 300B.

Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:


Bill I didn't mean to imply that you were putting down the 300B.  Given it's followers who have raised it to an almost cult like status like fans of Star Wars, I just got a chuckle that anyone would talk about it not in superlative terms.
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Offline Triode Pete

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2021, 07:24:30 AM »
I've been running 300Bs in tbis circuit for some time now. After modifying the filament supply for a 2A3, I prefer the 2A3. Not to say the 300B doesn't sound amazing (we have numerous Harmonias out there with 300Bs) but it can be a bit too much of a good thing with 300Bs feeding a DHT amplifier. However we do still offer both. I'm currently running an Anaview Class D module and both tubes sound great with this amp. Just a bit different.
I would never put down the 300B.

Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:


Bill I didn't mean to imply that you were putting down the 300B.  Given it's followers who have raised it to an almost cult like status like fans of Star Wars, I just got a chuckle that anyone would talk about it not in superlative terms.

I have had both type of amps (2A3 & 300B) in both single-ended & push-pull versions... Overall, I think I prefer the sound qualities of the 2A3, but wish it had more power...

Sorry, I can't answer Bill's original question since I greatly preferred the sound quality of vintage 2A3's (Sylvania, RCA, Ken-Rad, etc., with the spring-top black-plate Sylvania's being my favorite). The new production 2A3's don't sound as glorious, but if I had to choose, I would pick the Electro Harmonix 2A3 Gold Grids... a very nice sounding tube...

With that said, I have to say that the driver / input tube(s) as well as the quality of the power supply iron (& quality rectifier) and the output iron have more of an influence on the sound than the power tube itself.

I've had many 2A3 amps have more bass than 300B amps... just sayin'... It's the sum of the quality parts that influences the sound quality overall...

With my current preamp (Vinnie Rossi Signature), I can use 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D, and SV811 DHT families... I've only used my older Western Electric 300B's in there... Perhaps time to break-out my 2A3 stash & try them in there!

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Offline Response Audio

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2021, 06:43:03 AM »
Thanks for all the comments guys. As mentioned, I have been using a Sovtek 2A3 and was surprised at how good they sound. Looking for a tube to supply with this product, current production is obviously the proper choice. I am ordering a pair of EH Gold Grid 2A3s as I have been using the Gold Grid 300Bs for a couple years in the prototype.
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Offline rollo

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Re: 2A3 tube options
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2021, 01:27:16 PM »
I've been running 300Bs in tbis circuit for some time now. After modifying the filament supply for a 2A3, I prefer the 2A3. Not to say the 300B doesn't sound amazing (we have numerous Harmonias out there with 300Bs) but it can be a bit too much of a good thing with 300Bs feeding a DHT amplifier. However we do still offer both. I'm currently running an Anaview Class D module and both tubes sound great with this amp. Just a bit different.
I would never put down the 300B.

Something sounds better than a 300B? 

I feel a strange disturbance in the force.   :rofl:


Bill I didn't mean to imply that you were putting down the 300B.  Given it's followers who have raised it to an almost cult like status like fans of Star Wars, I just got a chuckle that anyone would talk about it not in superlative terms.

I have had both type of amps (2A3 & 300B) in both single-ended & push-pull versions... Overall, I think I prefer the sound qualities of the 2A3, but wish it had more power...

Sorry, I can't answer Bill's original question since I greatly preferred the sound quality of vintage 2A3's (Sylvania, RCA, Ken-Rad, etc., with the spring-top black-plate Sylvania's being my favorite). The new production 2A3's don't sound as glorious, but if I had to choose, I would pick the Electro Harmonix 2A3 Gold Grids... a very nice sounding tube...

With that said, I have to say that the driver / input tube(s) as well as the quality of the power supply iron (& quality rectifier) and the output iron have more of an influence on the sound than the power tube itself.

I've had many 2A3 amps have more bass than 300B amps... just sayin'... It's the sum of the quality parts that influences the sound quality overall...

With my current preamp (Vinnie Rossi Signature), I can use 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D, 205D, and SV811 DHT families... I've only used my older Western Electric 300B's in there... Perhaps time to break-out my 2A3 stash & try them in there!

Cheers,
Pete


  +1 on what Pete said.

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