Only having the KR PX-4’s for a few months now, I certainly haven’t made the significant jump up to the TAK 300b’s yet!
Others may disagree, with system synergy and preferences, but if you can’t/don’t want to yet jump to the PX-4’s, IMO the stock EH 2A3’s are the ones... Maybe there is a more afrdable 300b out there that will match well along side the stock tubes for price and performance...but it’s either stock or jump up to KR or TAK if ya ask me. YMMV
I tend to agree with jriggy here, based on my own experiences tube rolling.
Out of all the lower-cost tubes (price range: $100 - $200 per tube), the stock EH 2A3 gold-grid were the best ones that I found. They are very linear, extended, quiet (internally, they are well-shielded to they don't pick on 50/60Hz hum in the air), and a great place to start (or even finish) with your LIO DHT PRE.
[Even if the EH 2A3 Gold Grid was the only tube that worked with LIO DHT PRE, I'd take it any day over the AVC/Tubestage, no matter what 6922 variant was used. In the LIO DHT PRE circuit, it just goes places that the 9-pin tubes never can, unfortunately.]
There are many others to try in that price range (e.g. Gold Lion 300B, EH makes a 300B gold grid, Svetlana SV811, and various NOS finds on ebay). They are all different flavors, but in terms of total performance, I found there are generally
in the same league.
Once you jump to some of the pricier models discussed here (KR PX-4 & TAK TA300B are the two best examples that I know of at this time), the increase in performance becomes much more substantial.
Again, I'm not using LIO - my experience is with a Lampi Big 7 DHT DAC instead.
...That said, there have been times in the past few years with the Tak's that I was feeling they were too much of a good thing. That my system was getting overly warm/thick, and I was tempted by some more linear tubes.
This brings up a good point, genjamon - the circuit you use a DHT in will most likely have even more of a influence over what you hear than the tube itself. I am sure the Lampi circuit is much different than LIO DHT PRE (even though they both can use some of the same tubes), so it is no wonder that you're findings with the TAK TA300B and them being "overly warm/thick" at times does not mirror mine at all.
I am running the Elrog 300b, I have had the DHT Pre for a month.
I will try to do some comparisons of different tubes after I live with this combo for a while, for now I am very happy camper.
Thanks for posting, Ed! I'm keen to try that Elrog 300B's (I was just speaking to the USA importer about it today, and he said Elrog builds-to-order and it takes time to get some in stock, but he's going to let me try a pair when available). I'm glad you are enjoying
I still have never heard any 300b tube,that has what i consider realistic bass!
I really like the kr px4,for its tight "solid" bass you notice,this when playing hard hitting rock and roll.
Im wondering if there is a 300b out there that can deliver "real bass"
I'll bring the TAK 300B to AXPONA (along with the KR PX-4). I think you'll be very surprised. The bass
is very good on the TAK 300B, as is everything else. You'll be the judge.