“Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier World” February editor notice—PSVANE 300B: the original sound regeneration of “western electric” 300B

PSVANE’s Reproduction of Western Electric 300B

(5,800 RMB per pair)

PSVANE 300B is the product of Hengyang Electronics Co., Ltd. Changsha, China. If I hadn’t heard it personally, I would not believe there is an item at home which can reproduce the Western Electric 300B to a real state. During the few months of listening tests, I put PSVANE 300B into Western Electric 91 antique tubes to listen it carefully and compared it with the original 50s item constantly. At last I got the conclusion that when PSVANE was used to play music, its tone, feelings, and atmosphere and charm nearly the same as the original one. In fact, PSVANE is even more similar with the original one than the Western Electric version of 90s. Thus, I believe PSVANE 300B is always the closest engraved product to the original one in the history, and that made its voice has more charming and flavorsome than any other 300B models. As a user of the famous Western Electric tubes and amps, I should say that if any people who own a 300B amp want to know how Western Electric 300B made people moved, he can buy a PSVANE besides choosing the antique 300B tubes of Western Electric.                               

As the famous item in the well-known tubes, 300Bs is an immortal design of WE and also the most famous triode amplifier tube in HI-Fi world. Used in excellent amps, it sound beautiful and is full of emotion and the real atmosphere and far reaching make people unforgettable. I have been listening and collecting tubes for more than 30 years and fixed my early attention on some pentodes like KT88, 6L6 and EL34 etc (for I was listening pentodes such as MARANTZ, MCINTOSH and AUDIO RESEARCH and so on). Later I had a chance to listen a single-ended SHINDO 300B made in Japan, though it is not so powerful, its elegance and transparency made my ears opened. Its characteristic is the adopting of WE original 300B antique tubes. Then I began to purchase the antique amp of WE 300B which is always at a high price among all the famous tubes because the supply-demand relation. 20 years ago, NOS WE 300B has ever been offered at the price of 2,000 dollars. The antique 300B always in great demand, thus an American businessman Charles Whitener Jr. reproduced some 300Bs by the left material from WE old factory in Kansas and called them “Made by WE”. At that time I believed it had good sound performances and recommend it in my articles. Actually, the voice of Charles’ 300Bs performed the same as the original ones but it sounds a little harsh when plays in a high pitch. On the contrary, the louder the WE 300B plays, the more beautiful the voice is. In a word, it is easy to judge their quality if compare them by using the AB way to compare. Absolutely, fanciers also know much about the products. This year the original 300B rose in price but Charles’s keep the same. I think it’s because the original items are too expensive (more than ten thousand for each) for the fans to afford and thus went for less to choose the reproduction of Charles. However, they are very clear about the sound differences of the two.

Western Electric 300B is the typical product in good-sound amplifiers. Thus the vacuum tubes manufacturers all over the world began to produce 300Bs since 80s. But they employed some different materials and technologies and thus the sound effect was also on various levels. However, there are some 300Bs adopted by amp manufacturers and fanciers for their excellent sound performance and thus established a stable reputation and had an increasing sales, such as the OUVTEK of Russia and the FULL MUSIC of Tianjin, China. They gradually become the main products of 300Bs because of its high quality and stable performance. But no matter how Hi-Fi the sound effect of the newly-made 300Bs are, they always lack of a sense of harmony and a kind of charming, until the appearance of PSVANE.    

Actually there already are some writers of “The amp world” having written something about 300Bs and 274Bs of PSVANE before I having a listening tests of PSVANE 300B, especially Zhang Xiangsan, a writer of our magazine, gave a high remark to PSVANE 274B in Jan., 2012 and regarded it as influential as WE antique engraved 274B. Several months ago I went to Zhang’s hometown Shandong. He has a JBL S9900 whose voice is the most beautiful in the horn speaker systems at home and whose excellent sound effect makes me regard it as one of the three best voicing horn speakers. Therefore, Zhang’s assessments made me watch PSVANE item with different eyes. As I know, PSVANE adopts the original designing graph paper and some part of the original materials and was made by some exquisite experienced workers. When I got a PSVANE 300B, I compared it with two amp tubes of WE antique 300B under the light and found the two have nearly the same shape, weight, filament and anode structure. You must put them into amps and then can know what their differences are. I myself am a fan of 300Bs. WE 91 and 86 are regarded as the standard of monitors recently. The former is designed as single-ended and employs a 300B amp by single track. The latter is designed as push-pull and adopts two 300Bs by single track. For the powerful of the latter one I put it in my Beijiao 5,000-square-foot private house as the “mountain treasure”. But the former one was put at home for backup and it’s really a great joy to use it to push the speakers of WE 757A or TANNOY Black from time to time. 91 uses a pair of WE 300B of 50s which are still as a new one and whose beautiful sound and reliability are undoubted. Actually I was skeptical to PSVANE before I saw it personally, because WE 300B was always the winner in all the 300Bs during the last 20-year comparing and all the questions were how much it won. But when PSVANE was played and I was so surprised to find its voice is nearly the same as WE antique 300B in string music, Chinese opera, Saxophone, the male or female voice. If a person was not told about which 300B item is being played, he can never tell one from another. On the eve of the listening tests, I changed the two several times but could never tell the differences and thus I concluded that PSVANE can surely completely reproduce the charming of WE 300B and is the greatest achievement in the amp producing industry at home. The next step is to test its stability and durability. In order to find whether it will change its pitch or not when used for a long time, I played it together with PSVANE 300B for 5 to 6 hours per night and the fact proves PSVANE performed very well and never changed its voice or sounded weak. Now it was tested for two months and there is no doubt for its reliability and durability any more. During the past days, I always was reluctant to listen WE antique 300B for a long time because of its high price and fragility. The WE 91 usually was shutdown after 2 or 3-hour listening and then change another amp to continue. Now I feel a sense of relief because PSVANE has the same sound effect as it and there is no feeling of “listen costs money” any more if I play WE 91 with PSVANE 300B together.      

PSVANE has brought the great design and the super sound effect of WE 300B again to the world. Thus I think every 300B users should buy one pair to enjoy a real WE voice and for the fanciers who have spare money should buy more to keep the value of money or resist the inflation. Since there are a few such excellent vacuum tubes in last decades and its production is very rare, I think whether it would be produced later or not is still a question. So in a word, buy it in time!          

PSVANE 300B sounds so beautiful that make me have infinite vision of PSVANE 274B rectifier. If Zhang Xiangsan’s remark of “as well as WE” is true, I am not sure how many tubes is enough for me to buy.