Western Electric or Takatsuki 300Bs?

I'm building a pair of 300B Parallel SET monoblocks and want to fit them with a premium set of 300Bs (two per channel). From what I've read, I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two tubes. The Takatsuki tubes are a bit more expensive (based on Parts Connexion price) and have a much shorter warranty, so I'm leaning toward the WE reissues. 

I read Terry London's Stereo Times review and he seemed pretty enthusiastic regarding the WE tubes. Anyone heard both of these in the same amp? 

The primary concern would be whether PSET prematurely kills tubes.  I primarily ran EML 2a3s in the Kageki and a set of tubes did not last much more than two to three years or so.  I know that other amps, both SET and pushpull running these tubes tend to have longer tube life than this, but, I don't know if that to do with PSET operation vs. other aspects of how the tubes were run.  

The old WE reissue 300bs (from the early 1990s) were extraordinarily long lasting tubes; I know a number of people still running the same set for 20 years.  If the newly reissued tubes are expected to last as long, I hope that your amps will have that kind of tube life.  

I decided to go with the Western Electric tubes for now. I’d like to try the Takatsukis at some point, but the WE tubes are sounding very nice. 

@larryi - I don’t know why I would be concerned about one tube being weaker than the other. This will cause a small reduction in peak power, but this doesn’t concern me. 

Companies losing billions to china and yet they keep their proprietary design data on public accessible servers (not counting on-site thieves)? These people don't sound very bright.

I hope it is not the case, but, I suspect that you will have to be concerned about one tube becoming prematurely weak in your parallel SET setup.  I have not heard of any "cure" for this condition, and certainly Audio Note amps were prone to this happening.  I have a pair of Kageki parallel SET (2a3) that has this as an issue.  The thing is that the amp continues to sound very good even when one tube in a pair tests quite weak.

Good luck on your build and on your search for 3oobs.  

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Ok let’s try this again read my statement …does it not say PSVANE PSVANE PSVANE PSVANE PSVANE WHERE IN MY STATEMENT DOES IT SAY TAKAtsuki….???? All audio made in China is junk PERIOD ?…end of discussion 




Am I to believe you think Takatsuki are made in China? They are not. They are made in Japan. I have lived and worked in Japan and China over many years and take offense at your gross characterization of a culture. I have the highest respect for the working people of Japan. As a people, they are incredibly hard working and meticulous and far more courteous than an average american. The products from China are much more varied depending on the vendor. But iPhones and some of the most precision made electronics come from there. I am very humbled by the wonderful people that I know there.

If your gonna spend good hard earned money on psvane China junk send money to me I will throw it away for you

You guys are doing a good job convincing me to get the Tak's. I appreciate your comments about your experience with these tube. 
That’s good longevity for your Takatsuki 300bs. I strongly suspect that your Ancient Audio SET amplifier has gentler operational point settings in the circuit design. I recall that you and I were among the first on this site to get those tubes circa 211-2012. Time truly flies. 
My pair of Takatsuki is 8.5 years old. Granted, I don't play them every day and I rotate them with a pair of KR Balloons. . . 
I have Takatsuki 300Bs, purchased after a lot of research and at the recommendation of Woo. I love them, worlds above whatever I got stock. I just got what I thought appealed to my aesthetic and were the very best. Have not tried the others. I don’t like swapping stuff… just like to get to the best solution as fast as possible.
In my experience the major determinate for output tube lifespan and reliability is the chosen operational points for the tube in the amplifier circuit and the heat dissipation level of the amplifier circuit. The more conservative these settings,  the less stress/ on the tubes and thus longer lifespan. 

I own the Coincident Frankenstein 300b SET mono blocks and I believe that the operational points are  a bit toward higher/aggressive parameters.  They sound exquisite but may be tougher on certain 300b tubes. I had an early (First production run) white base Takatsuki pair and one failed after  about 2 years of heavy use(The other tested just fine).

Takatsuki replaced the tube without any hassle. They sent me the then new black based pair. One of these failed a few years later. So an amplifier with softer operational point setting may quite likely yield longer service from the tubes.

I've used EML XLS the past 6 years or so and they are a different story altogether.  Ultra rugged, strong and rock solid reliable.  They sound fantastic as well. Authoritative and dynamic sound yet organic leaning. Not as organic as Takatsuki but by no means clinical or analytical.  They convey soul and emotion to my satisfaction. 

I believe that no matter which premium tier 300b you select  it will provide excellent sound quality.  This level of 300b is admittedly expensive but are worth it in a high quality amplifier. No point in hampering this level of amplifier with lower cost lesser performance tubes.
If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said I had settled on the Takatsukis. It's only reading of a couple tube failures and the recent positive WE reviews that has me rethinking. 

I appreciate the positive endorsements for the Takatsukis. For those that own them, do you have an idea of how many hours you have on them?

I listen to my system a lot - it's typically playing 8-10 hours a day when I'm working from home which is most of the time. My work desk is at the back of my listening room. So I'm looking for tubes that will last a while. 

There are a ridiculous number of 300b available. I have Takatsukis and KR Balloon 300b tubes that I swap occasionally. They sound very different. The Takatsuki are warmer, and the KR Balloons more dynamic. I have not heard the WE reissues. I bought 2 pairs of the original (white base) Takatsuki, and one tube failed before it was ever used. I am also curious about the Audio Note 4300e that was sourced from Psvane. 
@jaytor , read the WE warranty carefully, it is prorated over the 5-year period, very much like car tires. 
@jaytor  I have seen a few instances of Takatsuki failure over the years, not really enough to concern me greatly. Don't recall any instances of WE failure. I do agree warranty of great importance, but this dependent upon how hard tube run in any particular amp. If warranty was major issue, I'd go with WE or EML XLS.  As for warranties, I have heard of issues getting tube manufacturers to honor warranty, claims of amps running excessive plate dissipation.voltages.

I placed your SH thread on favorites and will give it a read later.

@sns - Agreed, although there have been a couple recent WE reviews that have been quite positive. But I think the main thing that is prompting me to more strongly consider the WE reissues is the five year warranty. Perhaps I shouldn't worry about this if the Takatsukis are generally reliable.


Well, it did come down to Takasuki and Psvane Acme for me. I'm sure I've seen more consistently good reviews of Takasuki vs. the reissued WE
@dekay - I'm basing my amps on the Audio Note Kit C-Core Interstage monoblocks, with a lot of embellishments (build thread -  https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ank-300b-interstage-monoblocks.1112018/#post-27958720). These use cathode bias ("auto bias") on each tube. I suspect that over time, the changes in tube performance will result in one tube handling most of the load. At some point, I may disable one of the tubes to see if I like the sound better, particularly once I finish my new speakers which will be considerably more efficient. 

Why not just buy both sets?  Take the plunge.  You only live once and you are building your own.
I've already spent more on this project than I had planned, and I don't even know if I'll like the sound. If I love it, I may consider that in the future.

Why limit yourself to these two 300B.
I have spent a fair amount of time reading forum posts and reviews of various 300B tubes. There are fans of all the ones you mentioned. But if there is any hope of making a decision, I have to narrow down the choices. The Takasuki and WE tubes had the most consistently positive reviews in what I've read so far, but few posts/reviews mentioned both at the same time. 

One thing I should note is that my current speakers (GR-Research NX-Oticas) are crossed over to servo subs at about 70Hz. The new speakers I'm building (GR-Research Line Forces) will cross over an octave or so higher. So low bass performance is less important. However, I may end up using these amps in a different system so I don't want to completely ignore this range. 

Thanks all for you inputs.
Why limit yourself to these two 300B. I have custom built 300b monoblocks, considered the two you've listed and Psvane Acme, Linlai Elite, Audio Note, EML, Elrog. In the end I recently placed order for the Acme, will likely try others in future. All have their pluses and minuses, there is no single best 300B based on my extensive research and observations.
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I recently purchased 18 Western Electric 300B tubes for my mono amps and DAC.  I have not placed them in my DAC but I will tell you they were a major improvement over the Gold Lions that I had in my Canary Grand Reference Mono's..  Way better bass and vocals and separation of instruments.  Drums were more pronounced.

Why not just buy both sets?  Take the plunge.  You only live once and you are building your own.  
Do you have a design remedy for the eneven wear, amongst power tubes, associated with parallel SET amps?

Last I looked @ them was 15+++ years ago and this was still/then a common problem.

I went with simple DH/SET because of this (300B @ that time).

I believe that charles1dad owns the Takatsuki 300b's. Maybe he'll chime in.