2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)
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  1. #1
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    2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    I'm still kicking around the decision of getting another Luxman MQ-88uSE to run a pair as mono blocks. But this amp sounds so good right now, I'm not sure the additional expense is worth it.

    The alternative I've been thinking about has been just to hold off on this purchase and maybe save some pennies and replace the single MQ-88uSE with an MQ-300B sometime next year.

    I know Mike & Joe have had this amp... would it be a better investment in my sound to

    A) Run 2 MQ-88uSE in mono config
    B) Save up for the Uber-amp MQ-300B
    C) Save my money and enjoy what I have, hoping this upgrade monkey gets tired of pestering me and goes away soon.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; (2) Luxman MQ-88uSE monoblock config; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II w/Cifte 12AU7 preamp tube; Luxman DA-06 DAC; Klipsch La Scala II; JL Audio e112; Auralic Aries
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  2. #2
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    While many here love and will only own mono amps, I actually prefer stereo amps. Yes, monos offer better separation and possibly tighter bass.

    My MQ300 amp is insanely good. Granted it’s only 8wpc, but a glorious 8wpc.

    I think your amp is more powerful but I know the MQ300 is dead quiet.

    My vote is wait for a higher end stereo amp and enjoy the sound you have now.
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  4. #3
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    The other thing to think about besides mono or stereo, is which tube in which amp sounds best to your ears. I’m perhaps unusual, but I have a hard time “falling in love” with most 300B amps. I can definitely respect their “SET”-ness, but it usually falls short of “love”. KT88’s I can love (which surprised me, because I had been brainwashed against PP amps).

    Having said that, the KT88 amps were far more expensive than the 300B amps. The ONLY 300B amp I have heard, owned and loved were DIYHIFISUPPLY Lady Day monoblock amps that I had seriously modified from stock, including Blackgate capacitors, Audio Note tantalum resistors, Electraprint power transformers, and Electraprint partially silver stranded output transformers. I loved that amp!

    So besides mono vs stereo, consider PP vs SET, quality of parts and transformers. It ALL makes a difference. I guess what I’m also saying is that you really need to listen to each and compare, in order to know for sure which you will prefer. There are MANY variables that will affect which you will prefer.
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-seven DAC, Totaldac d1-server with Gigafilter
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

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  6. #4
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Quote Originally Posted by JSQT View Post
    I'm still kicking around the decision of getting another Luxman MQ-88uSE to run a pair as mono blocks. But this amp sounds so good right now, I'm not sure the additional expense is worth it.

    The alternative I've been thinking about has been just to hold off on this purchase and maybe save some pennies and replace the single MQ-88uSE with an MQ-300B sometime next year.

    I know Mike & Joe have had this amp... would it be a better investment in my sound to

    A) Run 2 MQ-88uSE in mono config
    B) Save up for the Uber-amp MQ-300B
    C) Save my money and enjoy what I have, hoping this upgrade monkey gets tired of pestering me and goes away soon.
    What’s the efficiency of your speakers?


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  8. #5
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dth31 View Post
    The other thing to think about besides mono or stereo, is which tube in which amp sounds best to your ears. I’m perhaps unusual, but I have a hard time “falling in love” with most 300B amps. I can definitely respect their “SET”-ness, but it usually falls short of “love”. KT88’s I can love (which surprised me, because I had been brainwashed against PP amps).

    Having said that, the KT88 amps were far more expensive than the 300B amps. The ONLY 300B amp I have heard, owned and loved were DIYHIFISUPPLY Lady Day monoblock amps that I had seriously modified from stock, including Blackgate capacitors, Audio Note tantalum resistors, Electraprint power transformers, and Electraprint partially silver stranded output transformers. I loved that amp!

    So besides mono vs stereo, consider PP vs SET, quality of parts and transformers. It ALL makes a difference. I guess what I’m also saying is that you really need to listen to each and compare, in order to know for sure which you will prefer. There are MANY variables that will affect which you will prefer.
    Thanks these are good things to consider. I hadn't thought about the difference in sound between the Luxman push-pull triode & SET amps. I have to say this MQ-88uSE has some kind of black magic fairy dust sprinkled on it because it sounds stunning. I'm just trying to imagine what "more headroom" and "better separation" would sound like in a bridged mono config.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; (2) Luxman MQ-88uSE monoblock config; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II w/Cifte 12AU7 preamp tube; Luxman DA-06 DAC; Klipsch La Scala II; JL Audio e112; Auralic Aries
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  9. #6
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    What’s the efficiency of your speakers?
    I've got the Volti Rivals, which are somewhere between 98-100dB. I think the 300B would power them just fine.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; (2) Luxman MQ-88uSE monoblock config; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II w/Cifte 12AU7 preamp tube; Luxman DA-06 DAC; Klipsch La Scala II; JL Audio e112; Auralic Aries
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  10. #7
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Nice speakers! I think you’re probably right about a 300B SET being enough for those speakers, unless the room is HUGE or you want to shake the walls and windows!

    Your post prompted me to get my 300B SET out this AM and listen to it. Thanks! It still sounds as lovely as I thought I remembered.
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-seven DAC, Totaldac d1-server with Gigafilter
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

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  12. #8
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dth31 View Post

    Your post prompted me to get my 300B SET out this AM and listen to it. Thanks! It still sounds as lovely as I thought I remembered.
    Thanks, what amp is it?

    I heard the new CL-1000 and MQ-300B at Capital Audiofest playing through the big new Devore speakers. However the room was so big and I was unfamiliar with the Devore sound so it was hard for me to attribute any particular sound quality to the amp (or preamp which I really wanted to hear).

    So looking at the choice between bridged mono block MQ-88uSE at 50 WPC, vs the single SET 300B at 8 WPC, it's really a matter of smoothness and detail over headroom and separation I guess. The thing is, this MQ-88uSE is absolutely chock full of depth, detail and finesse. With the Rhumba Extreme preamp adding some speed to the transients it's overall a very special sound. I'm honestly not sure what better "headroom" and separation sound like at this level.

    So I am thinking I just need to get over my upgrade-itis and maybe look at moving to some Rhythmik or REL subs to support the Rivals in the meantime.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; (2) Luxman MQ-88uSE monoblock config; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II w/Cifte 12AU7 preamp tube; Luxman DA-06 DAC; Klipsch La Scala II; JL Audio e112; Auralic Aries
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

  13. #9
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    Re: 2 great valve monos - OR 1 great 300b (Which is better)

    Quote Originally Posted by JSQT View Post
    Thanks, what amp is it?
    The DIYHiFiSupply LadyDay that I upgraded just about everything. Been listening to it all day. It’s going to stay in my system for awhile...

    I hear ya about “upgraditis”. I find the more time I spend on these boards the more I feel the need to upgrade! Sometimes I think I just need something different, which I why I have 2 systems and switch equipment in and out of my 2nd system. Helps me at least a little when I get upgraditis.
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-seven DAC, Totaldac d1-server with Gigafilter
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

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