Western Electric 300b
Western Electric 300b
Audio Valves (Pair)
What if the best sound was achieved decades ago? In 1938, Western Electric manufactured the first type 300-B electron tube. It was a breakthrough power triode, but in those days it hummed away from behind a curtain in early Hollywood sound systems. The same things that served moviegoers back then—low noise, ultra-long life, sonic purity and warmth—made it a standout tube for music lovers and vintage audio collectors as the years passed. Deep into the age of the transistor, communities around the world in search of true, original, high-fidelity sound rediscovered the 300-B and its exceptional performance. New amplifier designs brought the tube front and center, its customary yellow lettering on proud display.
Sometimes, the old ways are the best.
Today, the 300-B is re-entering production at the Rossville Works. Western Electric’s new manufacturing home was custom-built to master the dozens of individual demands of tube making, from sealing the iconic glass bulb to the complex metallurgic processes within. WE have modernised the production line here to establish forward momentum at a company with 150 years of history. Western Electric believes twenty-first century listeners deserve twenty-first century manufacturing standards.
Features and Specifications
Balanced, Powerful and Refined
The WE 300-B’s sound is balanced, powerful and refined with quality bass from the lowest frequencies through the upper bass. The midrange above is a thing of beauty; dulcet tones, seductive vocals, instruments of all types dimensional and present, all heightening the participatory elements of music.
Burnished and Beautifully Seductive
High frequencies are at once transparent, lovely, sweet, burnished and beautifully seductive. The air and space between performers is extraordinary, performers appear on a quiet and focused soundstage whose width and depth are masterfully rendered. You don’t have to search to find the sweet spot with a WE 300-B amplifier, it’s all around you.
Q. I am seeing a blue glow inside my WE300-B. Is this bad or a feature?
A. A blue glow may appear in the dome of the WE300-B just below the upper mica and the top edge of the plate. The space between the plate and glass is small at this point (less than 1/8 in.) and appears to be the only area of the tube where this phenomenon takes place. The glow is caused by the electrons striking the plate, volatizing the surface, and dislodging atoms of nickel. High speed barium-strontium electrons from the filament collide with the atom, tearing off electrons, ionizing them and causing a deep blue color even in a well evacuated tube. The glow is a function of the plate voltage and the number of gas molecules in the envelope. In a good vacuum there are still billions of molecules. The electrons do not cause trouble because they all return to the positively charged plate. The size of the glow also varies with plate voltage and is not the same for each tube: it can vary from not discernable to very obvious even in daylight. It does not affect tube performance as can be shown by observing the characteristic curves during tube operation.
However, dangerous levels of gas can ionize throughout the entire bulb from a high voltage spark. In this case, the gas will be pink in color and will cause variations in plate current. Air in the tube will ionize in a similar manner i.e. throughout the entire bulb, but will be more blue than pink. It will oxidize the filament and cause the emission to drop dramatically.
Q.The WE300-B has a center tapped filament that your competitors do not have. Why use the center tapped filament?
A. To prevent electrolysis and to provide an equipotential balance across the cathode in the case of direct current excitation.
Q.Is the WE300-B 100% American made?
A. The WE300-B is manufactured in Rossville, GA and is manufactured with 100% American made materials and components.
Q.What is the useful life expectancy of the WE300-B?
A. The WE300-B is rated for an average life expectancy of 40,000 hours when operated within published specifications. As far as we know, no other 300-B tube available comes close to this life expectancy.
Q.What, if any, are the differences between the newly manufactured WE300-B and the new old stock WE300-B manufactured many years ago?
A. The WE300-B tubes manufactured today are able to take advantage of materials that are of a higher quality and processes that are more advanced than were available in the past. The current tube enjoys a vacuum that is at least two decades lower (2x10**-6) Torr than previous runs due to the employment of turbomolecular vacuum pumps, resulting in longer life. Although the tube is newly produced, the filamentary cathode core material is from the original WE inventory derived from a 1963 melt from the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago. The tooling used in the manufacture of WE 300-Bs is original equipment, some going back as far as 1943.
Q.What is the warranty on the WE300-B?
A. End Users receive a standard 90-day warranty on each tube. Fill out the warranty card and send it within 10 days of original purchase for an extended 5-year limited warranty.