Elekit 8600S 300B Tube Amplifier Kit
I’ve been building amplifiers, preamps, speakers, power supplies, cables, and many other audio related components for a number of decades. Is this amplifier good? Yes and no. I personally don’t like the 300B tube since it has too much “push” or what you might also call “tension” in the midrange. Its unnatural sounding. To get this tube to sound good you need a really stiff power supply and that would probably require spending close to $20,000 on just this power amplifier. In my opinion, that’s crazy and totally unnecessary. If you could find the right high efficiency speaker system, you could do this with 2 watts of power and a much more beautiful sounding tube (like the 45 tube). But . . . because so many people think the 300B tube is the end all, I decided to explore it a bit more.
I heard so many positive things about the Elekit 300B amp kit that I decided to order one, built it, and decide for myself. For $1,999 for the Lundahl otuput transformer version (plus a few other upgrades (coupling caps, resistors, and volume pot) this amp sounds excellent. However, it sounds more like a 2A3 amplifier since the rectification is solid state rather than tube based. Because of that, I’m not really interested in this amp beyond the first few that I’ve built and instead am focusing on obtaining the best 300B sound quality possible for the lowest price.
The 300B amp with tube rectification and a choke (in my opinion) is one of the best sounding amplifiers I’ve ever heard but serious money needs to be spent to obtain its benefits. The Elekit is good as a DIY project and an introduction to tube amplifiers but is not the best 300B amplifier I’ve ever heard. It is a good amplifier nonetheless and one that I recommend you work with if you want to learn more about building a quality amp and are willing to invest your own time and money to build one.
I’m including a photo selection of my own build showing how I’ve put one of these together (in my own way) and how I’ve carefully packed it for safe shipping. I hope you can learn from my effort. However, do not contact me for support if you decide to build this amp. I don’t have the time or interest in getting involved. The North American distributor and the Elekit forum in AudioCircle would be the place for this kind of support.
I then purchased a Triode Labs 300B tube with Hashimoto transformers (about $9K in price) and even though that amp had a rectifier tube and choke (unlike the Elekit) it still didn’t sound right no matter what tubes I used. I gave up and finally built the amp I’ve been avoiding all of my life, the 45 tube amp that you now see on the first page of this website. I tried to like the 300B amps but just couldn’t and wasn’t willing to spend close to $20,000 to find one that I might be able to live with. Complexity is also another factor in my avoiding this tube. To get it to sound natural, you need to increase the complexity of the circuit and separate the power supply from the actual circuit. That makes things expensive and very difficult to build and maintain. It just isn’t worth it in my opinion. There are much better roads to travel and I eventually found the right one for me.
Building the Elekit 8600S