MUSIC SPACE TIME MUSIC-300B.3WE TUBE AMPLIFIER
It was so many years ago when I first met Music Space Time amplifier. In an ooccasion I listened for a little while in the Audio Square. The products just entered the Shanghai market then. Frankly, that time it didn¡¯t give me a special impression. One was the reason that I just passed by, another was the sense of listen could only be called normal, no surprise. And its outshape was still on the step of DIY. Unexpectedly, when I met Music Space Time product again, it really surprised me. The model of MUSIC-300B.3WE single-ended tube amplifier was totally different no matter in its outshape or in sound quality. So I paid attention to listen to it again.
The 6th year¡¯s limited edition of classic 300B product
There is a big different in naming the tube amplifier and the transistor amplifier, because the tube amplifier is used to be named by its power amplifying tubes. If one tube amplifier¡¯s name has ¡°300B¡±, we could clearly know the power tube would be 300B tubes then. This way would interest many tube amplifier lovers, because to them, playing amplifier is just playing tubes.
On the MST official website, there are at least 5 models of 300B products. It includes 300B.MK, 300B.WE and 300BBRC in 2006, 300B.2WE and 300B.3WE now. It looks like the MST company pays much attention to the legendary tube of 300B. All these products are different no matter in outshapes or in function settings. I believe the designer must have many experences on designing the 300B.
Now the MUSIC-300B.3WE is the toppest model of the MST 300B products range. This model is called the 6th year¡¯s anniversary limited edition. We could easily know it¡¯s made to commemorate the souvenir of the company in last year.
Moist sense in the cold tune color
The outshape of MUSIC-300B.3WE is totally different from the other range products especially in the craft of the edge of the crate.
The metal cover is finished by polishing. So it looks more brilliant and upgrade. Of course it fits the name of limited edition then. The four corners of the crate are handled by arch shape. The old models use right angle shape. If the old models could be called cool, now it changes more round and soft.
The face board keeps the original design, simple and clear. The volume knob and the inputs selector are symmetrical arranged. The center is the power switch. On back board there are two groups of speaker terminals with different nominal impedances of 4¦¸ and 8¦¸. There are total 3 groups of high level RCA inputs. All the terminals are used gold-plated products.
The power cord uses separation design. Though it¡¯s not a very high grade product, it looks better than the nomal. If you are a freshman, you can use it for a while. When you got some experence, you could change some high grade products to play, it might give you some surprise. In my opinion, the attachment¡¯s quality is good.
Unnormal volume switch
Here, I have to metion the volume switch of the MUSIC-300B.3WE. It¡¯s not the wild using products of ALPS, but TOKYO COSMOS high grade product.
Some audiophiles may not be familiar with TOKYO COSMOS. This brand¡¯s products are often used in PA products. It¡¯s seldom to see in home-use products. The quality is really creditable. At least, I was satisfactory with the smooth sense of adjusting when I used it.
I¡¯m not sure if other MST products use the volume switch. But I ¡®m sure it¡¯s expensive. And I believe the volume switch would influence the tune colour. Compare to the APLS, I think the TOKYO COSMOS could give moist and thick to the tune colour easily. It is said that in overseas people think TOKYO COSMOS has the better sound though it has low C/P value. If it¡¯s true, the MST really spares no expence in building the limited edition.
Using antique tubes
The sound quality of a tube amplifier is always depends on the quality of its AC power and output transformers. And it¡¯s just the advantage for the MST. Looking back to some famous audio factories in history, there were characters in making transformers.
The MST MUSIC-300B.3WE used low internal resistance, low magnetic leakage, and high effitiency o shape AC power transformer to get higher DAMP value. The output transformaer used Nippon Steel Corperation Z10 audio selenium steel sheet, antiheat 4N OFC insulated wires and self-owned reeling technology to be made. The frequency response reaches 12Hz ¨C 38Hz ( - 1 dB ).
The other components including powerful NKNP capacities and multi-layer silver foil capacities were also choosed to get better sound. Even the PWB used 70¦Ìm thick product to get higher S/N value.
The most important components, tubes, were different from others to MST. They used USSR military grade tubes and 300B EH tubes of Russia. To normal tube AMP factories, using antique tubes would bring many questions. We know the biggest difference of tube amplifier and transistor amplifier is using the tubes. But there are many uncertainties in them. The same models of tubes made in different years might sound different. Even in the same year but in different production batches might sound different too. So the work of matches would be very difficult. And if you want to the amplifier could be working steadily, the selecting of tubes would be more greater. So sometimes we can¡¯t take the gauge of the using components, there are many unseen procedures you don¡¯t know.
In the circuit structure, it first used two pentode 6§¨4 to coupling amplifying. The pushing class was two triode 6H6¦°. The power amplifying used 300B EH. It introduced fixed bias and multiple negative feedback to reduce the rigid resistance to get high damp. The commutation used two 5u3 tubes. On the MST website, there are ways of tubes changing. You can change other tubes to prelong the amplifier¡¯s life in the future.
Rich details, Mellow tune colours
I used Linn Majik DS player accopanying MUSIC-300.3WE to push a pair of Spendor bookshelf loudspeakers. The Majik DS player was a digital stream player. I found a 96/24 code, the Super Audio Surround Collection Vol.3, to play. The track 13 was ¡°Missa Brevls-Kyrle¡±. I could feel the real room and air in this music. The amplifier added some own characters in it. But totally the sound could be called natural and real. It kept enough clearity. The sound of the MUSIC-300B.3WE bringed with rich and thick, a little punch and power.
The ninth track was a dynamic work. The MUSIC-300B.3WE was success. Piano tune¡¯s changing, fine and clear. No matter huge dynamic or micro dynamic could be caught vividly. The HF kept smooth and rich. The sound had higher dense. Of course the record itself was great. But if the amplifier didn¡¯t have rich details, the playing couldn¡¯t excite me then.
If your listening room is not very large, and your favourite music is not large symphony works, I think the MUSIC-300B.3WE fits you. For some people who demand huge LF shock, the AMP is hard to do it. This amplifier can only support 8.5w power every channel. The amplifier can give you mellow and beautiful tune colours but not thrill. I tell this is want some freshmen know if you like 300B, you must abandon something. The world is reality, you get something, you loose something. Don¡¯t chase so called all sides of a matter. At least, in my opinion, Music-300b.3WE can give the mellow tune, clear points, and rich tactile sensation is enough to enjoy the music itself.
Digested from¡¶HI-FI&HomeTheater¡·2009.6Writer: Zhao Cong