Welborne Labs Laurel IIx 300B Amplifiers

4.33/5 (3 Reviews) MSRP : $1750.00


Product Description

8 watt 300B monoblocks


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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by pangl a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2007

Bottom Line:   
At the same time I jumped onto the Welborne Lab bandwagon (by buying the Welborne Apollo monoblocks - see my other review), I also purchased a pair of Welborne Laurel 300B (original).

The differences between I and II are subtle, but what you should care most is the original model comes with the better sounding (and thus more expensive) Magnaquest trannies. For this reason alone, get the I if you could.

This pair of Laurel suffered the same fate as my Apollos: Assembly quality by the DIY owner. The original builder (different from the Apollo's) tried to get fancy and came up with all kind of level 1 mods. But seriously, if you are using low output SET amp (like this), your worst enemy is HUM. I do not see anything that would kill your patience quicker than hum.

One interesting experiment I did was to use the traditional 300B vs the Vaic 300VB (blue tubular 300B variant, not sure on the model and make, beg your pardon if I had it wrong). Many people I talked to like the variant better, but I beg to differ. Well, may be the hum thing just get me so down so bad, it doesn't matter.

Unlike the Apollo, I think the Welborne Laurel once could be purchased as factory assembled, which would be what I recommend (very hard to find, and would sell about $300 higher in used market).

I think at the same price, I'd get the Japanese made ICL Softtone 300B intergrated instead (super rare and hard to find anywhere). $850 would get you one (used to be sold new at $1250 plus shipping). The ICL sounds more halographic and engaging, even at the expense of output power (rated at 8wpc but really more sound like an 6wpc). The Welborne has bigger soundstage and sounds less recess, but it doesn't have the engaging quality as the ICL.

Trust me, however, the Welborne Laurel sound way better (even with its hum) vs any Chinese made SET wannabes.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1050.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Miles a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Color,texture,tone,and the ability to play TUNES.That to me is the function of a great amplifier.Imaging and soundstaging,dont have nearly as much to do with a great amp as tone and transfer function.And lets not forget rhythm and pace.This amp gets the IMPORTANT stuff correct.Piano sounds like piano....strings haunt you long after you leave the room.By the way this amp images exceptional ,and cast a very deep soundstge ,but what makes it magical is the other stuff.Of all the amps mentioned above this one is the most complete.Not as fast as the Fi,but I believe that has to do with it's direct coupled design.To be fair I'm talking about a Laurel tuned with Audionote resistors,and caps,as well as Blackgate caps throughout.I have owned all the amps above ,and in my system the Laurel is the most enjoyable...Hands Down.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Welborne



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob K a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The Welborne Laurel 300B amps are outstanding products by an outstanding company. If you are intrigued by tubes in general and 300B's in particular, the Laurels should be on your short list for consideration.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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