Welborne Labs Moondog 2A3 Amplifiers

Welborne Labs Moondog 2A3 Amplifiers 


3 watt 2A3 monoblocks


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[Dec 28, 2001]
Audio Enthusiast


Pure musical, clear, natural, I can't think about a better performance - these are such exceptional amps (with the appropriate high efficiency speakers)


None (except dependency on speaker efficiency)

What can I say after the comments of Jesus Christ. If he likes the Moondogs, they must be something very special (and believe me they are). In my opinion they are one of the most underrated SE Triode Amps. I have to admit I love the sound of 2A3 tubes and for me they are more musical and right than the highly-rated 300B output tubes (this is maybe a matter of personal taste, although the lack of high efficiency speakers on the market makes it easier to understand why the industry focuses on the more powerful 300Bs).

I bought my Moondogs as a kit version, with Chinese 2A3 tubes (which is the cheapest full-kit option Ron Welborne of Welborne Labs offers). It took me longer to build them (2 and a half weeks all in all) than Mr. Welborne says a person who has a little experience in soldering will have to invest (he states a week max.), but it was worth every effort. I have to admit I worked really carefully and double checked every solder joint with the excellent drawings in the manual.

The Moondogs are great when driving speakers from 90db efficiency with moderate 8 ohms impedance for example (depending on your speakers you also can choose 4 or 16 ohms taps from the output transformers). In my case they drive a pair of Altec Model 15 and it works great. They are wonderful with the Chinese 2A3s but improve a lot with Sovtek 2A3s (which are also a bargain!). With the latter 2A3s the Moondogs' sound is smooth, with great midrange, open and fluid, the best top end one could think of - clean and sweet, extremely detailed and absolutely grainless. In other words, you are forced to play music over them because they are so musical and realistic (I often only want to listen for an hour and end up getting lost in music till way after midnight).

Surprisingly the bass performance with my 90db speakers is excellent too (which is one of the key differences the Sovteks are able to deliver in comparison with the Chinese 2A3s). Wow, how good the bass performance will be if you drive speakers with efficiency of 95db and more. This is the improvement I will go for.

The Moondogs are first class amps with my Audio Note Preamp Kit as well as a high class Shindo pre, one of my best friends owns. He was so impressed by these 3.5 watts 2A3 amps that he immediatly ordered a pair of Moondogs at Welborne Labs.

The Moondogs look gorgeous, are extremely musical and a steal for the money. If you have the right speakers - i.e. high efficiency - or are considering to buy such speakers it is a must to give the Moondogs a try.
Go for them ...

PS: My favorite Audio Reviewer, Peter Breuninger, wrote an excellent review about SE Amps in Listener Magazine (Volume 5, Number 4) and he loves the Moondogs, too. I can fully understand why ...

Similar Products Used:

Dynaco ST 70, Verdier 300B SE, some great solid state gear (like Bryston, Omtec,...)

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