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Past Review on MA-300B by "The Absolute Sound" magazine, USA (Dec., 2005)

Mactone MA-300B Stereo Triode Power Amplifier

Mactone has to be one of the best-kept secrets in all of high-end audio. I'd never heard of it before now, which is rather amazing considering that the company has been making tube electronics since 1964.

With a home base in Japan, it's only been a few years since Mactone finally made its way into the North American marketplace. And the Mactone MA-300B stereo triode power amp was just introduced into the firm's lineup last November.

Details on the Mactone Web site are a bit sketchy, but from what I've learned, the amp is a push-pull design based around the 300B output tube. Removing the bottom cover reveals quality construction throughout, with point-to-point wiring - no circuit boards. The chassis is nicely finished, with a line-level control for each channel and a "presence" selector to adjust feedback located on the front panel.

But what's really important is the sound. The MA-300B is about as seductively musical an amp as you're going to hear. Without being overly lush or syrupy, it makes the speakers glow with rich, vibrant, tonal color. And while the Mactone is innately smooth and delicate, it isn't overly soft or laidback, either. It throws a highly detailed, transparent, and three-dimensional soundstage, with precise focus and plenty of dynamic sizzle. Since it's rated at only 23 watts, I'm not sure how well this amp would perform with a more challenging load, but when paired with the 14-ohm Coincidents, the MA-300B was synergistic perfection.

The Mactone is going to be tough to part with. Trouble is, unless my 20-year-old listening chair is worth $9500, there's not much left in my house to pawn. Trust me: this is one you really don't want to hear unless you can afford to buy it. Consider yourself warned. SK

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