Deja Vu Audio 300B Monoblocks

Any reader of this site will see that I’m a sucker for unique hand built amps, and here we have a very unique pair of 300B monoblocks built by Deja Vu Audio of McLean, Virginia, just down the road from me. I’ve long been curious about Deja Vu, but have never taken the opportunity to go into the showroom and see what they are about. Having heard good things about some of their house built amps (and their amazing Western Electric horns), when this pair came along with a premium tube set, I couldn't resist.

With two 300B tubes running in a single ended parallel configuration, these beauties put out a solid and authoritative 12 watts per side and deliver the sweet single ended 300B midrange that so many audiophiles love, and on just about any speaker system out there. High efficiency is not required here, these will open up and bloom on all but the densest speaker/crossover setup and that makes them very special indeed.

In person these are solid well-built monos with gorgeous figured maple veneers added by a previous owner. It’s hard to photograph just how iridescent these monos look in person, but they are beautiful, have a lot of karma and presence and look very high end in a hand built kind of way. They are enormous at 18x12 each! I knew they were too big for my space but simply had to see for myself. Like a Siren’s song, the promise of massive soundstage and liquid warm mids called me in, and then delivered on that promise. These sound fantastic!

As stated before, I have a love hate relationship with the venerable 300B. It can sound grand and powerful, but often doesn't quite come up to the promise. In this case, these amps bring out all of the good that this quirky tube can deliver and it sounds very liquid and warm but still clear and driven, not slow and syrupy. These amps grip the speaker and sound open and effortless, very live and fleshed out. With 6SN7 inputs, there are a ton of flavor options for driving the 300B. The Sophia Electric blue glass “Classic” 300B tubes seen here are an expensive upscale version said to be closely modeled on the famous Western Electric sound profile. These are definitely special tubes and what a treat to have a quad of them in this fine amplifier.

Having owned a few 300B amps in the past (12 and counting!!!), these sound very near the top of the pile, and with twice the power. If they were built into a single chassis unit that fit my space I’d keep these for the long run. I’d love to hear these powering a pair of Quad ESL 57! I don't know how many amps like this Deja Vu made, but I suspect this might be the one and only pair of no-holds-barred 300B monos out there, and as such these are pretty special. What a treat to have them in my room.

Just gorgeous. These are massive monuments of tube audio.

The figured maple is almost hypnotic!

Cardas binding posts.

Nice high-quality British 6SN7 round out the premium tube set.

Sophia Electric make some of the finest modern tubes on Earth. These are from their premium lineup and are modeled on the classic Western Electric 300B sound profile. I find it interesting that Sophia (and others) have brought back the Arcturus blue glass look, and part of me wonders if this is in some part my doing, having shown off all of my lovely 1920’s and 30’s Arcturus tubes for the past 10 or 12 years. Maybe just my vanity. But why blue and not green? At any rate these sound quite good both in these monos and in John Hogan’s fine 300B SE amp.

The large potted transformers framing the output tubes bring to mind the old Acrosound monos of the 50’s, which are also on my target list!

Very fine amplifiers.

My space is simply bursting at the seams with hifi goodness. Obviously built with thought, the power sections mirror each other, so the power cords and switches are in the center when placed together. Off the shelf amplifiers never go to these lengths, this is a clear sign of a top shelf custom build. These are amazing monoblocks!