Black Pearl

Much like its namesake, the Black Pearl is made of the stuff of legends: the Western Electric 300B. The most famous audio tube ever made, and for good reason - it’s low distortion, clarity and purity of tone set it apart from even other triodes. In the right amplifier the 300B is fast, dynamic and tight, qualities we often associate with larger, more complex pentode topologies.

Like the Calypsos, the Black Pearl started as a personal project with the goal of maximizing the potential of the Western Electric 300b reissue. This is among the very best 300B replicas one can buy, and to many ears, the closest one can get to originals.

The project began with a blank slate, and the decision was made to draw up completely new transformers for the amplifier.  Listening to prototype output transformers of various configurations allowed for total control of voicing, all with the goal of bringing the truest tone out of the Western Electric 300B. Black Pearl was built to display the sound of this exceptional tube with as little extraneous texture as possible.

During this process, core values of ampsandsound such as wide bandwidth and low distortion were present, but a focus was also put on extracting maximum power output from these tubes. A true eight watt amplifier RMS amplifier with plenty of current reserves was achieved after extensive development. The Black Pearl matches the RCA and WE tube manual specs and voltages within ½ a percent and allows for safe use of even vintage 300Bs without concern.

The Black Pearl’s simple package hides the sophistication of its design. While the Black Pearl may look like a single amplifier, it is in reality a true dual mono amplifier built on top of a single chassis. The power supply, power transformers, output transformers, and even the turret boards are all separate. The result is class leading mono block performance with the convenience and ease of a single chassis. Research and development from the Calypso and Red October ultimately aided the final Black Pearl design.

The 300B is loved for its lifelike vocal representation, sense of clarity and space. It is the ultimate Directed Heated Triode. The Black Pearl incorporates this famous tube in a circuit that traces its roots back designed directly for WE and refined by RCA, and updated with a modern 5751 type tube as the input stage, which is both fast and lively to match the 300B, and an easy choice for those wishing to roll input tubes. In using a streamlined circuit, the clarity and inherent sound of the 300B takes center stage. This tube is fast, detailed and pure sounding, and this comes through in spades with the Black Pearl.

The Black Pearl has no compromises. Our skilled team assembles each unit entirely by hand. There is not a single IC, voltage regulator, or silicon chip in the Black Pearl, this amplifier is built in accordance with classic techniques and will last a lifetime because of it. Like Calypso, each channel component is matched by hand throughout the entirety of the amplifier. The front end of this amp is paired with a massive tube rectified dual mono power supply that ensures tight bass and earth-shattering slam.

Our goal with the Black Pearl was to honor the 300B: to do so we did a classic implementation with a single gain stage, zero feedback, and close attention to grounding techniques. The result is a deeper connection with your music, and an inky black background on headphones with no hum noise. The Black Pearl measures a shocking distortion figure of less than 0.5% which is even more impressive when you consider the aforementioned single triode gain stage and absence of feedback. Building an all-triode amplifier that will achieve the purity of tone, speed, low end performance and clarity of the Black Pearl was an enormous challenge, but ampsandsound feels this amp will show off the best qualities of a great 300B.

Purchasing an ampandsound amplifier is an intentional choice to support a company that believes in proven circuits, fanatical implementation/wiring, and use of custom wound transformers. With all ampsandosund amplifiers, we show our work. There are no secrets, we care deeply on how our products are made. If you can eat off it, or follow the circuits by sight, we have not done our jobs well enough. Perhaps less obvious is the sophistication that our transformers represent. Each transformers IP is developed and owned by ampsandsound. We don’t just spec a custom choice but understand how these spec’s impact the sound and allow us to optimize the amplifier from transformer to circuit.

When people talk about ampsandsound products, they often talk about our transformers. The Black Pearl uses the best transformers we have ever developed. The power transformers are massively over spec’d and the output transformers have an incredibly wide bandwidth and provide the Black Pearl with shockingly low distortion measurements given its single ended nature.

Like the transformers we have taken great pride in our metal work. The Chassis is hand fabricated and built with 12-gauge steel. The result is 74lbs of amplifier that feels solid as a rock. To give the Black Pearl a clean look, we covered the transformers and power supply with a gorgeous, damped cover, which further helps reduce mechanical noise.

When it comes time to connect your components to the Black Pearl, you have two choices, a pair of high quality single ended RCA inputs, and a pair of XLR inputs. The XLR inputs use an input transformer to convert the incoming balanced signal to a single ended signal for the amplifier. The input transformer allows you to retain all the benefits of balanced cabling along with providing better bass and a quieter background.

The Black Pearl is everything we could have hoped it to be. It is truly a marvel to behold, and we are proud to call it our new flagship SET amplifier.

Available as 4ohm/8ohm or 8ohm/16ohm configurations.

Input sensitive: with 5751 input @ 2V P-P

Noise: @ 8ohm 530µV RMS

Max Power @  8ohm @ 8 watts RMS

Ultra-wide bandwidth; 10hz to 24khz @ 1 watt -2db 


Black Texture base/Silver Texture cover.

Additional colors are possible as a special order... please call or email for details.


Power and Noise specs are dependent on tube selection.

Actual size is 14”deep, 18” wide and 8”tall. (74lbs)

Amp weighs in at 74lbs/100lbs shipped in a large Pelican style case.

Additional colors are possible as a special order... please call or email for details.

All ampsandsound amps are handmade in Southern California with custom hand-wound output transformers and U.S. sourced parts.

Our amps are hand-made by a small team with quality being our priority.