Volume difference between amps

I’m trying to figure out why the volume on a pair of 500 watt tube mono blocks is substantially lower then the PS Audio 300s with everything else in the system the same. Both are running in balanced mode. According to the P 20 meters, the 300s are also drawing much less power. Any thoughts? I’m just perplexed. What am I missing?

Depends on the gain structure of your tube amp. At 30.5dB for the BHK monos, they are a relatively high gain amplifier. Something to keep in mind as well, watts doesn’t correlate with how loud it is going to be.


Thanks for the reply. I checked the tube amps and their reported gain is 32 dB. When listening to the 300s with the preamp set to 35, I have to crank it up to about 55 for an equivalent volume when running with the tube mono blocks. And the Focal Sopra 2s are not that hard to drive. I am developing a much better appreciation of what the 300s can do during my A/B testing. Could it just be that the 300s are more efficient?

I wouldn’t think so. You’re absolutely right though, the No. 2 are pretty easy to drive. Only thing I can think of is if the older mono’s tubes have aged or that the amps aren’t truly balanced, thus not getting the added 6dB and just simply offer the balanced connection. Sadly, this is more common than you’d think. Glad you’re loving the 300s! They really are incredible amps!