Mar 312012

Don Garber is an American Master. Don’s Fi electronics delight enthusiasts around the world, not only for their wonderful musical performance, but also for their artisanal hand-crafted quality. Owning a Fi product is a direct-from-the-artist experience, electronic artwork of the highest order. Most of you know how much I loved my Fi 2A3 mono amplifiers, but it turned out that 2A3 amplifiers just don’t have quite enough power on my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers. It is 300B amplifiers that seem to be right in the middle of the sweet spot for the West’s, and I’ve really enjoyed my Sophia Electric 91-01 300B mono amplifiers on them that I reviewed for Positive Feedback.

I was thinking about the Fi 300B mono amplifiers that I reviewed for 6Moons back in 2007 and I decided I should contact Don and order a pair – it’s been far too long since I’ve had a Fi in my system. I ordered a pair of Don’s 300B mono amplifiers with the new Hashimoto output transformers that Don has become so fond of. The order interval for Don’s creations is currently at 10-12 months due to ongoing high demand.

Information about Don’s Fi creations is hard to come by, so I thought I’d post the current pricing for you.

In 120 or 230-40V:

  • 2A3 or 45 mono pair, $4575 (45 less power tubes).
  • Stereo version of above, $3975.
  • 300B mono pair, $7000.
  • WE 421A, $4575.
  • 46 mono pair, $5650.
  • Fi 2b Preamplifier:
  • with MM/MC phono, $8200
  • with MM only phono, $7600
  • linestage only, $7000
  • Evolution preamplifier:
    • With MM phono, $3800
    • Linestage only, $3200

    For X & Y series 230-40V  add $60:

    • X (2A3) Hammond), $1095.
    • X (2A3) (Hashimoto), $1595.
    • X3 (300B), $2895. (for an ‘integrated’ X or X4 with three line inputs, selector switch, and volume control, add $250)
    • X4 (46) (Hammond), $1095.
    • X4 (46) (Hashimoto), $1595.
    • Y line preamplifier, $1095.
    • Yph phono stage, $1195.

    If you send Don an e-mail at asking about current Fi products, this is what he will say:

    “I have a low-price line, the X stereo amplifier (shown here in the basic form), 
     the Y preamp,

    and the Yph phono stage     The X is available in two versiions, the basic with Hammond 125E output transformers and an upgrade to Hashimoto outputs.

    At the top of the line there are the 2A3, 45 and 46 mono amps, the Western Electric 421A stereo amp and the 300B mono amps.  These can be seen at:

    The Jeff Day review of the 2A3 monos is also a good (if slightly biased) overview of my production.  Prices have risen since most of these reviews due to many rising costs, but mainly the change to the superb Hashimoto output transformers. At the end is a current price list. 

    There is a new full-function preamp with MM phono section which is electronically the ultimate evolution of the original fi preamp, appropriately called the Evolution It’s on a single chassis, with an extremely quiet power supply.  This unit has three line inputs, phono and two outputs per side (shown).  It is also available as a linestage only unit.

    The all new top of the line preamp. with separate all-tube regulated power supply is available in three versions — a linestage only, a full-function with MM phono and a full-function with both MM and MC capability  (shown).

    Please let me know if you have any questions.   

    Best regards,

    Don Garber”

    If you have any questions about Don Garber’s wonderful Fi creations you can reach him at

     Posted by at 1:18 pm

      2 Responses to “An American Master: Don Garber of Fi”

    1. Jeff,

      Nice blog-blurb on Don’s gear. And tripling your power from 3 to 8 watts, woo hoo the Westminster’s will like that ! (WE 300B’s I presume ? !!) Your reviews in 6moons and PF have alway’s been fun and informative; Also, I’m dying tp know how big a difference those tranny’s make. (300B MQ vs. 300B Hashimoto or 421a MQ vs. 421a Hashimoto). I’m not big on comparo’s but this is one I’d be interested in !

    2. I purchased a Fi X 2A3 amp that I special ordered with Nature Sound permalloy output trannies. Don told me it was the best sounding X he ever made!

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