User Experience for Sophia Baby II Amplifier
From Audiogon Forum:
ust to share some experience with you all.
Wonderful little amp. "Little" as the rating 5-watt, but the amp is as heavy as many tube amps and sounds strong as at least 20-watt amp. When connected to my 86dB speakers, it sounds a lot louder than its rating of 5-watt, great dynamics.
Initially, I was looking for a good sounding pre-owned single ended triode tube amp (under $1K) that I can listen to music while doing things around the house.
I have a two other single-ended tube amps, I really love them but the tubes are expensive to replace, so a search for a good sounding tube amp that is under $1K and preferred with normal tubes as (EL34, KT88, 6550 or 5881) began. Not much found (!).
Then I came across the Sophia Electric Baby II (5-watt) and the original Baby amp (push-pull 10-watt), both in used market, almost at the same price. Many good reviews on the original Baby but not much for the Baby II, so I was skeptical about the single-ended version (Baby II).
Finally, I contacted Sophia Electric for information about the tubes, input: 6J1 (x2), output: 6P1T(x2). For those of you that are tube experts, there must be some equivalents?
Anyway, I bought a used Baby II...
After a few days in use, I found that it has the quality of those much more expensive SET amps, the beautiful mid-range, 3D image, great soundstage and very well controlled bass (even driving the small monitor type speakers). I have KEF Q150 and some single-driver speakers.
The tubes it uses are not expensive as many other SET amps, but they can not be substituted as I was told. All credits to the well designed output transformers. The amp is very musical and good enough in the main system for serious listening. Mine doesn't have the headphone option, but I would not use this quality sounding amp just for headphone.
I am using Cullen power cord, Canare 4S11 speaker cables, Canare interconnects and digital cable with Onkyo CD player and Schiit multibit DAC. Not much special equipment here, but for acoustic Jazz and Classical music that I listen to, "musical" is the only word I can think of.
This is not the "vintage tube sounding" amp, this is very transparent with sweet mid-range of what single-ended amp is.