Sophia Electric EL34-ST tubes
Jeff Day's Positive Feedback Online Review: "The Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tubes remind me of a cross between 45 and 2A3 triodes in terms of voicing, with a smooth, more brightly lit, nuanced, voluminous presentation of audio from music and film sources, and they are at a level above any EL34 vacuum tubes I have heard with respect to overall musicality and visuospatial performance."
"The Sophia Electric KT88-ST does remind me of the voicing of a classic 300B vacuum tube, with a smooth, rich, nuanced, and voluminous presentation of music and film. The KT88-ST is darker overall than the EL34-ST, and at the same time more vivid in imaging terms."
"Both the Sophia Electric KT88-ST and EL34-ST vacuum tubes shared a common trait in my audio-visual system, which is that they both produced a "bubble of acoustic immersion" that placed me into movies in a way that I felt like I was participating in the unfolding events, rather than just merely watching them, as with typical KT88 or EL34 vacuum tubes."
"Regarding amplifiers, if you are the owner of an original Leben CS-600, I think the Sophia Electric EL34-ST was the best match for the CS-600's voicing. The new Leben CS-600X is considerably different in its voicing, and I found the Sophia Electric KT88-ST to be the best match for the CS-600X."
"In both cases, the Sophia Electric vacuum tubes elevated the performance of the Leben integrated amplifiers beyond anything I have ever experienced from them with more typical EL34 and KT88 vacuum tubes, both in terms of musicality and visuospatial performance, and it is safe to say that the performance of these two integrated amplifiers was much higher than I thought possible when the Sophia Electric vacuum tubes were installed into their circuits."
"To broaden the scope a bit to other amplifiers that don't allow for multiple choices of output tubes in their circuits like the Leben amps do, I suspect that if you have a dedicated EL34 or KT88 based amplifiers, that you will realize similar performance gains with the Sophia Electric KT88-ST and EL34-ST vacuum tubes in their circuits."
"Both the Sophia Electric KT88-ST and EL34-ST vacuum tubes are easy recommendations for their stellar performance in terms of musicality, as well as their impressive visuospatial performance."
"The Sophia Electric KT88-ST and EL34-ST vacuum tubes are quite a bit more expensive than more generic KT88 and EL34 vacuum tubes, but they are a classic case of you get what you pay for, in terms of musicality and visuospatial performance."
"With the long operational life of the Sophia Electric KT88-ST and EL34-ST vacuum tubes in comparison to more generic vacuum tubes, the higher cost of the initial purchase will be offset somewhat over time, as more generic tubes will likely need replacing several times during that same amount of time, making the more expensive initial costs of the Sophia Electric vacuum tubes cost effective over the long term. " -- Full Review
Jeff Day's Comparison: NOS SED "Winged C" EL34 Vs. Sophia Electric EL34-ST Vacuum Tubes:
"Honestly, I couldn't wait to get the SED "Winged C" EL34's out of the Leben CS-600 and get the Sophia Electric EL34-ST's back in to restore the musicality of my system.
Well, the Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tubes ($100 USD each) absolutely creamed the SED "Winged C" EL34 tubes ($60 USD each).
The Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tubes are expensive at $100 USD each, but they definitely deliver from a musical & sonic perspective, and are in a different league from SED "Winged C" EL34 tubes.
The Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tubes seem to be going strong after two years and about 6 months of playing time, averaging probably about 4 hours a day of use. If anything they sound better than ever, so I'm hoping they'll keep going for another year or so before they need replacing.
At around $400 for a quad Sophia Electric EL34-ST vacuum tubes that works out to be $14.30 USD a month to date (28 months), and if they make it to 36 months it works out to about $11.11 a month. That's a little less a month than the price of a Netflix subscription."
Jeff Day's Positive Feedback Online Review: “The Sophia Electric EL34-ST are simply the finest vacuum tubes I've ever had the pleasure to experience in my Leben CS-600 integrated amplifier. They are remarkably musically satisfying, full of emotional impact and excitement, are very refined and articulate, tonally gorgeous, with an effortlessly beautiful and satisfying overall presentation that allowed me to get caught up in the music and forget about everything else.
This patented Sophia Electric coke-bottle EL34-ST (long life version) tube has the richest tonality & the best musicality, a cure for any plain sounding EL34 amplifier.
Sophia Electric EL34 tube is a direct replacement of vintage Telefunken from Germany, or Mullard from UK. It is a premium upgrade choice for amplifiers currently using Chinese EL34, Russian EL34 tubes or Eastern European EL34 tubes.
Not all tubes are created equal.
Grade A (top 10%): $140 per tube with 30 days warranty, $25 extra for one year warranty.
Grade B (top 25%): $115 per tube with 30 days warranty, $25 extra for one year warranty.
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