Sophia Electric Coke-bottle KT88-ST Tubes (long life version)
This patented Sophia Electric coke-bottle KT88-ST (long life version) tube has the most refined sounding with best high frequency extension, a cure for the dark sounding KT88 amplifiers.
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
Positive Feedback Online Reviewer Jeff Day: "Straight out of the boxes these KT88-ST vacuum tubes sounded rich, natural, transparent, and much better than ..." -- original article
Sophia Electric KT88 tubes in the Leben CS600X. Photographer: Jeff Day
Positive Feedback Online Review: "The Sophia Coke Bottle KT88-ST's easily bested my modest collection of glass bottles. These tubes brought to my system clean and detailed high frequencies, round, dimensional, realistic midrange, and full, rich, and taut dynamic bass. This is a very coherent, highly musical tube." -- Francisco Duran
Darren Henley: "The tubes sound so good, that I find myself pulling up track after track. Addictive audio. The most remarkable part of their performance is the seemingly grain-less flow that isn’t limited to the mid-range, but extends in both directions out from center. There is such ease to the sound that I am listening more to music than the sound." -- Full Review
Not all tubes are created equal.
- Option 1: Grade A (top 10%): $175 per tube (or $350 per matched pair) with one year warranty
- Option 2: Grade A (top 10%): $150 per tube (or $300 per matched pair) with 30 days warranty
- Option 3: Grade B (top 25%): $150 per tube (or $300 per matched pair) with one year warranty
- Option 4: Grade B (top 25%): $125 per tube (or $250 per matched pair) with 30 days warranty.
For U.S. domestic, we use USPS priority with insurance -- $15 for up to 4 tubes. Express shipping is also available at higher cost.
For international, we use either DHL or USPS express. Please email us your country and city, so we can find out the shipping cost for you.
Hello Sophia Electric
I have an update of my review from March 2019 on the EL34's. The EL34's are a beautiful sounding tube. The best sounding EL34 I have tried. I now have had the pleasure to listen to your KT88's in my Aric Audio amplifier. Fantastic is all I can say. The KT88's bring the level of music up quite a bit. The highs,mids and lows are better. Don't get me wrong your EL34's are sweet but the 88's bring more to the table. I have tried EAT, Gold Lions, Shuguang, Psvane, EH and Northern Electric. The Sophia's to me and my ears just do it all just right. After 50 hrs. they continue to sound better and better. Thanks again.
Dear Sue and Richard:
I am writing to inform you how delighted I am with the sound of your KT-88 Coke Bottle power tubes in my VAC amplifier. I have tried many varieties of KT-88s and many are quite competitive in excellent extension and detail. What makes the Sophia stand out is their musically natural presentation. This is the result of their even and seamless response throughout the frequency spectrum, with nothing diverting my attention from the music and the artist. I highly recommend your KT88's to all audiophiles seeking a life-like natural presentation. Thank you for your wonderful products and customer service...outstanding!
Dear audiophile friends,
Sophia Electric tubes are my best choice after comparing with all new product tubes on market today, especially on KT88 tubes I bought. After 35 hours burning-in, they sound incredible. I also bought the 12ax7 (driver tube). They totally changed the sound of my system (new McIntosh 275 mark 6). I'm very happy with Sophia tubes.
Just want to thank you for super service seldom seen…
Tubes in five days in my set playing and burning in, truly great.
And the early sound is so delicate and detailed, full of air I hardly can believe it is the same set of McIntosh 75 monos I have. KT88s are definitely redefined by you.