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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Whitby, ON, CA
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Well, another venture down the rabbit hole in search of an outstanding tube that isn't NOS and will compare favorably with the old warhorses from days of yore.

In the 2 plus years that I have had my Leben SC600, a good number of tubes have been used and for the most part have been pretty good. Tubes that have been in rotation for this amp have been GEC KT66's, Mullard XF2's ( double halo ) Shuguang 6CA7 Treasures,
Psvane KT88 MK11 Treasures, Gold Lion and JJ KT77 tubes. So, overall a pot pourri of different flavours and textures.

As these tubes are quite new, they have not been fully broken in with about 50 plus hours on the odometer. I require quad sets for the Leben and most of the tubes used are of the expensive variety and the Sophia's are no exception. A quad set runs 500.00 USD, so to bring them in with shipping is the 640.00 mark. They were purchased directly from the Sophia Electric Co. in Virginia as a matched set. This would appear to be one of their newer offerings, thus not a lot of available reviews or forum chatter other than the one that Jeff Day had done in Positive Feedback also using a Leben SC600 to run them. I have used a single Sophia 6SN7 in my previous integrated with excellent results, so felt reasonably comfortable with the product, not to mention the review in Positive Feedback hit all the right buttons for a go at these tubes.

First off, this EL34 is a little both physically and in appearance a little different from other EL'34's. It is a blue tint and uses a coke bottle shape so for the appearance cognoscenti out there it sure looks good. The tube was voiced to incorporate the attributes of the older Mullards while adding some of the GEC KT66 sound to the mix giving this tube greater focus and extension while retaining the virtues of these two venerable tube manufacturers. As I have always enjoyed these two NOS tubes, the idea of Sophia pulling this one off in a new production tube got the excitement level pretty up there. The other reason for interest was the estimated life span of this power tube would fall into the 5,000 to 10,000 hour range with median of 7,000 hours. Time will tell.

My system would be a perfect foil for this tube as it described as a tone monster that would bring about a more engaging and lifelike sound to the table. This tube sounded it would fall into my mantra of tone, timbre, texture and transparency. How is it working out?
In a nutshell, it has met and probably on the way to exceed expectations. With 50 to 60 hours on them, it would be rather premature to get the total picture sonically on what they can do, but at this point, the linearity, tone, dynamics and overall soundfield is quite outstanding. Can this possibly be a potent elixir for the age old question of NOS vs. new?

Stay tuned....

I


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:08 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
larboy wrote:

The tube was voiced to incorporate the attributes of the older Mullards while adding some of the GEC KT66 sound to the mix giving this tube greater focus and extension while retaining the virtues of these two venerable tube manufacturers.


Utter nonsense.

Tubes are pieces of (mostly) metals arranged in this or that way inside of a vacuum surrounded by glass.

Did they follow exact Mullard or GEC formulas when making those metals?

Cathode cellular structure/mechanical shape are exact copy of Mullard or GEC?

Plate – Mullard or GEC?

Grids?

To ‘voice to incorporate attributes’???? What’s your real purpose for giving us this audio fiction?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:08 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Whitby, ON, CA
novisad wrote:
larboy wrote:

The tube was voiced to incorporate the attributes of the older Mullards while adding some of the GEC KT66 sound to the mix giving this tube greater focus and extension while retaining the virtues of these two venerable tube manufacturers.


Utter nonsense.

Tubes are pieces of (mostly) metals arranged in this or that way inside of a vacuum surrounded by glass.

Did they follow exact Mullard or GEC formulas when making those metals?

Cathode cellular structure/mechanical shape are exact copy of Mullard or GEC?

Plate – Mullard or GEC?

Grids?

To ‘voice to incorporate attributes’???? What’s your real purpose for giving us this audio fiction?

I appreciate your inquiring mind about this subject, but this was not written as a science editorial. It was written as it is a comparatively new tube on the market that some of us might share. I'm sure Richard at Sophia would be very helpful as to the insight of this particular tube.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:50 pm
Posts: 1067
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, NB, CA
larboy wrote:
novisad wrote:
larboy wrote:

The tube was voiced to incorporate the attributes of the older Mullards while adding some of the GEC KT66 sound to the mix giving this tube greater focus and extension while retaining the virtues of these two venerable tube manufacturers.


Utter nonsense.

Tubes are pieces of (mostly) metals arranged in this or that way inside of a vacuum surrounded by glass.

Did they follow exact Mullard or GEC formulas when making those metals?

Cathode cellular structure/mechanical shape are exact copy of Mullard or GEC?

Plate – Mullard or GEC?

Grids?

To ‘voice to incorporate attributes’???? What’s your real purpose for giving us this audio fiction?

I appreciate your inquiring mind about this subject, but this was not written as a science editorial. It was written as it is a comparatively new tube on the market that some of us might share. I'm sure Richard at Sophia would be very helpful as to the insight of this particular tube.



Then let Richard personally spread the bull****.

del Sol


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:58 pm
Posts: 1148
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
my, my... such negativity. They're $$$ but I am curious as to how they'd sound in my Rogue Atlas.


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