Received date: February 22, 2012
I just did the upgrade (in about one hour) and the amplifier is much much better… More details, more extended bass and more controlled midranges.
The trumpets in "So What" (Kind Of Blue -- Miles Davis) don't sound like they are made out of wood anymore (there was some "quacking" before) -- in fact they sound just right.
Joss Sone's voice in "Some Kind of Wonderful (The Soul Sessions) is sweet and the image is wonderful -- she is now standing right in front of me…
Kendra Shank and Larry Willis Quartet now fill the room with their presence in "Tes Yeux Bémol" (Afterglow), and the timbre of the piano is great.
In short, using the Baby Amplifier with a simple DAC (Simaudio Moon 100D) and clean (relatively efficient) speakers (~90dB -- PSB Alpha B1) provides me with a desktop sound system (driven by a MacBook Pro) that has a sound quality that rivals my system in the living room -- which is 10x more expensive... Bravo Sophia Electric!
Received date: 2009
Hi Richard & Sue,Every once in a while you come across a piece of audio equipment that just sounds so much better than it has any right to. Enter the Sophia Electric S.E.T. Music Baby amplifier. In its stock form and paired with fairly sensitive speakers 90db and up it is truly a musical amp from top to bottom. There is just a rightness about the music coming from it. I knew I had something special because I had not experienced this with my 3 previous amps which were pretty heavy hitters, the Primaluna PL-2, Jolida 502 modded and the Onix SP-3. The Onix came the closest. Knowing full well I had a special amp I decided to call Richard and see if I could squeeze every ounce of performance out of the Baby.
I chose to upgrade the signal caps first with the Better Sophia Electric tin foil caps. A noticeable difference loads of detail and bass definition but I want it to sound bigger. Enter the next upgrade ICC power supply caps, and heavy duty RCA jacks (Hate the stock jacks sorry). Well, I have to be honest with you I am an audiophile for 34 years and this amp competes with amps $2000 and up. Huge soundstage, amazing bass and full midrange bloom. It actually plays louder. The top end is phenomenal between the upgrades and the Western Electric 396a tubes forget about it.
There are caveats to obtain this sound. First it is system synergy. My modded music hall cd-25 and Orca designs Focal with the raven R1 tweeters and signal cable all copper cables work and work well together. The speakers are 4 ohm and even in its stock form it didn't break a sweat. You must try the western Electrics also they truly are superior to the other NOS tubes out there.
If you have a Sophia Electric S.E.T. Music Baby, please try these upgrades before you give up on it. Truly one of the most musically right, involving amps I have owned. Easily betters the amps mentioned above including Sophia Electric’s original EL-34.The Baby is one of those special products that can be taken to a level that competes so far above its class. Give it a try. Richard and Sue will set you up with all the parts necessary. Pictures of the upgrades to follow...............................Respectfully Yours Paul Ragozzino