User Reviews/Feedback for Sophia Electric™ Princess 300B Mesh Plate Tubes

Received date: September 22, 2016

Richard,

I’ve owned many tube amplifiers over the past 10 years with tubes ranging from KT88s and EL34s but this is my first experience owning a SET utilizing 805 Output tube and 300b driver tubes. After a few weeks of reading message boards, online reviews and talking to Richard personally, I decided to hear for myself how good the Sophia Princess Mesh Plates were in comparison to my stock Shuguang 300b tubes.

My initial impression of these tubes were very impressive, they produced lower floor noise, deeper/wider soundstage, better image separation, better image focus, larger images with more flesh and bones and the Tonality of this tube is breathtaking; it’s like real musicians occupying the space between your loudspeakers. These tubes are Chameleons, my speakers have totally disappeared with no hints of sound coming from the location of the speakers…

All of these attributes were noticed on day one but I finally noticed the change I was looking for last night at the 55 hour mark; ambiance and hall effects which gives the feeling of being in the acoustic space. I cannot even imagine how good these Sophia Princess Mesh Plate 300B tubes will sound after complete burn-in of 100 hours since they have already exceeded my expectation half way through the burn-in process.

It was a pleasure working with Richard and Sue who provided Outstanding Customer Support before and after the sale! It is without question that they have passion for the tubes that we Audiophiles have grown to love…

P.S. CD001, Solo Cello is “Magnificent”!

Ron

Received date: August 29, 2013

Richard:

I must write you to let you know that after eight years of frequent use in my Wavac MD-300b amp, the Sophia Princess 300B Mesh Plates are still going strong and sounding amazing! Whenever I get the urge to put in my old WEs every year or so to see how they sound, I keep coming back to the musical yet detailed sound of your great 300Bs.

I look forward to trying your other offerings, but clearly waiting for my Princess Mesh Plate to "die" first is not a good upgrade strategy as I would be waiting a long time. Keep up the good work and thanks for all those wonderful nights of great music over the years.

Best regards,

Bart Petterle

Received date: September 9, 2011

Dear Sophia Electric,

I wanted to e-mail you with my most-recent experiences with the Sophia Princess mesh plate 300B tubes.

The Princesses mesh plate 300B tubes have now 16-hours on them, and they have really changed in sound. The bass is little tighter, and the music is a lot more dynamic. While there are improvements in the total frequency spectrum, most notable are in the upper mid-range and treble. The treble is even more sparkly without being harsh. I notice that decays on cymbals and other instruments is a little more-extended. This is really nice. It gives you another dimension to the musical experience. It even seems as if there is a slightly-lower noise-floor, if that’s possible. Female vocals are real, and comparable so far to the E-H’s, however Sophia Electric Princess mesh plate 300B tubes have gotten notably better since first listen, so I expect them to sound even better as more break-in hours commence. Another aspect that I’m hearing is the soundstage. Instruments are a little better-defined or positioned in the soundstage, and there appears an even greater difference in depth. This to me has much to do with the “perceived” slight timing differences between the recorded instruments from the recording position relative to their physical position in the music ensemble. In other words, the soundstage is more-defined, slighter wider, and deeper (might I say in layers !) than any other 300-B tube has projected in my system.

I have used Electro-Harmonix (E-H), Genalex Gold-Lion, and J/J Tesla Slovakia 300B tubes. None sound as good as the Princess mesh-plates… The E-H 300B’s do really nothing wrong. They sound really good, until you put in the Princess mesh-plates 300B tubes. Then the whole texture and micro-detail improves as does a layered sound-stage.

Regards,

John

Received date: May 25, 2010

I've tried almost all 300Bs. Sue had explained me the characteristics of Sophia Electric 300Bs. My choice fell on Princess 300B Mesh Plate.

Lately on my system, two mono-block amps DIY scheme Katelelo, listened with WE 300B recent production (very noisy) and Golden Dragon 300B LX with titanium plate.

Both tubes are very pleasant listening, but both have some deficiencies, the ideal would be a tube that had the advantages of both without having their defects.

Well, with Princess 300B Mesh Plate I think I found what I was looking for, these tubes have what I like about of the 300B LX and the WE 300B have, but without having their defects.

Truly recommended!

Sorry for my English.

Good listening to everyone,

Romeo La Vecchia
Italy

Received date: April, 2008

Dear Sue,

I received the package with 300B yesterday and just wanted to drop a line and say "Thank You sooo much!". 2 weeks ago I started to exchange all small tubes into NOS-tubes in my Audion monoblocks and Edison 1 preamp, all designed by the well-known Swede Erik Andersson. They really started to sing. But nothing like what happened when I changed to your wonderful 300Bs! I am so happy and pleased! I spent 6 hours last evening, going through all my favorite CDs, amazed. I have no words to explain the sound after a short time of "burning". I am stunned and very happy!

Once again, "Thank You guys!” for making these amazing tubes.

Yours sincerely,

Bengt Baum, Sweden

Received date: January, 2007

Dear Sue, come avevo promesso, ti scrivo dopo circa 1.500 ore di ascolto delle S.E.T. Princess 300B Mesh Plate Tubes . Ti confermo tutte le impressioni positive che ti avevo scritto dopo i primi giorni di ascolto e anzi penso che queste vostre 300B, non solo rappresentino un prodotto straordinario, ma ancor pi straordinario per il loro prezzo d'acquisto, a mio parere enormemente conveniente. Un caro saluto. Sergio Billi.

Received date: November, 2006

Sophia Electric Princess 300B mesh plate tubes are the best 300B's I have ever heard. I only had about 80 hours on them and they are already better than the TJ 300B mesh plate. I also compared the princess to Svetlana 300B, Sovtek 6A3, Sovtek 300B, Alesa VV30B, Alesa VV302B, and JJ 300B, and the princess came out ahead of them all. The Princess 300B mesh plate tubes give a very coherent, detailed, natural sound that all instruments come out very distinct but yet natural. Wood instruments come out very close to a real wood instruments, piano pieces come out like a real piano. My friends like them very much. They call them very natural sounding and less hi-fi. At first, I did not quite understand what they meant, then I finally realized that their definition of hi-fi means exaggerated dynamics and instruments, things that blows on you, well, the princess is not like that, the princess give you music not noise.

Alex, California, USA

Received date: August, 2006

Dear Richard, Just received my Princess 300B mesh plate tubes. I was originally draw to the 300B for the clean signal. I was draw by the transient speed, harmonic richness, detail, excellent mid-bass. For me the 300B was just plain more involving. Your 300B is, to my ears, superior to my Western Electric 300B, and that is right out of the box. Your 300B allows me to better understand the musical lines. Is that because it is more linear? Your 300B also sounds bigger, more robust, and has better musical continuity. Thank you for an excellent power tube. Sincerely Fred

Received date: July, 2006

Hi Sue,

After several tests, I can tell you my impression about the Sophia Electric "mesh" Princess 300B I bought from you. My comparison has been done with the WE 300B on the Cary CAD SEI integrated used as headphone amplifier with a Sennheiser HD650/Equinox cabled. On the amp the other tubes are Tung Sol round plate-round mica- 6sn7GT NOS December 1942.

Now I prefer the princess because they are more detailed and dynamic. Especially in the mid-bass and low-bass region this tube beats the WE. Even in the upper high frequency the Sophia Electric is better not rolled off as the WE and more open and airy sound. With this clear and detailed sound the soundstage is also better and the position of each instruments and voices are more precise. This tube matches perfectly in the Cary CAD SEI integrated.

I'm an Italian passionate headphone lover (the first here in Italy and one of the first in the world...).

Just my two cents, sorry for my poor English.

Best!

Nicola Alfonsi(Nik in the headfi.org)

Received date: June, 2006

Having had the two pairs of S.E.T. Princess 300Bs in my main system for 4 months now. I must say I am more than happy.

The system consists of an Audio Note CDT2 + Musical Fidelity X-DAC V3/X-10 V3/X-PSU V3 triple as digital source, a Pro-Ject RPM 9X turntable (fitted with the Van Den Hul MC One cartridge) + Project Tube Box SE + Project Speedbox SE as analog source, an Audio Space DU-6i 300B Push-Pull integrated amp, and a pair of B&W Signature 805 speakers with original stands filled with Danish beach sands. The digital cable is the Kimber Illumination D-60, and phono cables are Van Den Hul D-501 Silver Hybrid and Transparent Audio Ultra Phono. All interconnects are Stealth Audio PGS. Power cords are the Van den hul mainsstream and mainsserver, and the Revelation Audio Labs Passage Cryogenic Silver Reference. Speaker cables are Stealth Audio Hybrid MLT. Power for the source is conditioned with the Octave Filter II, and all electronics have been upgraded with HiFi-Tuning silver fuses, and SoundCare spikes.

Upon replacing the 4 stock power tubes, gone were the annoying microphonics. The sexy open-grid design caught my eyes, especially in long night listening sessions. I have thought that there is little space left for further improvements for the Audio Space DU-6i 300B about a year ago, when I acquired a pair of Mullard ECC32s and a pair of Mullard ECC35s for the preamp and driver tubes. Adding them have been truly a leap ahead, the amp is not bright anymore, with significantly improved articulation. However, after the 4 S.E.T. Princess 300Bs have been in place, I am more and more convinced about the benefits these tubes bring. The signature 805s’ bass is even more firm and yet tight. This is especially evident with Bach and Handel’s organ notes. The slight harsh top-end while playing with the stock 300B tubes has diminished. Murray Perahia’s Goldberg Variations interpretation comes from the B&W is now sweet and warm – easier to my ears. Listening to female voice and acoustic guitar is truly heaven as can be expected from 300B midrange magic that many crave. I have never tried the NOS Western Electric 300Bs, but who cares - I am satisfied with these affordable Princesses. Period.

Good work! Thanks!

Xiaoyuan Gu (Germany)

Received date: April, 2006

Dear Sue, rispondo molto volentieri alla tua richiesta di inviarvi le Mie impressioni d'ascolto, dopo aver sostituito le mie precedenti 4300B LX titanium Golden Dragon (delle quali credevo di essere soddisfatto), con le vostre Sophia Electric Princess 300B. Premetto però che, forse, occorrerà un rodaggio di almeno 100 ore con le nuove valvole, per avere una prima vera impressione definitiva, anche se fin dal primo momento ho avvertito dei miglioramenti netti e sostanziali, e cioè adesso:

- c'è"aria" attorno agli strumenti, che non solo sono usciti nello spazio, dalla scatola in cui erano prima, ma sono diventati anche tridimensionali, rivelando armoniche prima assenti o appena accennate;

- l'assenza di qualsiasi asprezza o stridio dei singoli strumenti; - le masse orchestrali vengono espresse senza confondere i singoli strumenti, che vengono comunque identificati ciascuno anche tridimensionalmente nello spazio;

- la dolcezza estremamente analitica di ogni particolare musicale ed una non troppo evidente, ma avvertibile, maggiore dinamica.

Ritengo però doveroso dirti che i due amplificatori mono in cui utilizzo le Princess 300B e di cui ti allego questa volta anche le foto esterne, funzionano solo > 80 Hz (con tagli passivi nell'amplificatore, come potrai verificare dagli schemi elettrici che ti avevo spedito, cioè con filtri tra i vari stadi dell'amplificatore); (le basse frequenze < 80 Hz vengono riprodotte da altri circuiti e componenti separati, che adesso sarebbe troppo lungo descrivere). Con questo, voglio semplicemente dire che non posso valutare nel mio impianto, al disotto degli 80 Hz, il miglioramento apportato dalle Princess 300B, ma sopra gli 80 Hz mi stanno davvero regalando emozioni sempre nuove ogni volta.

Mi riprometto quindi di scriverti di nuovo, quando avrò superato le 200 ore di funzionamento delle nuove valvole, per dirti le mie impressioni definitive.

Un caro saluto.

Sergio Billi.

Received date: February, 2006

Hello Sue,

I just wanted to tell you that I have been using the tubes (Princess 300B's) that I bought from you for a couple of months now, and they sound incredible. I am using a Cary 300 SEI, Cary 303/300, VPI/Koestu Turntable set up. I think that they are a definite improvement compared to the older 300B Globe Meshplates. The highs offer better detail and seem more airy, while the bass has more weight and authority. Plus, like the Globe Meshplates, the voices are magical. It is enough of an improvement that I don't think that I can go back to the Globe Meshplates. Furthermore, reliability is just as good as the old one.

Lastly, I want to thank you again for your GREAT customer service. You guys ship fast, and are extremely friendly, especially to a recent college grad unlike some dealers I encountered.

Thanks very much!

Patrick, New York, USA

Received date: January, 2006

Hello Richard!

I just wanted to write you a few lines and tell you how the sound has developed during the last few days. Everything has gotten far better just as you said it would and is now much better than with my old tubes.

I must admit that when I first tested the tubes I got a bit worried. I listen to music and I think that many products in the market today give you a wonderful sound, but it's not music. 'Thrill is gone' as B.B. King would put it. The Sophia Electric Princess tubes are certainly not one of those products as they have instead made the music come further more involving and thrilling to listen to. It's very satisfying to be able to go through the CD collection and rediscover a lot of music and musicians again and to realize that passages in the music that I previously did not understand now makes sense. I would recommend these tubes to anyone who wants a deeper musical experience.

Thanks from Christian in Sweden.

Received date: January, 2006

Folks,

In August of last year, I purchased a pair of Princess 300B Meshplates With a One-Year Warranty. I have enjoyed these wonderful tubes since I installed them upon receipt. They are absolutely the best 300Bs I have ever listened to and I like them more than the vintage Western Electric 300Bs they replaced. Most of my audiophile friends think I'm crazy when I tell them this - until they listen to them for themselves.

Everyone I know agrees that these Princess 300B Meshplates are the best sounding 300Bs being manufactured today, regardless of origin or cost. Thanks for making them available.

Jeff, San Francisco, USA

Received date: November, 2005

Hi Sue,

Just wanted to fire off a quick note regarding the Princess 300bs I just received from you.

First off, the customer service was as good as it gets, thank you.

In the past, I have used the TJ Meshplate 300bs in other amps have always been impressed with them. When I was researching 300bs, the Sophia Electric Princess was mentioned in several posts on the net as being very good, and a step up from the standard balloon style 300bs.

The amps that I am using the Princess 300bs are new to me and came with EH 300bs. Frankly, I was disappointed with the sound of these amps with the EH 300bs -- somewhat depressed over their performance and feeling that amps were not quite as good as I had hoped. Of course you can imagine my angst over my situation.

So, after reading all I could on the net on the various 300B offerings, I settled on the WE 300bs, the KR 300bs, the TJ 300bs and the Sophia Electric Princess 300bs, I took the plunge and ordered the Sophias.

Now, obviously I haven't compared them in these amps with anything other than the EH 300bs, so, I don't know if I could have done better with any of the other tubes I was considering.

That being said, I simply have to shout:

The Sophia Electric Princess 300bs are absolutely wonderful.

Right out of the box they absolutely demolished the EH 300bs. Wide open dynamic presentation, lush midranges, silky highs, tons of weight in the bass, in short, all of the wonderful attributes of the 300b tube with just the right amount of 300bness. A fantastic tube.

After a couple of hours of break in, things just got better. You know that something special has occurred when you find your wife rummaging through the old CD shelving, pulling piles of CDs that haven't been played in years, because they weren't satisfying to listen too, and having a marathon listening session till the wee hours.

I couldn't be more thrilled, and I can say with complete candor, that after years of tube rolling, with all different styles and manufacturers of tubes, I have never heard as big an improvement when rolling tubes as I heard with your tube over the Electro Harmonix 300b.

Sincerely,

Lew Hardy
www.vivaldiaudio.com

Received date: November, 2005

Folks,

In August of last year, I purchased a pair of Princess 300B Meshplates With a One-Year Warranty. I have enjoyed these wonderful tubes since I installed them upon receipt. They are absolutely the best 300Bs I have ever listened to and I like them more than the vintage Western Electric 300Bs they replaced. Most of my audiophile friends think I'm crazy when I tell them this - until they listen to them for themselves.

Everyone I know agrees that these Princess 300B Meshplates are the best sounding 300Bs being manufactured today, regardless of origin or cost. Thanks for making them available.

Jeff, San Francisco, USA

Sue,

I have to say that the Princess 300B mesh tubes are a definite step up from the standard globe mesh-plates (which were already the best 300B's I had heard!) Perhaps it is a result of strengthening the plate structure, but the Princess 300B tubes are definitely cleaner in the treble, allowing for both more detail and less harshness on top. This is probably their strongest area of improvement. Overall, there is a wonderful sense of fullness and "body" to instrumental sounds but without any artificial thickness in the bass.

In fact the bass sounds tighter and more controlled than before.

Overall, I have to say these tubes really sing!!

Best regards,

David