User Reviews/Feedback for Sophia Electric™ 6SN7/6SL7 Tubes

Received date: June 13, 2015

I was very attentive when I saw your blog describing Sophia Electric’s goal to recreate the famed Mullard CV181 in the image of the 6SN7. The Mullard CV181 and the Raytheon 6SN7WGTA are top performers for my Atmasphere MA1 MKIII mono block amps. It’s almost impossible to find NOS CV181 in today’s marketplace.

In theory, I would hope today’s material science should produced better tubes compared to the good old days. We all know that is not the case. I am quite flabbergasted that the Sophia Electric 6SN7 is more than equal to the CV181, and in some aspects it leaps over the Mullard CV181.

After 150 hours of breaking in, the Sophia Electric 6SN7 has the cleanest clarity of sound. Along with the extremely low noise floor, I thought I was listening to a high-end solid state. I mean the tube has no noise. You can imagine the abundance of new sound details are showing up on my entire TAS HP list LPs.

And this Sophia Electric has incredible speed with superb dynamic swings. Its zippy do-da from soft to loud passages. If this tube is a speaker, it’s an electrostatic design. This 6SN7 tube is crossing into the domain excellence of solid state but retaining all the tube glory like 3D imaging, ambiance, richness of music, non-glaring, and micro dynamics decay of a tailing sound. Indeed this is a beautiful musically sounding tube. This tells me the group that design this tube knows how to listen to music. Its natural and purity sweet sounding.

I find this 6SN7 goes higher in the treble and plunge deeper into the bass region compared to other 6SN7s. If you play Ray Brown’s Soular Energy LP from Pure Audiophile label, you will be stunned by the acoustic bass and piano from the top to bottom frequency range. There is an impact of power exhibited on the piano and acoustic bass strings.

I recently tested other 6SN7 along side with the Sophia Electric 6SN7. The Sophia Electric is like the invisible man and letting other tubes exposing their own character. Wow, what a neutral sounding tube. So let the new real sound begin with the Sophia Electric 6SN7.

Thanks,

Morgan Hew

Studio City, CA

Received date: December 15, 2013

Sophia Electric 6SL7 tube just arrived.

Sounds amazing, quite a musical tube. Picked up an apparent improvement in punch and tailing extensions, and tightness are very well defined, quite 'fast' for a tube performance : ) . The second thing is greater depth imaging than my previous sylvania tube which is slightly more upfront, and good increase in soundstage. Those were the highlights for the first 1 hour of listening.There are still slight grainy sounding which I think will smooth out later perhaps.. great tube mate.

Jeconiah, Malaysia

Received date: February 5, 2013

Hi Sue,

I received the 6SN7 and 6SL7 tubes yesterday and they arrived very well packed and safely. I must say what some beautiful tubes they are, they are so well made a look stunning.

When I put them in my Audio Space Galaxy, I instantly noticed the drop of the noise floor, it's so quiet like never before! Music is placed with so much higher resolution, so much more spacious and so much more details. At the same time so much clarity... I am so astounded by the huge improvement and I did not expect this at all.

Best regards,

Vincent, Australia

Received date: October 22, 2011

Susan just wanted to thank you again for your quick service for my 6sn7 tube order. As I mentioned before, in my 35+ years involved with tube audio, your tubes are the most transparent to the source I have experienced -- Beautiful tone, and a huge soundstage with ton’s of air. I have used a great deal of tubes both new and NOS tubes but to this day yours are the finest sounding that I have heard.

Again thanks very much for your prompt attention.

Regards Jeff Sadowsky

Received date: July 5, 2011

Hi Richard, it’s been many months now since I purchased 8 Sophia 6sn7's for my Cary 05 preamp. At this time I have to tell the audiophile world that these Sophia 6sn7's are by far the very best type tubes I have heard in my system. I have tried the very best NOS types spending many hundreds of dollars to find the very best, no more looking. Again these new tubes have super wide sound stage, very smooth musical 3D midrange and very low distortion, Bass that sounds bigger and more powerful. Richard Thank You for offering these tubes to the audiophile world. Mario

Received date: June 3, 2011

I just wanted to let you know that I am truly enjoying these tubes in my pre-amp! The overall balance is just stunning to say the least. I still feel they are settling in as they seemed a bit aggressive initially but I really noticed today how the high frequencies are becoming smoother and airier with a greater sense of effortlessness which is a good sign indeed and a very difficult aspect to achieve. My system has evolved over many years with essentially the same components but a lot of tweaking so it is very finely tuned and highly resolving. Image depth, soundstage width, dynamics and the overall ability to hear what is on the recording and connect to the performance is better realized with these tubes in a not so subtle way. In addition I want to thank you for the close match on the triodes of each tube, this along with the greater mutual conductance I measured compared to some of the other 6sn7 varieties I have on hand must be contributing a lot to what I am hearing. I had a friend over today who is quite familiar with my set-up and he was absolutely floored with the improvement.

William from Florida

Audiogon Forum posted date: May 27, 2011

I have been "on the wagon" the past few years since I was too busy at work. That has all changed over the past 8 months and I have had the opportunity to spend some time fine tuning the system. I will say this, to all you folks out there with tube gear, that having gone through numerous NOS and various new tubes from different manufacturers over the years in both my Supratek Syrah pre and Berning ZH270 amp I recently installed a pair of closely matched Sophia Electric 6SN7 line tubes in the Supratek. Before installing I thoroughly checked out the tubes on my Hickock tube tester and I have NEVER seen a more closely matched pair of tubes, bar none. These guys really do some serious matching. The results were staggering out of the box. The increase in clarity, dynamics, bass control and balance at all frequencies was beyond anything I have experienced with any other tube I have tried and I've been through MANY of them over the years. Bottom line for 200.00 these tubes are some kind of real "high end" bargain. The great thing is they still aren't broken in; I can still detect a bit of harshness especially in the upper frequencies but see where this is going. They only have 10 hours and 100 is what they recommend before any serious analysis. Impressive indeed and along with the MHDT Havana with an early production Bendix 2C51 output, I feel I have hit the jackpot on a small bet! My vinyl rig is the next project.

By Tubegroover

Received date: May 26, 2011

Hi Susan, we received the pair of 6SN7's and I was VERY pleased. I will be recommending this tube to ALL of our customers for both our modifications and our preamps that use the 6SN7 tube.

Dan, President of ModWright Instruments Inc

Received date: August 3, 2010

Sophia Electric 6SN7 Comments - David M. / August 2010

I own Atma-Sphere M60 Mk3.1 amplifiers which drive high efficiency 2 way waveguide-based monitor speakers. My goal is to have my system reproduce music the way it sounded live when recorded. I therefore seek components which are neutral and do not impart their own colorations or sonic signature.

The M60's use 4 6SN7 driver tubes per monoblock. The v1 and v2 positions are the most critical to the sound quality of these amplifiers given the circuit design. I started off with the stock Chinese 6SN7 tubes which shipped with the amp's and found them to sound a bit thin and etched. I also tried some vintage Russian tubes which were slightly better than the Chinese, but still too thin and etched.

After some research I decided to try NOS RCA, NOS Sylvania, Synergy Hi-Fi, (Shuguang) Black Treasures and Sophia Electric 6SN7's. I found the Sophia's to be clearly the best in terms of all around performance. Bottom line, to my ears the Sophia's sound more like live music than the other tubes. They have excellent definition, a deep soundstage, great dynamics, accurate bass and a natural, organic sound like live music.

If you are in the market for 6SN7 tubes I highly recommend you put the Sophia's on your short list.

Received date: February 25, 2010

Dear Sophia Electric,

My favorite amps are a pair of 2-chassis mono tubes amps made from an article published by Herb Keroes in Radio & Television News November 1955. The article is entitled "Adapting the "Ultra-Linear" Williamson to 6550 Operation." The design takes advantage of the then new Tungsol 6550, as well as the Acrosound T0-330 output transformer. To date, my empirical listening tests have revealed that they sound best with original Tungsol “coke bottle” shaped 6550's. Each amp also uses a pair of 6SN7's (AF amp, driver and phase splitter), and a 5U4G rectifier. My amps were restored by a talented local engineer also designed, and built my custom 2-chassis subminiature tube based preamp. My speakers are a custom 5-panel pair of ESL-63 Quad speakers. The turntable is a Raven AC which has 2 tonearms; a Schroeder Reference with a Shelter 901 rebuilt by Peter Ledermann at Soundsmith for stereo LP’s, and a Schick with a Miyajima mono cartridge for an enhanced mono listening experience. The Keroes amplifier design was revisited nearly half a century later in a 2003 article by John Eckland entitled "The Ultimate PP KT88 Amp" that was published in Issue 19 of Vacuum Tube Valley. In his modern version of these amps, Eckland also used a pair of 6SN7GT's.

Until I tried your premium 6SN7's my favorite version of that tube in these amps was the vintage JAN-CKR VT-231 Ken-Rad with smoked glass envelope, and getter on the bottom. My initial impression of your 6SN7 tubes brand new out of box was that they seemed to have an increased bandwidth over the vintage tubes, but were somewhat bright. Surprisingly, and quite pleasantly, that initial brightness gently diminished as the tubes were used in about one hour. They now have about 100 hours playing time, and I am glad to report that I find them to be superior to my original vintage tubes in all respects. They have an extended frequency range at the top, and the bottom, and also have more dynamic range then the original tubes. They also convey more hall ambiance, and impart a spatial experience that I did not have with the Ken-Rads. I listen mostly to classical, and jazz LP’s, and the reproduced realism using your tubes, and well recorded source material is first rate. The net effect is concert hall realism not an overly detailed presentation – which is what I prefer. In all respects, I prefer your tubes over the originals. In short, they are more musical, and my amps have never sounded better. Having listened to your tubes for an extended period, I would not want to go back to the vintage tubes. These are the first modern tubes I have used that I prefer over NOS original vintage tubes. Congratulations on a significant accomplishment.

Barry

Received date: December 28, 2009

Dear Sophia Electric,

Thank you for the single 6SN7 and two Princess 300B ceramic mesh plate tubes for my upgraded (Black Gates, silver signal caps, silver wire, etc) AudioNote Kit 1. The 6SN7 achieved the most obvious improvement, going significantly louder than the original Russian 6H8C tube and enhancing all aspects of the sound. I believe my original 6H8C must have been 'broken', the improvement was so great. The 300B improvement is not so dramatic, but after around 20 hours of warm up I made a listening comparison with the original Electro Harmonix 300B's and I definitely will be keeping the Princess's. The main attribute to describe the Princess sound is 'pressure'. There is an increase in sound pressure coming out into the room, right across the frequency curve, lending a degree of credibility to the music which was not there before. For example, one of the characteristics of listening to live music, whatever the genre, is that one can look at a particular instrument in the band or orchestra and naturally focus your hearing on it. In the blind world of hifi this is a tough trick to pull off, but the Princess 300B's succeed in providing that degree of natural realism. Why does this matter? Because the emotion and character of the instrumentalists and singers is delivered right to your listening chair, even on old CD's!

Can you let me know which tube would be appropriate to replace the stock 5U4G rectifier tube? I use a PS Audio Power Plant, so the improvement may not be so great. Seems a shame though, not to complete the makeover.

Best regards,

Eric Barnett, NC

Received date: December 12, 2009

Sue,

It has taken me a long time to come up with my impressions of the new Sophia 6SN7 tubes. My preamp is the Cary SLP-05 and my system is all Cary Audio tubes. The preamp takes six 6SN7 tubes (eight if you count the headphone section). I had been previously running some National Union black glass tubes in this preamp and was generally happy with the sound I was getting from them but I am a big fan of Sophia so I was anxious to try the new tubes. I received these in September and immediately installed them. My first impression was that they had more gain and that they were bright and a bit hard. I have been running them for three months now and I no longer think of them as bright or forward. I think the reason I thought this way was because my previous tubes had reached a point where they no longer had any sparkle but I had grown accustomed to this sound so anything new might sound brighter. I know this now because after two months of playing the Sophia I decided to go back to my old tubes and found that there was no magic left in them. I quickly reinstalled the Sophia and the magic was back also I realized that they has smoothed out a bit. I played some LPs last night and they are really beginning to come into their own now.

So how are these tubes? They definitely feel as if they have more gain than the tubes they replaced. They also have a better top end and a larger soundstage. The soundstage is huge. The bottom end is firm without being bloated and everything seems to be quite in proportion. I listen mostly to Jazz and I can say that horns especially sound great. They are very lively with a real you are there kind of presence. I do think that the break in period is quite long however so don’t give up on them too quickly as I was prepared to do. I travel quite a bit for business so it probably takes me longer to put any time in to listen. Over time I have come to think of these as excellent performers. Not so sure I could say the best I ever heard but I am not sure I can say that about anything so they are certainly the best I have ever heard in my system. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to try some of the best 6SN7 tubes to come along in a long time. I liked them so much I bought another set for my second system. Well done!!

John from Freehold, NJ

Received date: November 28, 2009

Hi Richard,

I've only had my tubes (Sophia Electric 6SN7s and 6SL7s) for only four days!! Dam!! What can I say? Let's see? Sweetness, dynamics, large open and the airy soundstage!! Instruments float and hang forever in a midrange of musical bliss.

Vocals??!! Let's say this: Janice Borla has a CD “Agents of Change”. Her voice is a serious instrument. The listening session was so intense the other night that I could smell her breath. No doubt they are costly, but they are the best. My NOS Sylvanias aren't being missed even once. Here is my take on these products! Buy them!! Awesome!! Thank you, Sue and Richard.

Charles
Brooklyn, New York

Electronics I own:

Almarro 318b Integrated Amplifier,
Wadia 23 cd player,
Ed Schillings Hornshoppe speakers,
Synergistic resolution reference cables.

Received date: November 16, 2009

Hello from Spain,

I have a Cary Audio integrated SLI 80 signature from 2004. I have used two 6922 JAN NOS USA (excellent and balanced tube) and now I have Amperex NOS Philips E88CC in preamplifier section (another sonic and different texture...liquid and defined mids, more tridimiensional sound stage and extended highs, but less bass…), with two 6sn7 wgta USA and two RCA 5u4gb in rectification sections. Recently I made an order of two Sophia Electric Princess 274B rigid plate and two Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes and the change was....simply wonderfullllllllllll!!! The general stage grows more and more in all directions....the roundness, smoothness, 3d, extended bass in the music texture is really amazing!!! There is not any sign of harshness in anyway... Every note sounds like pure silk.

My congratulations by your great work and I cheer you up to continue in that way.

David
Spain

Received date: August 3, 2009

Dear Sophia Electric,

I bought six pieces of Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes ten days ago. These coke bottle 6SN7 tubes are the best 6SN7s I have ever heard. The sound is PURE, transparent and it is 3-D with stability.

Jaime from Chile

Received date: July 28, 2009

Dear Sophia Electric,

I own a Viva Solista 845 tube amplifier that uses 6SN7 tubes as driver. I ordered two 6SN7 tubes from you ten days ago.

My first reaction to these coke bottle 6SN7 tubes was positive. Looked at the workmanship, brass base and gold pins, it was quality in detail.

I have owned several NOS top brand 6SN7 tubes: Sylvania and RCA, etc. After I bought Solista 845 amp, I even pursued to get a pair of the highly regarded and high rated NOS Sylvania 6SN7 from a dealer’s private stock. It was the best I have heard at that time.

However, when I plugged in this new Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes, immediately, the sound stage opened up, the sound became fuller and the drive capability to my 845 amplifier became much more improved.

After ten days (about 30-40 hours later), it is even better. Now I can conclude these Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes are clearly better than the NOS Sylvania and RCA 6SN7 tubes I have been played with. The soundstage is so much larger, I can pin point the instrument on stage. I feel as if I was there. It is 3-dimensional and it is sensational! This is one of the biggest upgrades in sound in my system.

Anyone who own tube equipment requiring 6SN7 tubes, definitely should try these incredible Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes. They owe themselves to hear the very best 6SN7 from Sophia Electric.

George G. from Chicago, IL

My system:
Clear audio reference turntable
Viva Solista 845 tube amplifier
Speaker: Hamilton Audio Taramount
Siltech G6 cables
Metronome CD player

Received date: July 10, 2009

Hi Sue,

The Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes came in this afternoon. I tried them this evening. I like the sound very much. They are sweet, detail and full. I like them more than my red base RCA and the hot Sylvania VT231.

My system,

Speakers:
Tannoy Red 15" orange dust cover in GRF cabinet
Tannoy Red 15" black dust cover
Mastering Lab "Big Red" Altec 604E2 with Mastering Lab crossover
JBL 4311 2 pairs

Amplifiers:
DIY SE 300B
DIY SE 2A3
DIY SE 45
McIntosh MC-240
Dynaco ST35, ST70, Mark III all modified
Heathkit W5-M restored

Preamps:
Audio Research LS25 MKii
Dynaco PAS 3

CD trans: Mark Levinson #37

DAC: Audio Note 1.1x

Thanks.

Joe from NYC