I get really excited about vacuum tubes!
When Sue and Richard at Sophia Electric contacted me about doing an article about their new Sophia Electric™ EL34-ST vacuum tubes I was quite intrigued.
I don’t know what it is, but every time I see a vacuum tube with the ‘ST’ style of glass bulb shape I just swoon, I think they’re gorgeous.
Not only that, but the new Sophia Electric™ EL34-ST vacuum tubes have a blue ST glass bulb. I don’t know anything about them yet, but if I know Richard, there’s a story there!
Jonathan Halpern had huge success winning ‘best sound of show’ praise (1, 2) with his Leben CS600 at a number of hi-fi shows, impressing such hardened audio writers as Stephen Mejias, John Atkinson, Robert Deutsch, John Marks, and Art Dudley, for example.
What kind of vacuum tubes was Jonathan using in his Leben CS600 that garnered such impressive praise? If you guessed it was EL34’s you’re exactly right.
So I thought it would be fun to try the new Sophia Electric™ EL34-ST vacuum tubes in my Leben CS600 integrated amplifier.
When I was out at the Sophia Electric web site checking out the new Sophia Electric™ EL34-ST vacuum tubes, I noticed that Richard & Sue are also now offering Sophia Electric™ Aqua 274B rectifier tube as well.
I’ve been fortunate in having some very lofty rectifiers to use in my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers, like the beautiful NOS Haltron 5U4G rectifiers that Yazaki-san sent to me to use for our vintage McIntosh adventure (and which I’m still using), or the RCA 5U4GA rectifiers I was using prior to their arrival.
Some of you know that the Western Electric 274B rectifiers were upon the podium of the greatest rectifiers ever made in human history, a rectifier of the gods, and it appears that Richard wants to knock it off the podium with his blue glass Sophia Electric™ Aqua 274B rectifier tube!
I put the blue glass Sophia Electric™ Aqua 274B rectifier tubes into my vintage MC30 monaural amplifiers, let them warm up for a few moments to make sure all was well after their long journey from Sue & Richard, then put on my Henry Mancini’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” LP.
As the stylus touched down in the groove and the music began to play my jaw almost bounced off the floor!
The blue glass Sophia Electric™ Aqua 274B rectifier tubes caused lust bumps to pop up all over my body immediately upon first listen! And that was cold out of the box!
Normally I try to be a little bit reserved about first impressions, but … wow … just wow!
Some of you might remember the series of articles I did on Sophia Electric’s 300B vacuum tubes, culminating with an article about the top-of-the-line Sophia Electric Royal Princess 300B, I’ll be giving the new Sophia Electric™ EL34-ST and 274B rectifier tubes the full treatment, with interviews with Richard about his inspiration for their design, how they came to be, and how they perform.
Stay tuned, this is going to get really interesting!
As always, thanks for stopping by!