Sophia Electric Princess™ Carbon 300B vs. Princess Mesh 300B vs. Full Music 300B vs. KR 300B - from Simon, Hong Kong (July 2009)
I bought the Sophia Electric Princess 300B Mesh Plate tubes about one month ahead of the Sophia Electric 300B Carbon Plate. I was in love with the Princess 300B Mesh Plate immediately when the tubes arrived my home around 6 months ago. I felt they are the best sounding 300B tubes I have ever listened to. When the Princess Carbon Plate arrived one month later, I was a little disappointed as it was not what I anticipated from typical 300B tubes, from which you expect sweet and warm sounding, with in your face imaging. The Princess Carbon Plate tubes do not provide more of these elements than the Princess Mesh Plate.
I seldom listened to classical music through my system based on a long time assumption that a 300B system is never ideal for playing back classical music. (I am using Cary 300B SEI + Vienna Acoustics Mozart Speakers + Lynn Ikemi CD player)
But once I started to listen to classical music using the Princess Carbon Plate, I changed my mind. The sound stage is much more extended than the Princess Mesh Plate. In the past, I tried to listen to classical music using 300B tubes from Full Music and KR believing these two tubes can provide more extended sound stage and range, but I was never satisfied with what I heard. The Princess Carbon Plate is so far the only 300B tubes which can present the sound stage of a concert hall satisfactorily in my system.
Now I use my Princess Carbon Plate more often than the Princess Mesh Plate. I use the Priness Carbon Plate for classical music and all other music types except small scale jazz and traditional Chinese instrumental music which are still better presented (or exaggerated) with the Princess Mesh Plate in my system. For original 300B lovers you can stick to Princess Mesh Plate. But if you don't want to restrict yourself to certain types of small scale music, Princess Carbon Plate is the choice.
Simon from Hong Kong