Review for Sophia Electric™ 300B Mesh Plate Tubes - By Mr. Singleton, Utah (2002)
I appreciate your quick response in delivering my order and our conversations. Your 'customer service' is to be commended!
I thought I'd give you a quick preliminary review of the 300b Mesh plates.
After installing the tubes and adjusting the bias to 65ma, I let the amps warm up while playing music for approximately four hours. I couldn't stand waiting any longer than that.
My initial expectations were that the tubes would sound rather harsh given the extremely short burn in time. To my amazement the 300b amp's sounded very smooth with just the right amount of warmness. Immediately I heard more detail and a quite background.
As the tubes continued to cook in, approximately 8 hours, I was amazed to hear the breadth and width of the soundstage. Additionally, there seemed to be a spotlight on the performers, no, the entire soundstage! The sound had become much more natural and involving.
After approximately 12 hours, the sound had reached an emotional level of involvement with the music. Performers were in the room with articulation and a presence that pulled me into the performance as I've experienced only with live music.
Laundry list of impressions:
Bass is much tighter and articulated and is anything BUT 'one note bass'.
Midrange is smooth and dripping with natural warmth and nuance.
Highs are extended, natural and full of detail, never strident or rolled off. The coherence of the high frequency response with the midrange freely distinguishes the performers on the stage and breaths a breath of life to each individual. This performance parameter is probably responsible for the outstanding imaging that these tubes bring.
The soundstage is VERY expansive with individual performers performing in their own 'space' while being connected to the overall performance with a shared sense of space (air).
Tonal balance is outstanding with tight, articulated bass, seamless liquid midrange that renders female vocals tied directly to your heart strings and highs that breath life into every aspect of the performance. The tonal balance is not tilted in either direction. These tubes just sound very natural!
Put into perspective: I've listened to various 300 B's including the W. E. The Mesh plates sound the most natural of any tubes I've listened to in the past, but I must tell you that my listening experience for the past two years has been with the Cetron 300 B. My mesh plate comments should be taken in this context. Having said that, while I have no valid memory, on a point by point basis of comparison, I can say that I don't recall being so involved with the music as I do with the 300 B Meshplates.
These tubes should be on every 300 B users audition list. They are outstanding performers at any price and I consider them to be the bargain of century at the $350.00 list price point. The Mesh plates may be the BEST sounding 300B yet.
By the way, these tubes are absolutely gorgeous. The vintage shape is very appealing. Interestingly, the two getters placed at the bottom of the tube cast a silvery sheen that hides the support rods etc from casual viewing. The affect is to showcase the beautifully executed plate structure. And this is before you even install the tubes and warm up the filaments! In play, I was mesmerized by the slotted plate structure. The warm glow emanating from the filaments through the plate is simply beautiful. Visually stunning with outstanding performance equals true art to my ears.
Thanks Richard for your help in expediting the shipment. I look forward to doing business with you in the future.