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New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube (Read 5352 times)
busterfree
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New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
08/30/17 at 01:03:58
 
Has any one tried the new Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube in their Decware gear?

From their website, “Sophia Electric came out with a newly designed Aqua 274B rectifier tube to raise the limitation from 8uf to 47uf. This Aqua 274B can directly replace 5U4G in most amplifiers with great sonic improvement.”

It is still an expensive tube to try at $199, but I am curious to hear any feedback. I read the review below. My interest is peaked but not enough to spend $ yet.

https://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/sexy-blue-tubes-the-sophia-electri...

Anyone try their KT88 or EL34-ST in a Rachel?
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SonicSeeker
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #1 - 08/30/17 at 02:11:31
 
I have always been intrigued by these tubes.
But like many I wont be able to justify the price at least not in the near future but I will probably try them eventually.
I had also asked quite some time ago if anyone had tried them in there Decware gear.
I hope someone here will try them and give us there opinion.
I sure wish I had his toys to listen with.
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busterfree
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #2 - 08/30/17 at 23:53:04
 
The Sophia Electric Aqua 274B seems to be a brand new tube design and not the same as their other 274Bs for what's it worth.

I often wondered about their other 274Bs and the Emission Labs 274B, but I did not try because of high cost and shortened tube life in Decware gear.
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #3 - 08/31/17 at 03:07:03
 

Sophia Electric Aqua 274B is compatible with all Decware gear.  

It was designed like the 274B we use by Valve Art  which is to say it will handle a 47uf capacitor.

The original vintage 274s were restricted to between 4 and 8 uf.
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donovan
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #4 - 09/01/17 at 04:52:42
 
Handsome enough, that's for sure, but too rich for my blood.
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busterfree
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #5 - 11/04/17 at 18:19:30
 
I am giving the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube a try.

I was concerned about ordering because Sophia Electric site did not have a traditional webstore or shopping cart. I am not a fan of phone orders. No worries. It was a smooth PayPal transaction after my initial email.

I am keeping my receipt, but I fully expect to get a year out of this tube (if not several). I was happy with how the system sounded with the Valve Art 274B that ships with the SE84UFO. I am still happy with my system’s sound after installing the Aqua. I think I have about 100 hours on this tube so far....I think the bass is a little better with this new tube.

A $200 rectifier is certainly not needed to get good sound. I sold some gear and used the proceeds to try a tube I was curious about. A win win.
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busterfree
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #6 - 11/04/17 at 18:21:47
 
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busterfree
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #7 - 11/04/17 at 18:22:51
 
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SonicSeeker
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #8 - 11/04/17 at 20:48:21
 
Beautiful looking tube.
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JOMAN
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #9 - 11/09/17 at 10:41:05
 
Curiosity has got the better of me again and I just ordered the Aqua 274B.  Managed to get one for $140.00.  Once I try this tube my rectifier “journey” will end.  I was tempted to try the Mullard U52 but figured that money was better spent on a Z-Rock2.

So far of all the rectifiers I have tried in my system the Mullard GZ32/CV593, AWV 5AS4 and one of the Type 80’s (nice tube) will remain, the others will go and some already have.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #10 - 05/10/18 at 15:18:24
 
Well, I decided to try a pair of these. I have tried two fistfuls of rectifiers in my new Monoblocks. . . pairs of RCA short and bottle type Type 80s, a great pair of Tung-Sol Type 80s, various 5U4G including the Valve Art Steve supplies, RCA and Sylvania, and the one that seems to work best for me is the trusty pair of old 5V4GB RCAs that I have from the 'fifties. With 6N5P in the ZTPRE and the Monoblocks and with an OB3 regulator this works best for me. These Monoblocks show me everything a tube brings to the table. . . .

The acclaim for these rectifiers though calls to me. . . I am going to try them out. Should have them Monday. If it works out better than my other options GREAT! We'll see.
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hdrider
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #11 - 05/12/18 at 17:07:11
 
Lon- Please excuse this left turn on this thread, but what and where are you getting your adapters to allow you to us the 80 tube? Seem kinda interesting? Happy listening, Chris.
P.S. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Sophia 274B when you get them.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #12 - 05/12/18 at 17:31:25
 
The Type 80 are really interesting tubes. . . I've had three brands and two versions so far and each has their flavor to add.

I got the adaptors from ebay. . I have tried both bakelite/plastic black ones and porcelain and brass ones that are more expensive. To be honest I think there's no real sonic difference between them, but the latter look really cool especially in place in the amp.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1PC-4Pin-to-8Pin-Vacuum-Tube-Socket-Adapter-Converter-5...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2PC-Tube-Adapters-4pin-to-8pin-5Z3-80-5U4G-Vintage-Gold...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/WE274A-80-5Z3-TO-5U4G-5Z4P-WE27-HIFI-Tube-Convert-Socke...

The Sophia Electric Aqua are due to arrive today but I probably won't get to listen with any attention til Monday afternoon. My wife has been home sick most of last week and is going to the doctor on Monday morning and I hope to work after that. I love her and want her to be well. . . I don't get much listening to the system except via headphones when she's home.
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Archie
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #13 - 05/12/18 at 18:15:48
 
I bought two of the plastic version from a China seller for under $7 delivered.  They can be had very reasonably.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #14 - 05/12/18 at 18:49:12
 
Absolutely. Do an ebay search.

Well, I'm listening to one of the Aqua 274B right now in the Taboo Mk IV. Dang. I can already tell, twenty minutes into listening, that these are exceptional rectifiers. The sound is more 3D, more layered, more open, very addictive. Shoot. I know I'll need to get anther one in time for the Taboo, and the CSP3 on the build list with my name on it.
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pursuitofnow
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #15 - 05/13/18 at 15:57:22
 
Does anyone know if this tube http://www.sophiaelectric.com/pages/se/274b.htm is compatible or the same specs as the aqua? Or any of the options listed?

I really don't like the blue color and do realize that is superficial, but still...
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hdrider
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #16 - 05/13/18 at 16:17:43
 
Lon- Am I seeing correctly that the Aqua 274B is a four pin tube? is that a direct plug in for the Decware Amps and pre-amp (and of Steve's gear using 5U4 regulators). Seems pretty interesting. It would be pretty sexy looking to see the 274B and two of the Sophia EL34's in our Rachael....but a fair amount os $$$. Keep us posted after you get some time on them. Thanks and happy listening, Chris.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #17 - 05/13/18 at 17:28:28
 
That's correct it is a 4-pin tube, but it has a guide pin and inserting it with that guide pin it fist right into our rectifier sockets and works perfectly. I've managed to listen to it briefly in the Monoblocks and yes they sound very good but my wife is still ill and will be home at least tomorrow if not longer and as eager as i am to realy spend a lot of time with them. . . I don't see it happening soon. . . more's the pity!
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #18 - 05/13/18 at 17:33:46
 
The answer you are looking for is on this page:

http://sophiaelectric.com/pages/se/Aqua_274B.htm

Sophia Electric Princess mesh plate 274B and rigid plate 274B tubes have been widely praised as the best sounding rectifier tubes ever made. However there is a catch - the first capacitor after the rectifier tube needs to be small. The max value allowed for the Princess 274B mesh plate is 4uf, or 8uf for the Princess 274B rigid plate.

The amps we use have a 47uf capacitor in use and though these tubes will work. . . Steve has advised against using them, and they won't last long if you do.

The Aqua 274B seems to have been developed to solve this problem and thus allow its use in our amps and many others.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #19 - 05/14/18 at 01:29:27
 
I've snuck a little bit of time in on the speakers and with the new Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tubes in the Monoblocks.

I have to say these are impressive tubes. There are many good choices for the Monoblocks. These are right up there even this early on as favorites rivaling the RCA 5V4GB that I have been using. They are very balanced top to bottom, very "quiet" in that there is a really black background, and the bass is probably the deepest I've heard from the amps so far, tight, but deep and with presence (a sort of rare combination). The RCA has a fuller bass, but not as deep. . . different source material would lead me to choose one over the other. Treble is also tight and not at all tart--it's controlled but it's not compessed or brittle sounding. The midrange is very open and this contributes a very natural dynamic contrast within the music.

Soundstage has narrowed a bit but gone deeper. And that's more than fine with me.

Quite impressed, as I should be for this costly a tube. I may have to get another one for my CSP3 when it comes so that I can see whether I would prefer it or another in the CSP3 as both those things seem to happen in user experience. If I choose another for the CSP3 the third one will go into the Taboo Mk IV as I already know I like it a lot in that component. . . .

It feels "burned in" already, so if it improves that's icing on the cake. More impressions next week.

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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #20 - 07/05/18 at 20:57:09
 
I've now the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifiers in both 25th Anniversary Monoblocks and the CSP3-25, well-settled in. I have built excellent complements of tubes around these and am enjoying wonderful sound. I've rolled a few rectifiers since but for the first time I've really wanted to put the former rectifier back in quickly. The Sophias just seem so "right." Very quiet, very dynamic, very "precise." I've put a box full of rectifiers away into a closet. . . I'll be using these for a long while. . . . They really bring out all the new and exalted 25th Anniversary characteristics in these components.
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Jess
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #21 - 07/23/18 at 02:37:20
 
Hi, i am new in this forum and happened to browse this topic.

I am considering to get Z-Rock2 next year as it is said to enhance the bass and it lead me to believe this might save users on tube rolling.  

My question is for those with ZR2, do you still need to tube roll the rectifier like the Sophia Aqua 274B? Is ZR2 not capable to deliver the attributes of this premium Aqua 274B.

Thanks
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JOMAN
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #22 - 07/23/18 at 23:01:12
 
The ZR2 ‘plays’ (no pun intended) a completely different roll from the rectifier.  It will ‘reveal’ what it is fed to it by the associated components, the tube sets being a part of those components.  It’s not just about bass.  It has an impact on the entire frequency spectrum.  Without it much of the information that the associated components send will be diminished or ‘masked’.  I have the Sophia 274B Aqua in the UFO25 and had it in the UFO2.  Like Lon, I have rolled a number of rectifiers and the Sophie is my choice.  

If your going to spend the money on a pricey rectifier then it would be a shame not to be able to hear all of it’s attributes.  That’s where the ZR2 comes in.  It doesn’t add or subtract, it simply let’s you hear it all.  

Without getting into all of the details, yes you need both.
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #23 - 07/24/18 at 00:21:16
 
Thanks Joman for providing insight on both and i am more convince to get them.  Am glad to drop by and get the info I needed.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Aqua 274B tube
Reply #24 - 07/24/18 at 00:52:29
 
I have to agree, the rectifiers and the ZROCK2 serve different functions. The Sophia Electric 274B may not be for everyone but I find it's neutral stance and clear presentation lets you get the best out of your sources and also the ZROCK2. I am using this rectifier in my amps and preamp.
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