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New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube (Read 1777 times)
HockessinKid
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New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
04/30/19 at 18:05:28
 
I have not used this new rectifier tube from Sophia Electric, yet. Looks like a direct replacement for several Decware amps and the CSP3. It's on sale for $99.99 until May 31st.

https://sophiaelectric.com/collections/274b-5u4g/products/sophia-electric-5u4g

HK
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #1 - 04/30/19 at 19:30:22
 
Thanks HK.  I just ordered one.  I've been wanting to try the Aqua 274B, but did not want to spend quite that much money.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #2 - 04/30/19 at 20:46:39
 
Part of me wants to believe that these pretty blue tubes will sound better than an older US made 5U4 or 5Z3 but the other part remains skeptical.
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #3 - 04/30/19 at 20:51:30
 
I was skeptical about the Aqua 274B from Sophia Electric, very skeptical. . . but discerning ears had lots of good things to say, and I tried one. . . and ended up putting every rectifier I had on hand against it and ordered some others and compared them to it. . . and it won. Wasn't even close, because each time I take it out I want to put it back in. I now have FOUR. And one day will have another for the final component I have without one.

So. . . yeah, I would be skeptical but my experience with this brand makes me confident they are worth trying. I might in the future.
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #4 - 05/01/19 at 15:34:31
 
Time will tell.  I should have it in a few days.  Looking forward to something different.

Has anyone tried their 12ax7 ?
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Doug
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #5 - 05/01/19 at 22:48:55
 
If I wasnít already loaded up with Sophia Electric 274B Aquas, I would purchase one of their new 5U4G tubes today. †In my pre-Decware life I used various Sophia Electric 2A3 and 300B tubes in my big Cary mono blocks, and they produced incredibly beautiful music. †Richard and team know how to design and manufacture musical tubes! †
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #6 - 05/03/19 at 21:53:09
 
Well, I got the new Sophia 5U4G today. Put it in the amp (fit significantly tighter than my RCA 5U4G). Turned the amp on. Rectifier did not come on and the rectifier fuse blew. I wonder, if for some reason, they arenít compatible???
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #7 - 05/03/19 at 23:28:45
 
What? It certainly SHOULD be compatible. I wonder if the pins were inserted properly, is there a pin guide?
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #8 - 05/03/19 at 23:38:12
 
It does have a pin guide. It can only go in one way, but it is a tight fit.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #9 - 05/04/19 at 00:10:58
 
Sorry to hear that Geno...  I will be receiving mine tomorrow and will give it a shot.  I will share my initial impressions here.

Best,

Alper
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #10 - 05/04/19 at 00:28:51
 
Sorry to throw up an unneeded red flag. The tube is on now. Like I said, the tube has a guide on it and Iím not sure what happened when I put it in the first time, but I tried it again and it is working fine!  The first time I put it in it was unnaturally tight, but went all the way down. Anyway, no sense speculating about what was wrong earlier, because it is ok now. So sorry!
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #11 - 05/04/19 at 00:33:58
 
Good to read! Hope it is sounding nice.
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #12 - 05/04/19 at 00:51:21
 
It is, Lon. Maybe the best rectifier Iíve heard.
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Lon
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #13 - 05/04/19 at 01:06:56
 
Great news!
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pursuitofnow
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #14 - 05/04/19 at 01:07:43
 
Geno, glad to hear it's working out. How would you say it compares to the RCA 5U4G you had in there?
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Geno
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #15 - 05/04/19 at 02:57:27
 
Best description - more detail from top to bottom. Kind of difficult to really assess though, because I just got my amp back from having the mods done. The sound is changing as the caps break in, so Iím hearing both that and the new tube.
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pursuitofnow
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #16 - 05/04/19 at 16:52:10
 
Thanks. I'll check back in a month or so.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #17 - 05/04/19 at 22:07:22
 
I just received the 5U4G from Sophia.  Prior to that I had been listening to the system for last few weeks with an old RCA 5U4GB.  In comparison to the RCA, Sophia has a much better tonal balance with tighter bass.  It is more detailed and the soundstage is a bit deeper and slightly higher.  I definitely like it better than the stock 5U4G and the RCA.

It still does not have the upper shimmer of the NOS Mullard GZ32, but has better bass, I feel like.  I also have Sophia's 274B, and it was my favorite rectifier on my SE84UFO, but I tried it with my SE84UFO25 when the amp was still new and breaking in, so I cannot compare the 274B and 5U4G at this time...
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pursuitofnow
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #18 - 05/05/19 at 18:19:17
 
Sounds very promising. I've been using 1940s RCA smooth plate VT-244 JAN tubes that sound pretty great. But more detail and deeper soundstage is always welcomed. Especially with these anniversary amps that can deliver. I'll have to try the 5U4G and 274B from Sophia.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #19 - 05/05/19 at 21:57:13
 
That is my next plan actually, to compare the 5U4G and 274B of Sophia...
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ArtMan
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #20 - 05/14/19 at 19:41:59
 
I received the Sophia 5U4G and have given it a quick listen. These are my first impressions of the Sophia 5U4G compared to the Aqua.

The sound is cut from the same cloth but they have a different sound in many ways. The most noticeable difference is in the high end. The Aqua has a more extended high end and a much larger sound stage. The 5U4G has a more intimate sound stage and sounds more like a classic tube sound. Both have a very solid bass foundation but the tonality of the bass in the Aqua sounds more real to me. The Aqua is more clear in the midrange while the 5U4G sounds a little more congested in the midrange.

The Sophia 5U4G does sound really nice and I could easily live with it.
There is more complexity in the differences that I would need more time to discern and describe.

My gut reaction was  I could not wait to re-insert the Aqua in my system.
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Doug
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #21 - 05/14/19 at 20:19:23
 
Good quick feedback, Artman!

I have a feeling things may change significantly during break-in. †A pair of Sophia 300Bís that I had a few years ago took around 700 hours to fully bloom, and then their sound became magical. †Keep us posted as you go.
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ArtMan
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #22 - 05/14/19 at 23:34:12
 
Doug,

I've considered that possibility and will give it more time to burn in but my Aqua sounded magnificent from the very moment I plugged it in. I guess I will found out when I can pry my hands off the Aqua.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #23 - 05/15/19 at 04:54:52
 
After a few weeks I took the 5U4G out and installed the 274B (both by Sophia)...  Both tubes are great, but 274B is exquisite!  I do not think I will go back...
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Doug
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #24 - 05/15/19 at 20:18:32
 
Come to think about it, when I installed the 274B Aquas in my CSP3 and Torii Jr a year ago and months ago respectively, the sound quality took an immediate and substantial jump. †I have had no desire whatsoever to do any comparing. †I get it.
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JOMAN
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #25 - 05/16/19 at 00:11:23
 
Heads up... I posted earlier about my Aqua 274B failing and in the process taking out a couple of resisters in the UFO25.  I had a year and a half use out of it and well was a little disappointed but thought oh well it happens.

I bought a spare 274B Aqua and decided to put it in my CSP-3.  I am burning in a type 80 in the UFO25 right now, and this spare Aqua has not been used.  I kept a very close eye on the new 274B after my earlier experience and as it fired up... blue flash and fireworks.  Got to say it was a bit of a show.  Fortunately I was quick on the off switch.

So what to think???  I did take pictures of the bits in the tube after the fireworks and sent it off to Sophia Electric to see what their response will be.

Now Iím not suggesting that the Aqua 274B is an unreliable tube prone to failure.  I may have got the two out who knows how many good ones... BUT still????  And I did like the tube, no question, BUT STILL????

So Iíll see what Sophia Electric has to say about this...
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #26 - 05/16/19 at 00:36:58
 
When I put my Aqua back in after listening to the 5U4G, I noticed there was a piece of loose glass in the tube. The Aqua still works fine and sounds wonderful but it gives me caution about the build quality.
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Doug
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #27 - 05/16/19 at 02:37:11
 
Sorry to hear about your very unfortunate experiences with the Sophia 274B Aqua; itís disturbing. †On the other side of the aisle, I have used lots of Sophia tubes over a 10 year period and have never had a negative issue of any kind. †I hope Richard and Sue make this right for you.
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #28 - 05/16/19 at 05:24:58
 
Thanks Doug and itís good to hear about you positive experience with the Sophia tubes.  I think itís just one of these things that happens and it comes with the hobby.  

Nobody likes it when it does happen and probably the supplier is least happy about situations like this as Iím sure that they do their best but not everything is in their control either.  There are far more serious and important issues to worry about than a couple of tubes regardless of cost.

In for a penny, in for a pound!
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #29 - 05/17/19 at 01:32:55
 
Iíve also pulled the trigger on the new Sophia Electric 5U4G - this being my first foray into tube rolling, iím excited and filled with trepidation about catching this disease.

I was doing some review checking and came up with this quote from positive-feedback.com:

ďSophia Electric doesn't have a lot of data on the lifespan of the Aqua 274B yet, as it is a new tube for them. However, based on earlier 274B rectifier track records, Sue thought it likely that it would have a 5,000 to 10,000-hour lifespan, with the caveat that the amplifier has no more than a 47 uF capacitor in the power supply after the rectifier.Ē

While this is for the 274B, does anyone know if this is an issue for the Torii Jr. or other Decware Amps?
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Re: New Sophia Electric Blue 5U4G Rectifier Tube
Reply #30 - 05/17/19 at 15:01:20
 
Iím following up on the situation that I encountered with the Aqua 274B and the subsequent conversations with Sue at Sophia Electric.  Doug was correct, good people to deal with.  Sue was surprised that I had this issue as they have not had such a situation to date, and she was genuine, I feel.

Because of the time that had transpired I was not given a warrantee on the spare tube but was given a very fair solution.  I am not going to take it at this time and I want it to be clear that it has nothing to do with the way this matter was handled or with a change in my view of  the sonic performance of the Aqua 274B.  

Essentially the problem is with me.  This situation has resurrected a confidence issue that I have had with new production tubes in general.  I was going to spring for a EML 5U4G but at 280.00 a pop... do I want to take the risk now (which has become greater in my mind) - NOT A CHANCE!

So until I can get past myself it would not be right to accept the offer that was extended.  Iím going in a different direction when it comes to tubes and perhaps, Iíll spring for another Sophia eventually because I do like it.

In the meantime, Iíll all follow the experience that all of you will have with the Sophia tubes and that might help.
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