Sophia Electric Royal Princess 300B
Feb 13, 2012 at 4:48 AM Post #31 of 35

Blackmore

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[size=10pt]Personally, I would go for EML 300B XLS, EAT 300B or KR 300B Balloon, however none of them I have tried, only feedbacks from others. I am not much regarded about Chinese made tubes, sorry, but that's my opinion based on my system.[/size]
 
[size=10pt]I own AVVT AV 32B SL, AVVT C37 and KR 300B Tubular type, all not in production anymore[/size]

 
Quote:
Oops.  I meant the EML carbon (hard) plate. My WE tubes are going.  I guess my available choices (Denmark) are the EML carbon plates and the Sophia Royal Princess, although I am not sure where to find the Sophia in the EU (which I would prefer due to 25% vat + roughly 20 Euro handling charge by the tax office).
 



 
 
Apr 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM Post #32 of 35

a1joe507

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Hello, all,
 
CADiver (Dominic) has sold me his Sophia Princess Carbon tubes, which I use as my main 300B tubes in a WA5-LE for headphones only.  I auditioned the SP Carbons against the SP Mesh tubes.  Dominic suggested that I post some impressions of the differences in this thread, just to have another person’s opinion on the sound.  Also, many impressions of the 300B tubes are from people who are not exclusively headphone listeners, and as I am exclusively a headphone listener the opinion may prove helpful in that way as well.
 
My source is an Audiolab 8200CDQ, my amp is a WA5-LE, and my headphones are BeyerDynamic T1s.
 
The Carbon princess tubes are a more modern sounding tube as CADiver has mentioned.  They are full on bass in a way that may be a bit much for some people, but especially when dealing with headphones where one can miss out on the felt impact of bass in a room, the extra punch is welcomed (I think).  I imagine that in a fairly neutral speaker rig these tubes might be just a bit bottom heavy for many people. The mid range is focused and somewhat polished.  But, this seems to my ears to be accomplished somewhat by there being a dip around the 1k mark, which while thinning the upper midrange a bit, can also have the effect of cleaning up the sound.  This is probably the facet that most easily lends a “modern” quality to the tube.  The highs are not as prominent or extended as other tubes (e.g., the mesh Sophias) but I would not be comfortable calling them rolled off.  I am not sure to what extent the somewhat relaxed highs would affect imaging in a speaker rig, as I only listen to headphones.  In the T1s, there is no unsatisfying shortage of highs with these tubes. Dynamics in general are great, which I believe is due in part to the focused sound.
 
That focused sound is in contrast to the mesh tubes.  The mesh tubes seem to just slightly nock the music out of focus a bit, but in a way that can make listening a less critical activity (which one may or may not enjoy). I found myself (as I have also read from other people’s comments regarding the mesh tubes) reaching for the mesh tubes while listening to modern rock recordings vs orchestral or chamber music, the latter for which I preferred the carbons, hands down. The bottom end of the mesh tubes was not nearly as present as the carbons, and the upper frequencies seemed more present.  However, the upper frequencies did seem a bit sparkly, so to speak, and not as smooth as I have heard some people describe them.  (Other people in this thread and elsewhere I think have actually agreed with my impressions, that the highs are actually not that pleasing, though certainly present!) The slight dip around 1k that I heard with the carbon tubes was gone with the mesh tubes.  Dynamics were plainly lacking compared to the carbon tubes.
 
I hope that gives people some further impressions of the difference between the two tubes. Feel free to ask me any questions about it.
 
 
Apr 16, 2012 at 7:44 AM Post #33 of 35

Frihed89

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It sounds like the mesh plates are a more "inviting" tube that draws you into the music, while the carbon plates put the music "out there" in front of you.
 
I don't have a 300B (or any DHT) headphone amp (but am leaning toward the 2A3); however, I do have a 300B AN Meishu integrated amp with WE300B tubes.  They have lasted a long time, but some day I will have to replace them.  I was leaning toward the EML carbon plate.  Now, I am not sure.  I tend to prefer engaging tubes in a speaker amp that fit together with the AN sonic philosophy and presentation.
 
 
 
Jan 13, 2015 at 5:13 PM Post #34 of 35

LarryFRCGP

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Just received my Sophia Electric Royal Princess 300B, a lightly demo pair for < 150 hrs
Guess it has been broken in, the moment I rolled into my Yaqin 300C and biased both at 0.8V, wow...
 
Norah Jones and Diana Krall literally came into my room and sang next to me! Scary level of tonality and realism.
When I play Vivaldi's Four Seasons conducted by Seiji Ozawa of BSO, the whole musical stage come to my mind as I close my eyes, and I can almost point out where exactly the different violins and cellos are positioned.
 
So far I have listened to the stock Shugang 300B-98, JJ-300B and the Sophia Electric Mesh Plate 300B. This Royal Princess 300B just tops them all, hands down.
 
Larry
 

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