Opinions Please - New Prodduction Sophia EL34ST Coke Bottle

If you use these tubes, have used these tubes or have had the opportunity to hear these tubes, I would be interested in what attributes you think this tube posses with respect to sound stage / image, bass control, hi and low extension, balance, tone, dynamics, etc; maybe in comparison to other EL34 types. Please also note the amp in use and tubes in use (brand, opposed to stock tubes) prior to use of the Sophia EL34. Please advise of any tube you have compared to the Sophia and liked better or didn't like as much and reasoning.
Thank You
Hi I am curious also particularly any comparisons to Gold Lion KT77's,  my EL34 variant of choice.
@ jond

Have you heard Gold Lion KT77comparisons to any of the Psvane or Black Treasure line that Grant Fidelity imports. I had the GL KT77's operating in a pair of Primaluna PL 7's, and  remembering liking there qualities.
I am considering upgrading the current JJ E34L tubes operating in my Ars Sonus Filarmonia, hence the Sophia inquire. Since there around $500.00 for a quad, I was hoping to get some opinions here on AG.
What ever I find out, I will pass along. I contacted Sophia regarding there construction and where they manufactured, only to get a response on how the tube was in great demand and on a month back order. Normally my pursuit would be minimized after a factory response like that, but I once owned a 274B mesh plate that I substituted for a Russian 5AR4 in a Woo Headphone amp and the improvement in SQ was everything I was hoping for and well worth the cost. In addition to my experience with the above referenced rectifier, I would like to hear opinions of others who have heard the EL34 tube.


Brad I have a quad of Psvane EL34's it was the Phillips Holland replica version they make and I found the tubes to be too bright for my tastes. The Gold Lion KT77 has bettered any other EL34 tube I've tried JJ's Winged C, Mullard reproductions to name a few. I haven't messed around with super expensive NOS tubes but the Gold Lion is the best current production EL34 variant I've used. My amp is a PP stereo amp made by Deja Vu Audio, a pair of power tubes per channel putting out 17 wpc triode wired in Class A. I used three 60's era Sylvania 6SN7GTB's up front and a 60s RCA 5AR4 rectifier tube. I hope someone does chime in on the Sophias they sound interesting.

Your observations of the Psvane EL34 Phillips Holland replica, and KT77 comparisons to the other tubes you reference is helpful. Thanks for the input.
I've used the PSvane black bottles for about 2 years. 3 tube failures out of 8 in a CJ amplifier. I've used lots of el34's for the past 20 years I've owned that amp and the new gold lions are pretty good and essentially about the same cost as a set of vintage winged C's. 

For my musical tastes & equipment, the PSvane sounded the best but the amp is used as a midrange amplifier only. Twice the tubes caused other amplifier damage when they went but only about $150 each time for repair costs. But if you add that cost into the original purchase price you are talking about a lot especially when you want matched pairs. So you have purchase price plus replacement cost plus repair cost.

Had same problems with my son's Audio Research tube amp used for mids with Shuguang Black Treasures. 1 in 4 failed and took down parts as usually the case with audio research tube failures. Once again, they did sound the best when working. 

The trouble is nobody stands behind tube reliability especially if you are looking at getting 3 years or so out of them. My friend says the tube manufacturers should all stand behind their "great midrange" claims with a 1 year unconditional money back guarantee.

How nice would that be?

That would help the reliability issue quite a bit & would sure help us tube amplifier owners when it's time to re-tube.

Thanks zadfrak for your contributions.
Although it doesn't really address the SophiaEL34, I included a link (listed below) that provided you have not previously seen it; you may find interesting/helpful

bradf I've read that review before and it totally concurs with my own experiences. Guessing that the Sophia is just so new very few people have had a chance to audition it hence the dearth of responses or reviews.
One tube seller who DOES stand behind his tubes more than others is Roger Modjeski of Ram Tube Works (and Music Reference).
The Sophia EL-34-ST tubes are a revelation in my Unison S6 - easily 60%-70% better than the Tung Sol EL-34B's the amp came with in every meaningful parameter.  The Sophias marry the bloom and sweetness of NOS tubes with modern frequency extension and solid state caliber dynamics and bass punch.  There are no weak areas.  Have not compared them with Psvane or Gold Lion KT77. 
After more extensive listening I have found the blue Sophia EL-34 tubes to be a little too much of a good thing. In my Unison S6 they are bright on a significant number of recordings. For example, listening to the Ray Brown Trio's "Summer Wind - Live at the Loa" SACD, when Gene Harris gets into the upper octaves on the piano the notes start to sound metallic. I switched to a matched sextet of the Gold Lion KT-77's and they were similarly bright. I suspect that this result is unique to the Union S6 with its unusual parallel single ended ultra-linear circuit. Since the amp was voiced for EL-34's I ordered a matched sextet of the Psvane EL-34 PH tubes which are updated replicas of the legendary metal base Phillips EL-34's. These did the trick - all of the positives of the blue Sophia's without the brightness. In the Unison S6 these are the best power tubes I've heard.

This is long over due

Thanks for taking the time to share the info

Any other members try the above tubes? I've used the newer Mullards, EH. Any comparisons appreciated.  
The Sophias are a more forward, sparkly EL34.  This is in contrast to the Gold Lion KT77 for example which is going to be more rolled off.  Assuming you like a slightly more forward/linear presentation, they are brilliant.  

I have a few customers running these in Lampizator DACs and they rave about the detail they get from them.  
Best EL34 I've heard are SED's from St. Petersburg plant, newer Svetlana not the same tube. I have some SED cryo'd and closely matched, sold as Black Sable, purchased in late 90's, still use them in my Prima Luna amp.
I have direct experience with almost all the current production EL34 tubes. Some are more than OK; many are highly disappointing, but maybe that's because I'm old enough to have been buying new Siemens, Telefunken, Mullard EL34s in the late 1960s through 1970s, for $6 - $20 per tube. So what do I use now?

The worst-kept open secret in EL34 is the big stash of Siemens EL34 that Mesa Boogie bought up in the waning years of German production. They then ran everything through their custom-designed tube tester before sale, dispensing with any bad ones (not many!). I use these.

You can order them directly off the "Parts & Accessories" store off the main mesaboogie site. The tube you want is the "EL-34 STR450" also parenthetically labelled Siemens NOS. Right now they cost $180 per matched pair. This is an objective EL34 with solid bass, extended top end and midrange magic tone without gumming up the presentation with molasses and honey. In the right amp it has the burstiness and speed of a KT88 without the telltale KT grit in push-pull.

If you have a rolled off speaker and want to give it a little top end life, the Preferred Series EL34 at The TubeStore site is robust, open and comparatively objective except for the somewhat hot (but clean) top end. It seems reliable too. The JJ E34L is musical and EL34-romantic, but keep spares (and spare amp fuses) around.

But if you want to bypass all these Russian and Chinese power tube anomalies, grab a quad of the Mesa EL-34 STR450 Siemens tubes from the late 70s into the mid-80s and put your feet up. They are long-lasting and will make your EL34 amp sound better than you thought possible. Fortunately for tube hifi, guitar players are cheap, so the Mesa Siemens stash slow to get depleted pushing 40 years.

My custom Williamson monoblocks erupt and bloom with them, bettering a lot of vastly more expensive amps.