Sophia Electric 845 - Any heard it?

Hello. I am intrigued by Sophia Electric's website description and picture of their 845 amplifier. Have any of you heard it? What do you think of it? Thanks
I only heard it briefly at our audiophile club meeting, as Richard Wuwang came down with a bunch of his amps for a talk & demo. Although I'm not a tube guy, I was intrigued with his gear & enjoyed the demo.
I own a pair of the Sophia 845 amps. They sell two versions of that amp. The least expensive is fitted with a solid state rectifier circuit, and the more expensive has two rectifier tubes (5Z3P). I own the amps with the tube rectifiers.

A short history lesson, I got acquainted with Sophia when I wanted to buy a pair of 300b mesh plate tube’s for my Cary 805c’s so I could save my coveted Western Electric tubes. After replacing the WE’s with the Sophia’s I was astounded. I know I am going to get responses from the WE lovers, all I am saying, they were an equal for fraction of the price, not to mention they look cool. After talking with Richard at Sophia, he suggested for the cost of shipping he would let me compare his 845 amp to the Cary’s. I took him up on his offer, about 6 weeks later two of the Sophia 845 amps show up, I plugged them in and let them play for a few days as back round music before any critical listening. The Sophia’s sound stage was bigger, front to back and side to side, than anything I have heard from any amp to date. The presentation was much larger with more weight. The highs were higher without being bright, the base I didn’t think went as low as the Cary’s but I did think it was tighter. I guess I must qualify my finding and state that I am not affiliated with Sophia Electric in anyway and this is just my opinion and experience.

There is a negative, seems like there is always a “but”. The 5Z3P is a 5 pin with a locating pin in the middle, a standard 5Z3 tube is a 4 pin, two pins with a small diameter and two pins with larger diameter, similar to a 2A3, 300b. These 5Z3P tubes are hard to source, Sophia sells them for $80.00 each and you need 2 per amp. Quite expensive for a rectifier tube. A 5U4 is a direct replacement tube according to most tube dealers and tube sheets. I have bought both NOS and current production 5U4's with disastrous (sonic) results. Anyone need 5U4's I have plenty. And the driver tube is a proprietary tube called the Princes tube, again expensive and Sophia seems to be the only source. I did find a KR tube called the PX25 that has the same measurements as the Princes tube, I am going to try a pair of those.

Again just an editorial................Bob
Bob, what speakers are you driving? Mine are Merlins with an efficiency of 89. How do you think they would do? My room is 18X26X8. Thanks.
I am not familuar with your speakers. Merlin's web site says the impedence of your speakers does not drop down below 6.5 ohms, that being said you should have no trouble driving them. The impedence swing is more important than the sensitivty in most cases. This amp puts out about 22-25 watts. With your speakers efficiency of 89 you will get about 101-103db (pretty load) out of your speakers at 25 watts (doubling the wattage will give you about 3db of gain 1 watt=89, 2 watts=92, 4 watts=95 etc.).

The speakers I am using are Coincident Victory's. The efficiency of them is 97db with a nominal ohm load of 14 not dipping below 10ohms. I hope that helps.......Bob
Bob, Thanks a lot for looking up the Merlin info.. I really appreciate it. It seems that they would work. However, I would think that for dynamic passages of music they might run out of steam. It doesn't seem like there would be much of a reserve for those short term peaks.
You are very welcome. Good luck with your search..........Bob
Brooks, aren't you in Illinois? I have a pair of the Sophia's you could borrow.
Audio buff, I am in IL. Thanks for the offer. However, I decided to buy a VAC 70/70.

I am commenting on your speakers.

I just picked up the Total Victories after living with the smaller Victories. Wow!!!. Beg borrow and steal if you have to, the Totals are that good.

I am going to try a few different tube amps, 845's, PX25's, and my present Coincident 300b amp. I think the load of the Coincident line make amp choices easier. I like female voices, so the PX25 tube might be more to my likeing. If you listen loudly, than the 845's are a great tube.

I can tell you upon first listen, the Coincident amps sound better with the KR300b BXLS's than with the Sophia 300b. Yes I have both in house. I can not comment on the new KR 845's, but I saw their new run. These things are built like tanks. No listening observations.

Good luck.
Coincident Victory's. The efficiency of them is 97db with a nominal ohm load of 14 not dipping below 10ohms
I've read a few reports indicating that the efficiency of Coincidents is a little overstated. No biggie. I own Super Eclipse IIs.