Not at all. The Sophia sounds wonderful with tubes. VTL, for one, is an excellent match.
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Many Sophia Owners initially try Tube Amplifiers, but end-up with powerful Solid-State Amps. I've heard jaw-dropping demos of Sophias driven by high-quality, powerful Class A SS Amps., most impressively through Mono-Blocks. These Speakers are capable of incredible dynamics and imaging, especially when set-up properly in a large room. A flea-watt tube amp. may make them sound nice, but give them 300>400 good clean watts and they will sound real...
Can this be the final frontier, Sophias with tubes?
When I heard the sophias with Naim at a showroom I liked the sound very much it was super transparent and effortless and they were not using the best amp in the house!
So if they are paired with tubes I imagine it gets better but will it take me to audio nirvoso I mean nirvana?
Can I suspend them with bungee chords????
Hi, I think this can be said for all Wilson speakers. They are very truthful to the source. It really depends on your source components and your preferences.
I have heard the Sophia's, WP 8's, and Alexandria's with tubes and SS. Things about both I like.
I used all tubes, phono, pre, and amps on my WP 8's.
Just for complete disclosure....I don't like the less expensive Wilson products..I think they are overpriced and use gimmics to impress the listener (out of phase midranges, bumped highs, etc) however, they do sound the best with lots of power. It doesn't matter where those watts come from. Audio Research has their top of the line tube unit = I forgot what they call it, but it sounds great with Watts. As for the sound quality...it doesn't make any difference between tubes or solid state. Once upon a time in the good old days, tubes sounded different than transistors. In the recent past, however, the typical tube sound and the typical s/s sound have been converging. They now are the same in the top performers. I dare you to listen to Ayre blindfolded for instance and know its s/s = or the top line Audio Research and tell me if its tubes.
Well maybe I should add that even though I liked the wilson sophias alot I prefered the sound of the verity fidelios. In the last couple of days I listened to a number of great speakers: magico mini II , rockport, verity fidelio, wison soophias, totem wind. I still liked the verity's the most but then they were hooked up to a vinyl setup. I liked the totems very much! crank them up they start to sing. The wilson didn't engage me that much, I think they are excellent no bass overhang very tight sound, but I bet they would be real good with analog. I don't get these showrooms?? Why don't they use vinyl????
Actally they do have analog rigs but we popped into the showroom without notice, they would need time to move the equipment from one roop to the next. But if that was my shop I would have an excellent tt in every room susspended with bungee chords and running from 12" flywheels.
You've been around these forums long enough to know that the execution and synergies of components are far from absolutes. The absolute sound of real instrumments may exist, but the absolute answers with regards to tubes or solid state are so system dependent as to preclude the absolute answers you seek. The Merlins you own can sound magnificent in some systems and above average in others. My Sophias can sound steely with some solid state electronics, syrupy sweet with others and synergistically wonderful with others. It's all in the execution, the creativity and personal sensibilities of the owners. I've heard Sophias in a number of systems....with McIntosh, with Audio Research, with Conrad Johnson tubes in another. I've heard Ayre monoblocs in still another. They were all marvelous in their own ways.
IN my own listening room, I've heard Cary, Bel Canto, Audio Research Tube Mono blocs and New Audio Research solid state amps. In each case, the Sophias made real music. My personal choice is the Audio Research 220 Watt tube MonoBlocs. Each of the combinations, had their own synergies.
The Sophias are capable of astounding performance when set up carefully and fed beautiful music. Are the Verity's capable of equally beautiful performance?.......Sure. Each speaker can be made to sing when positioned precisely, and fed premium front end signals..... It's more related to your own skill and vision than the choice of amp A or B.
Sorry for the ramble, but the final search ends up within the heart and soul of each music lover, and not the "perfect choice."
Yes! You will not have any problems with tubes.
The largest retailer here in Canada said most of them ended up going out with solid states even though they had a beautiful set up with VTL References MONOs. They work well with both SS or Tubes.
Everything else is as important as making a Sophia purchase,placements,cabling.....and so on. I ended up going SS myself.
i heard the sophia 2s driven with a tube mcintosh amp & mcintoshi 300/400w monoblocks solid state. While the tube amp sounded nice, i felt it was not able to control the bass well enough.
I much preferred the solid state presentation of the mcintoshes. It had more control, more dynamic and bass was very good.