|Is there a support group or 12-step program for audiophiles who have sworn off tubes but find themselves constantly tempted to go, as it were, back on the bottle?|
I owned lots of tube gear in my reckless youth. I built the Dyna Stereo 70 and PAS3 at least twice. Later, I tried Conrad-Johnson and Quicksilver power amps. In an attempt to get off the wagon, I tried any number of tubed preamps (CJ, Quicksilver, Melos, Audio Research, Cary, Eastern Electric…) driving solid state power amps. I even tried a trendy tube integrated (the Primaluna Prologue).
At some point, I realized that rather than listening to music, I was fiddling with bias adjustments, listening for undue hiss or microphonics, obsessing over some obscure and overpriced NOS valve proclaimed as the Holy Grail of audio, or (based on hard experience) worrying that a tube would fail and take out the speakers.
I decided to kick the habit. I picked up a Naim Nait 5i a couple of years ago. I like the amp. I enjoy the music. There is nothing to adjust. It plays music reliably, fuss-free. I should be happy, right?
But every now and then I scan the Audiogon ads and come across some cool pics of hot valves, and the siren song lures me back. Oh, help me to resist…
You guys who are still out there knocking back the tubes, please don’t tell me what I’m missing. I just need the strength to stay solid – solid-state, that is.