2 channel Poll: Vote: Do you use Tubes or SS?


after using tubes for almost 12 years now, 2 of those using hybrids, i am now going to use Solid State amps for the 1st time in my audio life. Reasons? I have too many high maitanence things in my life (job,girlfriend car, not in any particular order) and can't see using 16 output tubes in addition to the 32 I use for source gear. So the question, of the memebers here, chime in, do you use SS or Tubes??

Btw: this isnt a Tubes vs SS is better thread.
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SS Pass x-250 tubelike sound w/o the hastle of tubes
both, tubed pre section and solid state amp section
I guess I am with Davewavaolcom.... I seem to go for solid state from makers known for great tube gear (Conrad Johnson/Motif and Blue Circle); those known for being similar to tube sound (YBA); and those known for getting analog sound out of digital (Stan Warren mods).

I've owned tube gear. They were nice, but I am back to solid state. Same hastle factor; I am busy; sound would not be the same when tubes went bad and replacements were different; it drove me nuts.

If I would go for SS I would get Pass X350 or Gamut D200 or Pass Aleph 2 monos but I havn't a budget for those right now and use VTL MB125.
I have a hybrid amp, Moscode 300 and a Hovland (tube) preamp, but I really have no preference.

I can say that an amp with mass amounts of tubes does not interest me for the hassle factor mentioned already. Four little tubes in the Moscode is fine.
A bit of both worlds actually. LS-15 hybred/tube pre, Marchand XM126 tube crossover, Cary SLA 70 Sig (all tube) and Classe CA-400. But I have to admit that getting good tubes is a pain.
I'm pretty much tubed (DAC, SACD, phono stage, preamp) down to the amps, then I use tubes from 200hz up and SS below 200hz. While I might prefer a lower crossover point, I like to think I'm getting the best of both worlds.
SS, for the same reasons: too much hassle, maintenance, and sound variability from tube to tube, plus one other problem you can never get around on tube amps-- output impedance / damping factor. If you are going to go SS, would suggest sticking to brands which make excellent ss and tube amps, ie BAT.
I have stuck with SS, All Mcintosh with th exception of the CD pre-filter using tubes to "warm' the digital output. Realy cool
Hassle free tube amp David Berning ZH-270, tube life is an estimated 20 years and biasing is done automatically on a cycle by cycle basis. The tube life was not a concern but more a bonus, I purchased the amp for its superb sonics.
I use a tube pre as well and the tubes in there last a long time anyway, maybe a few years.

BATVK500 ss amp, BATVK30 tubed preamp. I'm too busy, lazy, and cheap to consider a tubed amplifier
Enjoy your time with solid state. See you back in tube world after you tire of transistors!!! Baby, I said CJ not BJ!!!!
Solid State.
I have a tube integrated amp. It is much better than my previous SS amp (Musical Fidelity A3). I do agree on the point of differences in tubes. This could be looked at in two ways: it gives you more room to tweak the sound to your tastes or more variables to deal with if you're really busy. When I hear a similarly priced SS amp that can do the same as my Rogue Magnum Tempest, I'll definitely try it out.
I guess we agree Karls. Same reason I like CJ and BC. I've heard BAT tube gear but no SS yet. Will have to check it out.
Both.
Tube is primary at the moment: ARC vt100, ph3, bat vk5i.
Solid State: Pass labs aleph 2 and aleph P.

Prefer tubes, but sometimes like the ridiculously high resolutin of the pass labs gear. Seems that if I set up the stereo with the speakers way out into the room, the ss gear sounds better (images very precisely). The tube gear is more forgiving. My system sounds good even with the speakers pushed back against the wall.
I use both in separate systems. Why choose when you can have both? I like tubes for most of the music I like most.
I would much rather have two(or more) different & wonderful sounding systems than spend $$$$$$$$$$ for the last 1/2 of 1% of improvement in one. In fact, I've found that certain kinds of music sound best on one or the other and the whole notion of one system delivering the "best" sound for all kinds of music is BS. Guess that's another thread.

I can't believe the number of people who have had such a hard time with tubes. Too bad. Tubes are way more fun if you have a soldering iron.

Justlisten, you do NOT need 16 output tubes in order to get a great tube sound nor do you have to spend mega $$$$.

(Tube people are all "biased")

Sincerely
I remain,
Love my tube equipment--VAC,AI, & SF, and ML speakers. CAL CD player and Sota with Graham arm and Transfiguration cart. Together are wonderful and never have I had problems. After 5 or 6 years without SS; no hassles whatsoever. Would do it all over again the same way.
interesting responses so far,I am a tube person,now for 8 yrs,and never had a breakdown or had to replace a tube. I am amazed at the thinking,and I am sure not fact of the audiophiles that have responded.I think if you were to go to a dealer that was into tubes themselves you would have a different attitude,and a different appreciation of music
I'm using both.

Primary 2 channel system with BAT VK50SE, Sony SCD777ES, Sonic Frontiers SFD2-MKII tube dac, into Levinson 33H into Aerial 10t's.

2nd system HT, I'm working on making good 2 channel by passing the Lexicon DC1 through a BAT VK3i tube pre. Mains are Infinity IRS Betas. This is a work in progress. Frustration followed by sheer delight. I'm trying to avoid using tubes on the Beta mid/tweet panels. So far so good.

beemer
I agree with Fiat8 - McIntosh Solid State all the way.
Just a great smooth, warm sound.
i leave my tubes on 24/7. i have never had any major promlems. ss i could not live with. i have a krell 200s running subs in my theater. it is a great amp but i could not live with it for highs and mids. i find it hard to believe that someone can hear tubes and still think ss sounds better. tubes are more lifelike ,larger, and just more real. with ss depth does not exist. i know you ss guys are thinking this guy is crazy. the tube guys are nodding your heads though. just remember ss guys and gals i was a huge ss guy until i heard tubes.it was a crushing and eye opening experience for me. i could not stand the fact that my class a millon watt krell had been beat by that little 70 watt piece of junk with light bulbs sticking out of it.
I agree with Fiat8 - McIntosh Solid State all the way.
Just a great smooth, warm sound.
Best of both worlds. ARC Ref.2 tube preamp and Plinius SA250 MKIV amp.
I guess I should explain how i got to this point. Started with Hybrids, got curious and got a ARC d70Mk2, then a CJ Mv50, nice, but I got power hungry. went to bigger tube amps, ARC m100s....went crazy and went OTL, Counterpoint OTL nonetheless, speaker change...back to tubes, as time went on, found the glories of a huge powerful tube amp, SF Power 3s, 16 output tubes, wanted to go further, Fourier OTLs, 16 output tubes, high maitenance, glorious sound. So, sure, I can go with a lower power 4 tube amp, but it would be hard to do so after pushing the limits and hearing what a powerfull tube amp can do. Who knows, after going transistor, I may be back.........
I guess I should explain how i got to this point. Started with Hybrids, got curious and got a ARC d70Mk2, then a CJ Mv50, nice, but I got power hungry. went to bigger tube amps, ARC m100s....went crazy and went OTL, Counterpoint OTL nonetheless, speaker change...back to tubes, as time went on, found the glories of a huge powerful tube amp, SF Power 3s, 16 output tubes, wanted to go further, Fourier OTLs, 16 output tubes, high maitenance, glorious sound. So, sure, I can go with a lower power 4 tube amp, but it would be hard to do so after pushing the limits and hearing what a powerfull tube amp can do. Who knows, after going transistor, I may be back.........
i still like to listen to tubes, in other people's systems. i have an eclectic mix of all ss gear in my system just now: boulder, mbl and jeff rowland (for those keeping track, no more accuphase for the nonce). -cfb
Both, tube pre (BAT VK3i) with ss amp (Marsh a400). Excellent sound.
I have owned solid state, solid state, solid state, solid state, and then I got some tubes, I don't think I would be without tubes again.
tubes...bat vk50se/vk60/vkp5
Seems to be a lot of whining from the too-busy-SS bunch. Oh well, I guess tubes might be worth missing for the likes of them.
Solid state.
Both. Solid state for weekend all-day listening or when driving inefficient speakers and tubes for everything else.
I use YBA solid state amp/preamp... IMHO, YBA sound very close to tubes...
So much more music. I am astounded.
Computer room system: Two SS mono-blocks ( 800 wpc ) driving modified Walsh drivers / SS preamp

Bedroom system: Two 2 ch SS amps. These are bi-amped with each amp rated at 100 wpc. These feed two stand mounted monitors & dual subs / SS preamp

HT system: One 2 ch SS amp for main towers ( 1200 wpc ), one 5 ch SS amp for center, rear towers and two subs ( 800 wpc x 5 ) / SS preamp

"big" system: Six 2 ch SS amps operating as actively tri-amped monoblocks / SS preamp ( 1000 wpc for dynamic subs, 700 wpc for e-stat mids, 700 wpc for e-stat tweeters, Marchand Deluxe crossover )

basement system: One 2 ch tubed amp / tubed preamp / tubed DAC ( 30 wpc driving horns )

For the "record", all rigs are vinyl capable. All of my other "spare" amps are SS. Sean
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Both. Spectral (SS) preamp and amp. CJ (tube) phono preamp. Sounds wonderful.

TRH
Both, GTA Sep-3, and Bryston 7BSTs. The tube preamp seems to
capture some of the benefits of tubes with the hassles. I haven't tried tube rolling yet, so things could get interesting. Solid state power amplification seemed way more
reliable than looking for matched sets of power tubes.
I've always preferred ss...

just seeing if you were paying attention :)

Justlisten it seems you've run the gamut. Keep us posted. I can't imagine from your list that you won't come back. Sometimes ya just need a change......perhaps?
Just replaced Levinson 335 with Tenor 75's. Only other device is mixed tube/ss, Audio Aero Capitole. Deciding on phono stage, probably tubed.
2-ch system- all tube. 4 highly modded/rebuilt tube monoblocks in a bi-amp setup- a pair of GTA Solo 300B's on mids/highs; and a pair of Altec 1570 BT's (170 wpc in triode using only a pair of 811 output tubes) on bass. HT system- SS (Theta Dreadnaught amp)
I use both in my system, tube Audio Research preamp, ss Jeff Rowland amplifier and Herron Audio tube phono stage . I have had tubes since the mid 1960's and love the sound but currently ss amplifier works better for my lifestyle. I found that the Jeff Rowland amplifier is the best ss amp I have heard in my system.
I am usually exposed to live classical music weekly, so my ears stay in tune. This week 4 times. Monday was St. Petersburg Philharmonic/Temirkanov; this Thursday is the Beaux Arts Trio (Chamber), Friday is Baltimore Symphony (not Temirkanov), and Saturday is Choral; so a good mix.


Nothing compares to live music, so how do Tubes/SS compare to live to my ears? Tubes can tend to be bland and Solid State bright. Folks seem to primarily adjust tube gear by changing tubes; solid state by changing cables. I find it easier to get it pretty close to right with SS and cables. If I ever try tubes again, it will likely be a preamp only. For me the combination of tube pre and SS amp, can bring together the best of both worlds, without too much work/hastle.

All SS here.I've never used tubes in my life. I'd like to try a BAT vk-3i or vk-5i hybrid-tube amp on the used market, likely pairing it with a VK-200 or VK-500.
all decware amplification and the purity of sound is difficult to trade for anything. triodes all the way, and there are only 13 tubes in the entire amplification chain, including phono preamp. only about 5 watts per channel.
never again to solid state say i, except when i want to listen to raucous blues, then i hook up the ava ss amp i have lying around, sounds good for the loud stuff, but is no comparison on imaging/space/air/purity!
all this on cheapo new B&W 303s...great speakers!
I agree with Sugarbrie's philosophy and use a Sonic Frontiers Line 2 pre-amp (6 tubes) and a SS McCormack DNA2DX Rev. A amp. The tube pre is not much of a hassle (BTW, it's in for up-grade to SE as I write:>) and I even look forward to some "tube rolling", and the Rev. A McCormack has a very smooth "tube like" character to it.

I tried a SF Power 2 tube amp for 30 days and liked it's somewhat warm relaxed sound on "mellow" music, but when I put the McCormack back in my system, I realized it was no contest-- the DNA amp was much faster, more dynamic, had much better PRT, excelled at bass control, and is not fatiguing. For any fast tempo music I much preferred the McCormack.

I've now got Van. 5 speakers that have built in subwoofers and 400 watt amps to drive them from 125 HZ down, so I'd like to try a tube amp with the V5s, but my expectation is that a tube amp would still lack in the PRT department, and rhythm is very important to me. Cheers. Craig
I believe in Tube amps and SS preamp. Use your amps for your color or flavor. Make everything as neutral as possible and then change amps as you want something different.
While I tend to favor the sound of tube gear, especially that certain quality of "lushness" or "bloom" that tubes can often produce in the midrange, I have solid state equipment in my system (Classe amp/preamp). For me, solid state is simply less finicky to deal with.
Both. Tube (BAT VK3i) pre and SS (McCormack DNA1 Rev. B) amp. Cant see dealing with the expense and hassle of output tubes, but the small signal tubes are long life, no biasing, etc.
TUBES.... Rogue 99 linestage/phono stage
SOLID STATE.... Pass Labs Aleph-3 AMP
EQUALS= HUGE AIRY SOUNDSTAGE