I have yet to hear a SS that matches the best of tube pre sound (I'm not claiming guru status on the subject, of course). Some SS pre's "emulate" a tube sound: older Rowlands, top-line Symphonic Line... there are others. Strengths I'd associate with SS are clarity, speed, and precision -- but not tube-like mid-range musicality. Goldmund, big Burmester, YBA passion or better, FM Acoustics, and the big M-Lev fall under this SS category -- to name a few I'm familiar with.
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