Adding a SS amp as a 2nd amp for my tube rig has been a plus


I'm really glad to have purchased a solid state amp, used, to go with my tube gear. Just the perfect solution to when I grab a moment or two to listen — that hour between work and dinner, for example. There's not enough time to warm up the the tube amps, but I turn on the tube preamp, turn on the solid state amp, and I'm in business.

I spent about 5:1 for the tube stuff (including the better tubes) relative to the SS amp, but I think spending that small extra portion on a slightly better tube rig wouldn't have gotten me as much.

Sonically, the tube stuff is superior — BUT I get a slightly different angle with the ss gear. For example, some rock sounds better with the solid state. Also nice to have a solid state when I swap different speakers in to try out.

Convenience-wise, I get more listening in to have that ss as a second amp. Most of the time, I just listen to tube, but when I can't make listening an "event", I still find myself listening.

Yes -- some additional costs (extra interconnect, extra speaker cables) but I am not the sort who breaks the bank on those items, so pretty negligible added cost.

For what it's worth. Anyone else done this?
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I did the same thing this summer - too hot to run my Supratek preamp and DeHavilland GM70 amps, so I bought a used Pass INT-25. I’m using the same cables for each system so I have to switch them out, but that’s easy to do. The price on my SS vs tubes is in the same ballpark, and the audio quality is similar too, although they do differ in some aspects. In my limited comparisons so far, when I run the tubes I like them better, and when I run the Pass SS, I like it better.

LOL I use both at the same time. SS bottom, Valve top, been that way for 30 plus years.

The summertime (about 3 months), I go SS power amp top and bottom.
I couldn't take the heat, but I sure loved the sound. C20, MC240, and a MC275, or a pair of 60s,
It got HOT, in a 16 X 20 X 8, Jensen Imperials, Horns and subs.
Serious SPL too, were talking window breaking STUFF. 110 X 110

110 db by 110 degrees, or more, I never really pushed it. with valves.

SS Mac gear, my Lord! 125-30. Brain emulsification. :-)

Regards
Inner ear emulsification, be careful.
@tonnesen I'd like to try that Pass amp. Did you do a deHavilland/Pass combo? Any reactions?

@oldhyvy You are way out of my league! Mad skills! I suppose you play the Who's Live at Leeds at the original volume?
Understand where you are coming from  ...

I do a variance on your method, I have 2 systems setup together, which share the same sources, my main is a Supratek DHT and the vintage valves I use are rather expensive so its used for long listening times a few times a week as I want to preserve where I am at after a fair bit of valve rolling by its previous owner and myself.  Due to the demanding speakers, Dynaudio C2 Plats, I found that they don't go that well with my original MC75 valve power amps so after some experiments went with an used Accuphase  A70 to drive them .. it takes a good 30 mins or thereabouts for the system to settle in and improve, interesting the amps show a couple of watts increase once its settled in ?  Not sure whether its the pre, pwr or both ?

So for quick listens I have a used McIntosh C22 and MC75's which I brought originally to try drive the more demanding dynaudio speakers, I since brought a more efficient set of speakers and this combo gets going very quickly and importantly the valves are all modern and a lot less expensive.  A nice listen as well but it doesn't match the openness and richness of my other system.  I did change out the pre valves to Genalex Gold Lion 12AT7's as the stock ones weren't doing anything for me ..