Desperately seeking the elusive tube sound


I'm trying to convert my SS system to an all tube system and came up with some bothering questions:

Q1: If you have a tube CDP and an SS pre and amp, when listening, are you listening to the tube CDP or to the SS pre and/or SS amp?

Q2: If you have a tube CDP and a tube pre but with a SS amp, are you listening to the tube sound of the CDP, to the tube sound of the pre, or to the SS amp's sound?

Q3: If you finally have an all tube set-up (CDP, Preamp, Amp), when listening, to which tube sound are you listening? Is it the 7308 of the CDP, the 12AU/12AX7 of the pre or the KT 88's of the amp?

Q4: Do I need professional help?

Thank you very much. I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this.
If you have preamp or source with tubes and SS driving speakers all you listening is to some tube-ish colours instead of tubes.
Most of the tubes heard from power ones.
Docjr8156, yes you may need some help. Lucky for you though as you can get it right here at this site for free and save on a doctor bill. There are some tube doctors that post here.
Marakanetz, I just wated to clarify your statement. If your are talking about a TUBE POWER AMP, then the most critical (as well as affordable) sound comes from the low level driver/input tubes. A VAST sonic improvement can be gained by replacing the stock Soviet, Chinese, or Yugo tubes with GENUINE NOS tubes (Euro or American...'70's or earlier only!!) Sure, replacing the power output tubes would be nice, if you could find the quantity (4 and up to 16 or more that may mono-blocks require) and the price! Also, low level tubes will have a lifespan of 2 or 3 time greater than that of a power output tube.
One exception to NOS!
EI Yugos are the tubes many audiophiles prefer over NOS due to their excellent sonic and built qualities.
I have found good synergy using a SS CDP/DAC combo (although hoping to upgrade to an all in 1 piece sometime soon) with a tube pre and a hybrid amp. I would recommend a tube pre for sure, and SS amp, unless you are willing to spend a fair amount for a tube amp like BAT or Cary.
Thanks for the info guys. I can't afford the "Big Boys" of tube amps at this time but hopefully in the near future. Yes, if ever I'll go with BAT.
My voyage into tubes started with a Tube CDP, i couldn't believe how much better it was than SS at that time (mid 80's). Then i bought a tube pre-amp. Now even my SS CDP sounded OK. Upgraded my tube CDP to Trans and DAC (late 80"s). Then i got new speakers, very revealing, now amps sucked. Bought tube amps. It finally came together in spades! Were i to start over today, i'd probably pin down a good neutral tube pre-amp and start from there to tune my system and room to get the sound i like to hear. Probably the last components i would buy would be the front end items.
Forget all that.
Try this

I remain,
I can unequivocally state that the answer to all of your questions is "yes".
Marakanetz, I agree...EI Yugo's are a good tube, especially since they are a great choice for power tubes (over Soviet and Chinese). And they're good to go, right out of the box. The trouble with NOS tubes (besides the scarcity and cost...and again, we're talking about the low power pre/driver tubes) is that they were not made specifically with high-end audio in mind! Some can be wickedly microphonic. And every simplton, huckster, and his brother is out there selling tubes. And people see a matched Quad of Telefunkens 12AU7's for $150-, and they bite! They get em delivered and WHOOPS, where's the diamond logo etched on the base? Congrats...they've just bought counterfeits, probably Chinese crap, worth maybe $20-...on a good day! Or the BIG NAME tube "guru" who's selling "Mullard" 12AU7's (CV4003) manufactured in 1985 that are total crap, and sound nothing like real Mullards from the '70's or earlier. The reason that many people don't believe in NOS, is due to the fact that they tried to save a few bucks and ended up with rebrands, fakes, or bad NOS tubes. Hey, the only place to get real NOS tubes that are suitable for your particular audio application is from Andy at Vintage Tube Services. He's the "pro-in-the-know".
Clueless, Very interesting link! Have you actually tried this stuff? On what components and what is your observation? I can't believe that I'm actually even curious about such snake oil! Has anyone else tried this stuff? I have a Cary 306/200 and am wondering what if... I must have slipped off the edge. Thanks, Dave
I once knew a guy that had a product called "See-Ya-Later". Send him some money and he said "See ya later". Ha! By the way, I have this extra bridge in Brooklyn that I don't need anymore, and ..................
What the hell is it?

I actually loved the tonearm also he..he..:) What cartridge is the best with this one? Twl?
Marakanetz, the best cartridge for that tonearm would have to be hand built from rare exotic balsa wood, and tipped with the needle from the agave cactus, found primarily in the Oaxacan area of Mexico. The coils must be wound from the conductive gut sinew from the near extinct Spanish Armadillo, and must be very carefully handled by the very few Armadillo-gut coil winders that are still alive. The shelf life of this cartridge is very short, due to the rotting smell that emanates after a few days, but thankfully requires no break-in period. At the price, you just can't beat this cartridge for that tonearm.
Wait till your SS stuff starts to break down, then you will have that illusive tube sound! In my experience the illusive tube sound is hardest to obtain when using tubes. Don't thank me, I know you appreciate the help.
Thanks everyone for your informative and funny remarks. I personally was intrigued by Clueless about this new tweak that he suggested. I'll check it out.
lambs to slaughter...

Thanks twl , belly laugh here.
Go classic tube sound: Dynaco,Fisher,Jolida,Scott...
I stumbled on to a 1962 Sherwood S-7700 II tube Reciever at a garage sale for $25! The unit is mint! All original Sherwood/Mullard tubes reading 90%! I connected this to a pair of Electro-Voice 12TRX' "there" is the elusive sound of tubes! Those 7868 output tubes sure do sing!