Check out Robert Harleys' "Complete Guide To High-End Audio" It should shed some light on this and many other matters. Good Luck.
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You could try www.sound.au.com and read the articles page some of the stuff in there is brilliant on Amplifiers and electronics in general. Alot of information is stored on this site it even points out that there are counterfeit Transistors being sold under the Motorola name. He is a scientist so he doesnt believe in IC's and speaker wire but his amp stuff (mostly tube) is great. Happy reading. Tim.
Why not take a course or two at your local community or 2 year college. Ya never know, you may hook up with another person with the same interests in audio as yourself. That's where I got started. Got a degree at the local 2 year school and graduated 2 years later with a BSEE from a local university.