You first :^)
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Audiophiles seemingly pay alot of attention to this questions. I don't think most music lovers really care. Tim daParivinci (sp?), an acknowledged giant in equipment design (EAR, Luxman, Musical Fidelity, etc.) was once quoted in Audio magazine that tubes vs. solid state was unimportant and that he could make either sound just like the other.
If you like tubes, then like tubes. The same for solid state. Just don't pretend that one is "better" than the other.
Thanks Onhwy for that level-headed response. The two genres are obviously different and have their various strengths and weaknesses. To say that one type is better than the other classifies all ss designs or tube designs as being one in the same. Obviously, that would make for a poor generalization at best. They can all be good while remaining different. Just like blondes, brunettes, redheads, etc... Sean
PS... My apologies to the women out there : )
Sean, Make mine a Blonde Thanks!! As for the tube/SS thing. I have two systems in my house. One tube (stereo) and one SS (Home/theatre) I like them both. Yes they sound a little different, but that doesn't make one better than the other.
The only negative thing with tubes is laying out the cash for new ones every year, and they tend to warm up the bedroom a bit in the summer.
Honestly I love them both, but if I had to pick between the two I would probably choose the tube system for stereo sound.
Also I have to mention that glowing tubes at night when all the lights are off is more romantic than candle light IMO :^)
As a hardcore tube fan, I have been impressed by only two SS designs: the 47 Labs Gaincard, and the Lavardin amps. These two SS designs are, I think, as close as transistors can get to the sound of tubes--with just little bit of the ease, liquidity, ambiance, and magic missing. Thus I DO look back when I hear 47 Labs and Lavardin... They make me think of selling my VAIC monoblocs in an effort to economize on space, and make my life a little easier. But then I always stick to the tubes... despite. To generalize, tubes always seem to go better with vinyl, and SS always seems to go better with digital: thus it makes sense to have two dedicated systems. That way you are not simply looking back or ahead, but from side to side, and that is a very fortunate situation.