Into 2009; What rules?? Tubes or Solid State

I know that this question has had endless debate over the years and that there is also alot of 'Hybrid Equipment' which makes it hard to neatly categorize. Also, at what price points are we talking about?

But those things aside, if you had to make the choice starting from scratch in 2009, which way would you go?? Tubes or Solid State??
Tubes, no doubt about it.
Tubes! I am hooked.......
Tubes ! You won't look back.
Tubes for me too.
SS looks good
Neither rules. Each can result in outstanding sound with benefits that the other
design lacks.

One's choice is dependent on correct amplifier/speaker match, and on personal
listening priorities.
If you are serious about the sound of music: T U B E S !!
I agree with Tvad.

"One's choice is dependent on correct amplifier/speaker match, and on personal listening priorities." Most tube amps require lots of maintenance. SS amp are on/off and dust them off.
Tubes have moved out of my active system for the time being. . . I may not be "serious" enough about music. G.
Guido, you must have been reading my mind.
Music rules...always!

If you had to start from scratch the potential would be vast. I've always come back to tubes myself, but sure have enjoyed SS along the way. As others have already pointed out, you can get great sound either way if you do it right. For now I'm sticking with tubes, but am always open to hearing something different.
12-06-08: Vegasears
Most tube amps require lots of maintenance. SS amp are on/off and dust them off.

I guess I would disagree with both of these sentences. Tube amps do not require lots of maintenance, and IMHO, SS amps are ON 24/7 (unless I'm gone for several days or weeks).

In England, and other constitutional monarchies, the King Reigns, but does not Rule. Tubes are the aristocracy of audio. They reign. We bow to them. But transistors rule.
A great solid-state amp matched with a great tube preamp...
Uhrn.. . I suspect I have a hard time bowing to anyone just because of their birthright, and glass vials may be no exception. Perhaps that is part of my problematic unserious attitude to music. G.
Speakers rule, amps serve.
I find it hard to believe one rules over the other when most of my favorite experiences where hybrid systems of both tubes and solid state, and as other noted its all system and personal preference dependent so this cant be answered.....only argued.
anything thats full-feature.
I love tubes! Great sound and not nearly the hassle folks say they are. Try it and you'll be hooked! Happy listening!
Whatever sounds good to you. I have both and throughly enjoy either.
Both rule. Depends on many variables. If I had to start over in '09, I'd go with something for a few hundred bucks. I've decided I'm done spending alot of money for a little improvement. When one of the units fails, I believe I'll start in that direction.
Speakers rule.
Since I first tried a tube preamp, I'd always been "afraid" to try a tube amp because of heat and problems I read about with tube amps.

A few weeks ago I got a new tube amp and wish I'd done it earlier. I went with one (BAT), that I'm hoping is pretty much 'plug and play', as there is no biasing to do.

If anyone was like me, you owe it to yourself to try a tube amp. This is a whole new world and I guess time will tell if there are any maintenance issues.

I live in a hot summer climate and think I might switch things out to a SS integrated for those months.. but regarding your question, if starting from scratch, I'd go tubes.
I would certainly vote for tubes - better imaging, more accurate instrumental timbres, better realization of the sound of the human voice, to name just three good reasons.
I have owned tubed amplification and preamplification from VAC (Phi series
and Musicbloc series), Atma-Sphere, Lamm Industries (preamps only).

I have owned solid state amplification from Pass Labs, McCormack, Belles
Reference, Bryston and Odyssey.

I have owned hybrid amplification from Moscode.

The Pass Labs, Atma-Sphere, VAC Phi and Moscode amplification are all on
a pretty even plane regarding imaging, accuracy of timbre and every other
audiophile attribute provided they are driving properly matched loudspeakers.
One's choice between them is up to one's personal preferences.

The Belles, VAC MusicBloc series and McCormack are one-half level down,
and the Bryston and Odyssey are a full level down. IMO.

Having said that, if I were to start over, I'd choose high sensitivity, high
impedance/flat-impedance-curve loudspeakers, and I'd drive them with
tubes...probably an Atma-Sphere or Lamm product, but I would also consider
several other smaller tube amp manufacturers along with a Pass Labs XA-
30.5 solid state amp. 'Cause nothing does everything perfectly.
I will not be PC.
Tubes give better overall realistic sound. I feel that I have 'wasted' many years sticking with high power (400+ watts) SS amps, recently the highly regarded MBL 9008A's. Now the 60-90 Watt tube amps produces that sounds more powerful and fuller sounding than the 400 watt behemoths i used over the years
Of course, I have auditioned some exceptional tube sounding SS amps, but they are still not completely like tubes. Have not heard the DarT yet.
For me, it's tubes. Like Nillthepill, personally, I've never heard a system with a solid state amplifier that would cause me to throw the box away.

Of course, the statements about loudspeakers are most salient, but the speakers that I would put money down on (apart maybe trying the Apogees), would more or less invariably be tube friendly. Speakers, and the speaker - room interface always comes first, but as Manley says, "tubes rule."
Great tube amps can be very captivating...can SS be that way?? Yes but in a different way...greater transparency...but not as rich in harmonics and less ambient retreival...but the transparency and resolution are something I'm hooked on. Go listen and make a choice...I have both tubes and SS and enjoy both.
Tubes that sound like solid state and solid state that sounds like tubes.
RJA, you have a point there, tubes and SS designs both can yield opposite stereotypicaal behavior that I am not partial to. . . on the other hand, some devices transcend the most common idiosyncrasies of their class, and just deliver. . . music in a way that I can relate to.
If speakers rule and amps serve, then tube amps just serve better.

Many different systems in different rooms at different price points all make me want to listen to more music. They all have tube amps in them.

Some ss amp systems let me hear lots of detail, but it's the rare system w/ ss amp that makes me want to stay and listen to more music. Cheers,
Some speakers generally work better with tubes, some speakers generally work better with solid state. Power your speakers accordingly.