Is solid state obsolete?

Let's cut to the chase. Mosfet, Jfet, transistors, are they a past technology like 78 rpm? IC based amps are here and here to stay. Are the days of Krell, Gamut, Accuphase, Clayton, McCormick, Rowland, Boulder, etc. gone? A tube pre amp and an IC based power amp, can it be the best combo? Comments please.
Not a chance. "Big Iron" solid state will never be obsolete. On my rig, the IC based amps have nowhere near the current needed to make the music happen.

The IC based amps do have their place with high efficiency speakers and for those for whom they satisfy their needs.

For me, having been around since the early 70's and having quite a bit of equipment to try, I have found that the tried and true big cap, big iron amps satisfy me the most.
Of course, I'm just one audiophile of many, so take my thoughts at the value at which you have paid for them. Everyone is different, all our needs, budgets and degree of addiction to this most subjective hobby are different.


Paul :-)
You fall to easy towards the flavor of the month me thinks!

As long as people are unconcerned about good sound, I guess solid state could be out. Tubes/valves are a lot older and they are still everywhere...
Is solid state obsolete?

YES, send me all your old Jeff Rowland, Gryphon and Classe amps today !
Thanks man. Now I understand this urge I’ve been having to dump my Corvette for a cuter and more efficient Peel P50.

If it don’t give you a hernia to pick it up, it ain’t worth lis’ning to!

Cheers from, Another Old Fart. 8>(
Yes it was in my system, but I revived it by trading in my Parasound separates for an upgraded HK 730 Twin. Vintage Lives!
It is neither dead or close to it and never will be IMHO
nice albert porter,there is so much to love about both!
I have owned all varieties, solid state, hybrids, tubes, digital amps--and nothing but nothing beats a well made class A ss amp--nothing! THE REST ARE ALL SUPERSITION, enjoyable superstition, but still a lie.
Rowland uses IC's in his amps for the last 5-6 years, guess they're not as bad you guys think?

and what does halcro use?

You'd have to make a very convincing argument that the Halcro's aren't the most "ideal" amplifiers on the planet? They measure exactly like what engineers would say is ideal or nearly perfect. IC based amplification?

"Ideal" may not always sound the best, but that's another discussion.

All I have to say to you all is Caveat Emptor!
The key is matching the amp to the speaker. There is no such thing as an amp that will work well with all speakers or a speaker that can be driven well by any amp.

A tube pre amp and an IC based power amp, can it be the best combo?

The best? I don't think so, SS devices have inherent distortions that have to be dealt with with feedback, but it can be acceptable if the power amp is mated with the proper speaker.

Mosfet, Jfet, transistors, are they a past technology like 78 rpm? IC based amps are here and here to stay.

There is actually no practical difference in the two. An IC (integrated circuit) is nothing more than a bunch of Mosfets, Jfets, and/or bipolar transistors and bias devices integrated into a single package that makes it easy for a designer to build an amp. You could build the same amp with discrete devices. There is really no difference in the performance of an IC amp or one made of discrete transistors.
Tbadder, what about class A TUBE amps?
Does it look like it?
Krell, Gamut, Accuphase, Clayton, McCormick, Rowland, Boulder
look like most of the are still in busniess to me.
Does everyone on internet forums feel they need to express ther ignorance to the whole world by writing down the first stupid question that comes to mind?
>>nothing but nothing beats a well made class A ss amp--nothing<<

Everybody has a right to be stupid but this guy is abusing the privelege!!!!
I actually agree with the original question. As a technology for music reproduction solid state is fading and soon will become no more relevant than tubes, cone based loudspeakers, analog vinyl or metal based wires. Let's face it, the solid state insurgency is in its death throes.
considering solid state electronics(pre-amp-two channel-multichannel receivers)currently maintain a 97% global marketshare, i think your death alarm is a bit overstated. more music is in fact though, played back through computers then all the traditional means put together.
LOL--I love being called stupid! Look , there are inherent problems and strengths with each of the genres and sub-genres of amplification. I still own a 300B plant and a digital lump because I enjoy them, they're fun, but a well designed class A ss is as close as we can get to real music--are they perfect, no, never will be, but...

Class A Tube amp? Touche! My problem with tubes is their inherent inaccuracies, fat is fat, not real. The inherent harshness of solid state is traded in a for a "rightness" in a well designed Class A amp. But like I say I enjoy my steak with a lot of fat! So bring on the tubes any time, but lets not pretend either!

The Village Idiot

Tbadder might have a point with his inquiry. I say blame it on some people who have embraced the newest technology, digital amplification with all sort of power supply execution.
From what I have heard so far, I am not impressed with digital. Perhaps it is the fact that they cannot provide the heft and the dynamics that I have heard with some other SS designs. I love tubes and I also have a 300B amp. Gosh, I have about 4 amps, all 3 SS with different executions and outputs. I am not throwing anything to Audiogon in order to get anything newer...why? The new technologies will need to mature more.

What I see happening is that some traditional manufacturers will begin cutting back on their regular designs in order to allow 1 or 2 new technology based designs. Most probably they will be in the lower end of their scale. Perhaps it will have to do with what someone have mentioned 97% of their market share that is dominated with traditional products. Would they risk alienating their core customer base?

Asides from that, what manufacturer would work HARD to dilute their signature products, philosophies and designs?
Most manufacturers have specific priorities in sound and design and with new technologies, they might have to sacrifice their individuality for convenience and gain.
Look at the fact that some digital manufacturers are a garage or few body companies....Would you ever imagine all manufacturers making digitals and stamping their names in all? Audiophiles, specially experienced ones know their stuff, they are not going to fall for the same design with different brands and their premiums.

Look at Audio Research and their digitals...they are not moving well. Their traditional designs are different.

Rowland seems to have two digitally based designs....integrated and also itty monos. The itty monos do not seem to be doing all too well.

Bel Canto.....almost the pioneer of hi end digital in the US, check out their earlier designs...see the number and their itinerations. Maybe the owners jumped thinking that this would be IT, but they are selling. Ask what happen they will get next.....some major SS or tubes!

It is a good inquiry, people should not simply slap him around.
And I thought bottleheads were sensitive. Remember when CD was never going to replace vinyl? FYI, I'm old enough to remember the introduction of eight track, so I've seen the rise and fall of a "few" audio products.
No way Jose.

OFFTOPIC - never seen much tube equipment in a lab.
Foolish though it may be, I'll comment on JW's last sentence:

I think that a tube pre and a SS amp is the way to go... Supratek & SMC Platinum (MacCormack DNA 0.5 Revision for me...).
I dunno about that, I have both and I still prefer the Manley 350 Reference amps. They seem to just ooze smooth, and they seem to have more bass umph than the Threshold amp. Hmmm that's not an expected result. But it's real.

Maggies and big toobs, the way it should be. Of course I'm still a sucker for those monster heat sinks, they're so macho looking. But the warm caress of soft glowing toobs still woo's me in.

So Rowland is using the B&O "ICE" modules for amplification and then use a monster power supply this should be best of the genre, but wait, hows come there are sooooooo many Rowland amps used out there with the B&O modules.

Woo'ed by technology, but in the end, the EAR decides what's right.

BTW: I'm an engineer, and toobs are irrational. But I own them, and prefer them. Does that make me ------
No response needed to the above question. :)

Since Tube Research Labs, makers of some fine quality and expensive tube gear, is now making transistor amps, which they indicate are much quieter than their tube models, I would think solid state is far from dead.
The old "different strokes for different folks" still applies here. I love going into my local dealers and listening to his mega-tube Audio Research stuff. BUT MAGGIES AND TOOBS--NO WAY, NOT FOR ME. IT"S MAGGIE WITH BOOBS FOR ME! (insert smiley face for the serious minded).
In one word, No.
i hope so that way i can get my hands on everybody's obsolete amps super cheap.

Not as long as Nelson Pass knows what day it is.
Bgrazman, you are not foolish for suggesting a tube pre and ss power combo. I have been running a tube pre and SS power combo for 15 years. My original question was to start a discussion about a truly new development in audio technology. I believe there will be more displacement of SS with IC; than tube equipment with IC.
Heck, nothing arouses me more than big, hulking, 600-pound badass class-A ss amp with heatsinks protruding from the side. A la Pass X1000 monos. Or XA200... Hmmm, oh yeah babes... Come to daddy...
Or the shiny gleaming smooth scalloped front panel of Jeff Rowland Model 12... four boxes of heavenly goodness...
Or the massive Gryphon Antilleon monos...
Or the Halcro DM68...
Okay, I stop dreaming now... Enough audioporn, back to work, maybe one day I can afford them...
I sold my blue eyed tanks before they get cheap, and never looked back. I'm making believers of all listeners.

Muralman.......were you running Pass Labs x-600 monos?

Are you using an IC based amp now? If so, which one and how does it compare to the Pass?