I just got a Mc275 VI and it sounds amazing. Playing it with an MC2300. The thing you will notice up front is a much warmer less digital sound. Good luck with your decision.
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"So my question is: is THIS tube amp really significantly better than this solid state amp?"
Its a difficult question to answer. You're the one that has to listen to it so it really comes down to what you think. Both are excellent amps but it looks like you only heard the MC5200, and not the 275.
You really owe it to yourself to listen to a 275 before you get one. If it will drive your speakers, chances are that you will like it. But there is no gaurantee. Its possible you may prefer the SS amp.
A couple of other posters recommend the Aesthetix preamp. I do too.
I like that warm tube sound. I have tried a number of Amps over the past 40 years and I personally find tubes more pleasing. Don't get me wrong I do like the snap and speed of SS which is why I am running a SS amp on the bass speaker and Tubes on the mids and highs. I'm also running a tube preamp. Everyone has their own liking this is just mine.
if you can find a way to listen to the MC275, i would do that. years ago i was auditioning audio research amps - the dealer played equivalent AR SS then AR VT100 amp, and the VT 100 tube amp killed it. was night and day! same speakers, source, cables. - tube amp sound was so much more real, in the room presence. in comparison, the SS $3000.00 was almost unlistenable. the MC275 is a freak of nature! built like a tank/last forever/sound that rivals both mega watt tubes and single end triodes at the same time. even more control than some ss amps. however, many audiophiles value an analytical detailed presentation thats ok. but if you gonna spend that cash be sure would not prefer the tubes. personally, once i had a taste of tubes, i could never imagine seeking out a SS amp again.