SET the best?

Is SET amplification where we should all end up? I keep reading posts where people tell of their journeys from plenty power to micro power, and how amazing SET amplification is 45 set 211 set 845 set otl, and usually, ....with the right speaker. I have yet to read of anyone who has gone the other direction from SET, to High watt beast class A amps or others.
If your speakers can be driven by minimal wattage, is this the most realistic, natural sound we can achieve? versus say, 86db sensitive speakers and a 1000w amp?
Is the end result solely based on speaker pairing? circuit? tubes?

I am in the process of changing my direction in my search for realistic sound, just because, and wondering if this really is the best direction to be going.
From what I have been reading I think it may be.

What do we get with SET? What do we give up?

What's you favorite color?

There can be tradeoffs with SET. With 845 I can run speakers as low as 90db sensitivity, gives me lots of choices. With my extreme modded Klipschorns, 845 and 300B give different but both entirely satisfying presentations. Previously ran 2a3, limited speaker choices. I've been contemplating 2a3 or 45 for Klipschorns (104db) but have seen a few negative comments for the pairing. Klipshcorns do have a decently severe impedance curve in lower mids.


Anyway, 845 most exciting SET I've owned, 300B sweethearts, 2A3 inner luminescence. Topologies matter, implementation matters, partnering speaker matters, get it right, wonderful, wrong, less than wonderful.

The AGDs are like a great SET ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just looked at the ADG page , 7 lbs, wow thats amazing, 170 watts. Just curious, $7500 each mono, so a pair $14K , yes? I'd like to seea close up of this tube. Looks amazing. But only 7 lbs??. huh?


Over the years I have owned many Tube amps. (Anthem Integrated One, Amp One, VTL MB-450's, Zesto Eros 300's, and Prima Luna.) The best sounding one was the Zesto Mono-blocks. Push Pull pure Class A. However, they are very expensive and being Class A plus Tube. They run very, very hot.
My experience has been SET does not always equal the best sound. It depends on your speakers, room, and program material you like. Both the VTL and Prima Luna designs offer switchable SET functions.
What you gain when in SET mode, is more sweetness. The upper mid-range and treble have more emphasis lending a more realistic, natural sound to vocals. Mighty good stuff if your music library consists of Singer-Songwriter, Bluegrass, and vocal centered Jazz.

The down side is, the lower end is not as well defined, tight, and punchy. If you listen Rap, Hip-Hop, large scale Symphonic, Rock, or EDM, you may find the bass lacking or too mushy.
The other consideration is the efficiency of the speaker you like. A lot of the 300b designs like the Decware Zen are a very low  2 to 6 watts. Depending on the model. So you will want to mate them with something from Klipcsh or Tekton. Anything that very efficient with stable impedance should work. Nonetheless these flea powers variants are probably not the best choice for a Maggie LRS.

Whatever you get into you will want audition and make sure it fits your tastes, speaker choice, and you find that SET sound is to your liking.

The amps I currently use, I hardly ever put them in triode. The music I listen to is very bass heavy. Thus the CDs and Albums I play soud their best when I have my amps set to push-pull. When I put on Diana Krall or Alison Krauss then I switch my amps into Triode, for a more palpable presentation of their performance.  


The price of the Audion is $7500 Pair, we did not change the price since January 2020.

As with all amps, power supplies are critical to best performance. My custom built 300B monoblocks each use power supply one generally sees in stereo amp. Larger, better ps equals more filtering-resolving powers, reserves of power-transient, micro and macro dynamics. Add in some silver internal wiring, hand output transformers, no soft romantic old fashioned 300B sound. Actually nearly the equal of my 845 in most of impact related sound qualities. Hard to believe when you compare 845, 300B power supplies. 300B  power supply looks silly small in comparison to either of my 845's. Again, power tubes make large difference in SET, some romantic or old fashion sound, others modern sound, more linear.


I agree, SET will never be objectively best topology, just as any topology isn't. Each person has their own values as to what sounds best. Certainly, speaker choice is more limited vs higher power amps, although continually seeing introduction of more high efficiency speakers over time.