Solid State amps with tube preamps


I'm sure this topic has been discussed in great detail but I'd like to hear some voices chime in on my specific dilemma. I have a pair of martin logan spires powered by tube amps. I really love the sound but am really enticed to try out full range stats for awhile. I think I would want to switch to solid state on the amp end but I am afraid of what that could do. Since they have different strengths I worry that the tube preamp signal won't work to the strong suits of the solid state amps. My preamp is a steelhead run as a full preamp. I listen almost exclusively to vinyl, lots of rock, electronic and jazz so I'm trying to put something well rounded together. Has anyone done something similar?
bfin3
Not to threw a curve at you but many people are happy with tube amps driving full range stats. Look up Atmasphere's comments on why this is true. I know that both his OTLs and Wolcott tube amps have proven to be very successful w Soundlabs and I believe Magnapans.
One of my favorite combinations is exactly that, tube preamp and solid state power amp. I have a big pair of Martin Logan Quest Z and feel I am losing none of the tube magic from my preamp. Solid state power has advantages for bass control, and a "good" solid state power amp will not rob you of the tube aura from the preamp. If you can bi-amp, then run the bass section with solid state and run the mids/highs with tube power. That is an experiment on my list of to-do's.

Also, you really should try out at least one decent switching amp. Most of these are simply amazing, they give you all of the solid state grunt and control, but also deliver amazing tube-like mids/highs. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Hope this helps.
This'll really throw a curve at you. My main amp is an SET 300B, 9 watts of SET bliss.

For a back-up amp I built a CDA 254 amp from Class D Audio, 250 Wpc.

This low-cost Class D amp has blown me out of the water, as it compares very favorably with the sound of my SET 300B (which, by the way, I'm using EML 300B XLS for output tubes), but with more power.

At a little over $400 for the complete kit (which are USA made, and very good quality), I recommend them for driving your full-range electrostats. There has been a lot of positive comments regarding Class D here lately, and there is good reason for it.

And the usual disclaimer, I'm not in any way affiliated with Class D Audio. But I did just order another CDA 254 to run in bridged mode, so I can run the pair as 500 Wpc monoblocs.

Regards,
Dan
You shouldn't have a problem and will be very happy with good solid state amps driving your speakers. Check to make sure the existing pre-amp and solid state amp, output/input impedances are suitable. There are too many solid state amps out there to list that would work fine with you tube pre-amp and those speakers. make sure you audition the amps in you home with your system.

My Monolith III's sound wonderful with my Audio Research REF 3 tubed pre-amp and two Mark Levinson 23.5 amps, via a Krell KBX crossover. I had Audio Research tubed amps before, but they weren't enough for the Monoliths. Nice, but the Mark Levinsons were definitely better. Not to say that there aren't some tubed amps that are just as good or better that the Mark Levinsons. But, for the money, you really can't touch these amps. AR REF 250's would be my only amp upgrade.

enjoy
Running a class d SDS 470c with a tube preamp and I love this combination.
The best I have ever heard Martin Logans sound is with tube amps. Long ago I had Infinity RS1Bs and used ARC solid state amps for the bass modules and ARC tube amps for the treble panels. I matched that up with an ARC tube preamp and the best TT I could afford at the time. It couldn't compete with the current top shelf systems today, but it was very musical and just a lot of fun to listen to. I've always liked the solid state amp, tube preamp approach particularly if you value dynamic bass while still retaining some tube sweetness in the system.
I have the Martin Logan Summits which I used with an Aesthetix Calypso tube preamp and Rogue M-180 tube amp for several years. I recently replaced the Rogue M-180 with the Aesthetix Atlas amp which has tube input and solid state output. The change has been very satisfying.
I like my tubes in the phono stage, as I believe cracks & pops behave a bit differently going through a tubed stage as opposed to a solid state stage.
Just get a stronger TUBE amp. If you like tubes go all in. The AMP will have more impact on sound than the pre. Make sure amp and pre are a good match.