Solid state to tube

I have been a solid state guy since my start in this hobby. Over the years I have built a few systems and have used mainly older YBA seperates pre and power for my front end.

I also have a pair of musetex MT101 mono blocks from Meitner audio which I use as well.

My speakers are reference 3a lintegre

I am thinking of moving to a all tube system 

. However I have little experience

I have looked at Quick Silver and a small boutique builder called Will Vincent. Have not heard anything yet. I thought I might inquire here first for any suggestions from tube savvy members


Hi winoguy. Interested th know what tube pre you settled with and what is your amplification?

What did you swap out the tube pre from

What was the most noticeable difference ss pre to tube pre?


@ecpninja, Reading there is no tube in your totaldac, and your plan to keep using your ss amplifer, seems to me you are in an ideal situation for a really good tube preamplifier if you want this type of sound.  What @yyman23 describes above was my experience too when I paired my own tube preamps with my former SS amps. 

You could try this for a good while and decide later if you still want to add tube amp(s) to your system.  May not be necessary, you might like this setup a lot. 

I would start with a Rogue Cronus Magnum 3. It’s not the quietest of amps but it does all the things that tubes are known to do well. It may fall short of some other tube and SS amps in one area or another but it’s pretty darn good as a complete package. It is in an entirely different league from Rogue’s hybrid tube/classD amps, the latter of which just sound like mediocre SS. The CM is one of my all time favorite amps. It has a very forward midrange but not in the obnoxious glaring way, but in a sense that it makes you feel like a artist is there in the room with you for an intimate performance. You’d probably have to move up to low power 300B tubes to do any better in this regard. 

The CM is manual bias but the procedure is simple and doesn’t have to be performed often. Manual bias is also preferred by many designers as they claim it results in better sound quality and bias stability. 




ecpninja:     my system is listed here. Im a Modwright fan. In all my years Ive changed pre amps more than any other component. Going back Ive had Denon, Macintosh Conrad Johnson, Rogue, Marantz .... Years back I went to a SS Marantz Reference preamp, and while it was an impressive piece of gear that worked well, I found it lacking in the " engagement " factor. I sold it and picked up a Modwright SWL 9.0 and realized I would probably never be without tubes in my pre amp again. After a few years I sold that and moved up the Modwright chain to the LS100, where I remain happy to this day. Good luck with what ever path you choose, but my recommendation would be to start tube pre and SS amp.


I agree. I also have a tube amp and I switch between that and the SS every now and then, but the tube amp is used mostly for jazz and softer music.

I had it the other way too, SS pre and tube amp, and the tube amp softened the SS harshness. It's all trial and error. For me, tube pre and SS power amps work best with my setup