Still hoping for some input on this question...
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Hi, i'm not usre if i get it right but if by "hybrid" you mean a tube/ss pre + ss/tube amp, then i can say there seems to be no "trade-off" that i can discern with mine.
I drive my Krell FPB with a Sonic Frontiers SFL-2 and i am VERY happy with the combo because this was the only 'team' that drove my Sonus Faber so well, i had to weep (OK, that's too much) :-| but seriously: the SFL-2 is not the "usual" warm tube sound i had experienced before, and i like that. Then the Krell seems to have endless power... i get the tube sweetness and the SS switfness and control.
What more can i ask for?
A KCT or a Hovland HP-100 probably (just to give my SFL-2 a bit of rest; it's my workhorse for many years now) :-):-)
the issue of having to crank it up to get louder isn't a tube versus solid state versus hybrid issue, unless you are using an amplifier that is seriously underpowered.
the issue is sensitivity, or gain. So whatever type of amp you decide to go with read-up on sensitivity/gain before you make a decision.
As far as hybrid amps go, good ones are a nice compromise between tubes and SS.
Personally, I've found Totems sound better with amps (whether it's tube/SS/hybrid) that have a low damping factor. This really lets Totems open-up and sound much, much bigger.
Mallarducks - thanks for the input. Would you mind explaining a couple of things?
1) Does gain = sensitivity and what does this reflect? Is this db vs output voltage??? and is it manifested as the change in sound level produced by a given change in volume control setting???
2) I don't have a clue about "damping factor"
Thanks for taking the time to reply.