i think you ought to discontinue entirely your use of the trolling motor. -cfb
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If it's not fixable, then why break it? That's what I always say. On the other hand, if it's breakable and the parts are available, then it's fixable. If your speakers honk then stick with tubes. If they don't then you have a choice, but don't let Murphy's Law rule your decision either way. "I didn't get where I am today by letting Murphy's Law run my life" (from my favorite BBC series - kind of).
Edle: There are no easy answers to your questions as the sound is dependent on the actual gear used. Many posts on this subject in the past. I have used every combination of both tube and SS power/preamps with good results. I have also experienced a lot of mismatches. My favorite setup for awhile was a SS preamp with tube monoblocks because it was quieter than my tube preamp and at that time I listened to music @ high volume levels with a TT as the source. Right now I use a 300B based SET amp which has a passive volume pot. I no longer listen at loud levels plus the S/N ratio of some modern tube gear has really improved over that of my old vintage pieces. I now require a preamp for switching between analog and digital sources and have yet to find a preamp, either SS or tube, (which is also affordable) that I prefer over the basic tube amp running solo -w- its volume pot. The preamps that I have tried are very nice indeed, just not with my setup. For now I switch IC's from source to source and will continue to do so until I find a proper match. Right now I have the best of both worlds which is a budget (but very nice sounding SS rig) in a spare room and the SET system in the main room. The SS amp that I use has no detectable grain with mids that are better, IMO, than many inexpensive push pull tube amps and tight bass that is not over done. It lacks the 3D sound of good tubed gear, but I can leave it on all the time and if I fall asleep while listening to a CD it is not a problem. If you now use tubes, is it the upkeep and maintenance that has you looking @ SS gear? Certainly it is not volume if you still use the old Altecs that I seem to recall you having. Although compatibility is rather difficult, you might want to look into a passive preamp for you setup (not much to go wrong there if that is your concern).
No Edle, there are people with both solid state and tube equipment here, but the tube versus solid state controversy is one of those religious topics probably second only to cables and asking a question like you did, categorizing an entire class of equipment is one which on a less civilized forum, would have brought out the diehards and generated a LOT of heat and controversy.
If you want to see what I mean go over to AudioReview and ask it. :-)