I'd use tubes - if nothing else its easier and a hell of a lot cheaper.
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By neutral I meant staying the same. I guess I was looking at this from my point of view which is a 6H30 tube in my preamp (the only tube component I own). My side of the argument was "change the wires". I wish somebody would agree with me so I can show my face in public again.
Here a problem for you - what would you use in place of the 6H30 - from what I've heard you can't change it out by manufacturer's design? Seems like you have no otions but to tune with cable EXCEPT buying a tube CDP and AMP, then you can tune with tubes to your hearts content. :-) Thats what I do and it satifies my tendencies to be neurotic about the sound of my stuff.
I say whatever works best for you. Since cables and tubes can affect the overall sonic in similar and different ways depending on your system configuration I think experimenting with both is the key.
I've had situations where changing tubes made almost no difference or a complete night and day difference. Same thing with cables. So it depends on which tubes and/or cables your comparing.
Here's an overly simplistic example. You could use Cardas Golden Cross with a super transparent tube or a full-sounding Mullard tube with silver cables? So it depends on what you have now.
In my case, I've found tubes I like for my DAC and tubes I like for my preamp, and I'm in the process of buying all new cabling.
However, if it's a decision based purely on cost I think tuning with tubes may be the best way to go.