Class A solid state for amplification (I prefer integrateds for simplicity, space & cost savings), paired with tubed ancillary components, such as phono stages, dacs, etc...Sugden, tavish design, Ear and border patrol come to mind.
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Many years past, I carried out numerous Tube vs SS as Amplification , as a Phonostage, Pre-Amp' and Power Amp.
The Outcome being I become a user of SS Phonostage > Tube Pre-Amp' > Power Amp's
More recently over the past 5-6 Years, I have revisited the Comparisons and had demonstrations of Commercial and DIY Built Designs.
The Outcome being I have now been introduced to Tube Phonostages that I now own, as well as, SS Pre and Power Amp's I would happily own in place of a Tube Amp.
My expansion into Digital (I am a very late comer to the party) has the Outcome that I have selected a Tube DAC over a SS DAC.
There are some good DAC Comparison Demonstrations on the near horizon, so this attraction to Tubes might get realigned.
That thing about tubes being warmer is more of a myth with todays tube amps because companies try to win end-users over with their analytical, open sound. Then it can be ear fatiguing for some after a while. If anything, more of the solid state gear is warmer and more rolled off due to a lack of separation in various forms of music. Solid state often has thicker, rolled off sound until you get into the really high end solid state.
@rankaudio earlier in this thread someone suggested I get an LTA Microzotl MZ2 pre amp- headphone amp. At their website they say basically the same thing you do.They claim the "warmth" of tubes is actually a type of intermodulation distortion caused by transformer hysteresis. They claim their ZOTL (Zero Hysteresis Output Transformer Less) technology is a way to eliminate this "warmth"
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