One of the biggest differences is that tube amplifiers have a high output impedance which requires an output transformer between the amplifier circuit and the speaker. This is a very large and expensive transformer and limits the low-frequency current to the speaker.
This typically results in a soft or rolled-off bass sound, except in the case of the very largest most expensive tube power amps. The quality of the output transformer is a major factor in the sound quality.
I had tube power amplifiers for many years, and no longer use them because top-quality solid-state amplifiers now have very low distortion and much better bass current.
I use the Bryston 3B-SST in my cost-no-object system with an Audio Research LS-26 tube preamp. I use that preamp because it is the best-sounding preamp I have ever heard for under $10,000. If I knew of a solid-state preamp that sounded as good, I might very well have bought it instead, but that is not the case.
The Vincent SP-331 is an excellent hybrid power amplifier that sells for only $1300. That would be my second choice after my Bryston.
Primaluna makes some of the best affordable tube power amplifiers and integrated amplifiers.
Originally Posted by joehonest
Your wasting your money on a tube amp. Tube amps are nothing like SS amps.. So if you got money to burn go for it. Try a tube preamp first, you will make the SS amp sound like a tube amp and still have the power...