Originally Posted by HumbertHumbert
Thanks. That's a lot of info. If you have got some spare time, I have a quick question:
Just curious, why do you think mainstream AVR companies like Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, Marantz are not manufacturing tube amps? I came across vintage Marantz tube amps on ebay, but I guess they have stopped manufacturing such products. I believe there is still considerable demand for tube amps in the market.
I agree that mainstream companies would rather avoid the occasional tube reliability issues. But well-engineered tube components are very reliable and quiet. I owned a Beard 100-watts/channel power amp for 18 years and never replaced a tube. My Audible Illusions preamp, now stored away after about 20 years in my system, did require several new tubes. Together, the AI and Beard were very quiet--a slight hiss was audible at full gain only when my ear was within about two inches from a tweeter. My Cary integrated amp, purchased new in late 2017, is dead quiet at full gain and has not needed any new tubes.
To reply to your question:
Saul Marantz sold his company to Superscope in 1964 and it has changed ownership several times since then. All subsequent owners preferred to focus on solid-state designs. The same applies to other high-volume mainstream manufacturers, like the ones you mentioned. With the exception of low-cost Chinese brands, tube preamps, power amps, and integrated amps have been available for many years from primarily high-end companies only.
Several firms offer both SS and tube amplification products, such as McIntosh, Cary, Luxman, Balanced Audio Technology, Rogue, Quad, and Van Alstine. Conrad-Johnson and Audio Research add SS amps to their tube lineups on occasion. Hybrid tube/SS units are made by PS Audio, Jolida, and Vincent (Jolida has all-tube products as well). There are tube-only brands, including VAC, VTL, Quicksilver, Icon Audio, and PrimaLuna. Accessory-type tube products, particularly phono preamps, are also available. There may be other tube manufacturers that escape my memory at the moment.
Probably the lowest cost all-tube amplifiers from the brands mentioned above are from Jolida and PrimaLuna, which, not coincidentally, are manufactured in China. Quad has products made there, too, but they are not inexpensive. Most of the brands listed here are manufactured in the United States.
In short, there are many companies that make tube components.