Mid-fi tube vs high-end SS

Hello everyone. I am new here but not new to audio. I’ve been meaning to buy a high-end permanent SS amp for 2 years now. But not sure how much improvement I can get.


A little about what I have. I use a high-quality tube amp I bought for around $1,500. 55 watts per channel Class A. With upgraded tubes it’s a little over $2,000. The amp I have is the Musical Paradise mp-501 I’ll link below. Using upgraded Kt-170 tubes along with some nos 5693 red tubes and 717-a tubes.


My audio knowledge and listen ability has improved substantially these past few years thanks partly to this tube amp. Sorry for the long-winded intro. My actual question is, how much improvement should I expect going from this tube amp to something high-end SS like the Gato 150 and the incredible DVA M225? Very little reviews on the Gatos, I’m hoping I could get some help here, even anything about the Gato 150 from users would be helpful. Ty




@decooney  You misunderstand me. I'm very happy with the sound of my system. That comment about the bmr midrange being too neutral is just a concern I have when looking at SS pairing. It's just that reading the reviews of these fantastic SS amps make me really curious.  


A tube pre-amp with SS monos sound enticing but I'm trying to have less tubes in my life. haha. 

@samureyex ...It’s just that reading the reviews of these fantastic SS amps make me really curious. A tube pre-amp with SS monos sound enticing but I’m trying to have less tubes in my life. haha.


Gotcha. There were some helpful replies in this thread by members sharing with you the pros/cons of sound from each. I’m a 35+ year class A/AB solid state amp owner, until really good tube amps entered the picture for me 8 years ago. Well made tube amps are simple and don’t burn up tubes prematurely. Good USA or Japan made tube amp designs last 50+ years. If you want a lasting SS amp with decent sound, get a Bryston. Was simply trying to relate your BMR speakers will do much better with the right amp driving them. Best of Luck

I currently run a Peachtree Grand x-1 hybrid intergrated amp with 440 watts per channel of class D solid state design.  This unit, like so many others today, have a built in pre-amp that is 'tubed'.  Peachtree has been a leader in making Class D a great way to go with S.S.  The current technology is a big boost in performance, cost and enviornonmentally more desireable.  Significant drop in power needed and used and much less heat.  The pre-amp section with 2 12AU7s gives back the magic of tubes and that 'tube sound'.  I also like any of the Rogue models of hybrid amps.  You can have your cake and eat it too.  Find a hybrid that fits your system and you will have the best of both worlds.

Hello Sam, I became curious also with listening to other products and designs. My first hifi amplifier was a Class A solid state design which was extremely good. But reading hifi magazines got interested in tube amplifiers, I wanted to try one. Since, I’ve owned many SS and tube amplifiers throughout the years. So I understand your curiosity and can honestly say that for me, the only thing that would satisfy my curiosity was to travel down the path I did by hearing many them in my home. Some people prefer SS and others prefer tubes. I’ve discovered that I am mostly a tube person but I could be very happy with an all SS system as well. I recently went to my friends home who also is a tube guy to hear a setup he put together. It consists of $40,000 Dac & CD combo, $8,000 monitors, interconnect $3,500 per 3 meters and a class D amplifier $1,200. The sound was fantastic. Even though the rest of this setup is very expensive, I was quite amazed how good the sound was with a little inexpensive amplifier.  Solid State amps have their strengths and tube amps have theirs. It all comes down to which sounds best to you in your system. So even though I prefer tube amps, I still own some very good SS pieces.