Over Tubing it?

I am pretty sure this has come up before, but I am wondering folks opinions on whether one can "over tube it" with integrated amp and DAC.  I have a tube integrated amp (Black Ice Fusion F35 with KT-150s) which I quite like and wish to keep.  I am now auditioning the Denafrips Ares 2 DAC and my Black Ice DAC which has tubes.  

Anyone have thoughts on whether staying with the Black Ice tube F35 amp, and tube DAC, versus replacing the tube DAC with R2R (e.g. Ares or Pontus) or other for maximum quality, paired with my tube integrated amp? (Quality meaning 3d holographic soundstage, transparency, detail and other buzz words), etc...

Put another way, what do you all think the best placement of tubes in the chain yield the best results, and is it possible to "over tube"?

I stream via roon server and Optical Rendu exclusively.

Would love to hear the community's thoughts and experiences with this.

Thanks a lot.



An all ARC tube system might sound too solid state for those who want romanticism..

I am wondering folks opinions on whether one can "over tube it"

This question comes up once or twice a year.  IMO, The question itself comes from those who have read all the erroneous claims about tubes. IE "Tubes are slow." "Tubes don't have good bass" and on and on. The so called lack of good  bass kept me from tubes for a good period. Then I tried them myself and...WOW!  I shudder to think of going back to SS. I'm sure there are some good ones but I don't have the $$$ to try and find them

So considering all the misinformation about tubes,  its little wonder that the question is asked. But it comes from a view that believes tubes to be inferior to SS. I have not found that to be true. Unlike @ghdprentice , I only have 9 tubes in amp & preamp. But I would not hesitate to put a tubed Dac in the system. It all comes down to good implementation whether it be tube or SS.

Thanks a lot for all of your thoughts on this.  Very helpful.  I am re-committing to the tube DAC for a while and just placed an order for some tubes from Brent Jesse.  I am interested in what rolling in other tubes will bring to or detract from my system.  


Well, there was a time when there was no way you could get amplification without tubes, so I don't think it's necessarily always true you can have too many.

I will say that the amp/speaker combination matters a great deal. For instance, Martin Logal ESL's often do better (but of course not always) with a beefy SS amp but the inclusion of a tube pre can be pretty magical.  Combination of a sweet little liar with a big iron hammer.

I've found my Black Ice Fusion F35 w/ KT88s, Denafrips Aries II, Tekton Lores set up with Tidal off of a Macbook to be my sweat spot. Absolutely incredible listening experience with all genres over the last year or so. Have been contemplating the KT150s though as my move from EL34s was appreciable.  

In comparison, my daily listening is through a Sansui G9000, Schiit Modi and Triangle BRO3 so I can bass up with loudness for low level listening; quite a bit different but still a very pleasing experience even if I'm only using about a third of the volume knob.