Solid state amp vs tube amps

Is there a noticeable difference in the sound quality of Tube amplifiers vs solid state amplifier?


There are differences that are more easily detected, as stated above, the more resolving your system is.  In your system u have to figure out which general amplifier type u like better.  Complicating matters is that within an amplifier type there will be discernable differences in sound signature.  I find that I mostly gravitate toward high powered hybrid and solid state amps driven by a tube preamp.  I have a modest powered strong performing class d amp that's also a honey.  You just have to listen, experiment and experiment more.  You can listen to reviewers, at least some of them.  However, I have had gear that once listened to, I could not get my arms around what had been written in a respectable Audio mag.  I have though found an alignment with Terry London's listening preferences- not completely but mostly.

In general, yes… very much. Solid state tend to be much quicker but very easily run out of power. The often have much less mid-range bloom and rhythm and pace… resulting a much less musical sound. In general tubed amps will sound much more powerful and natural. I had top of the line powerful solid state amps for decades. Once I got a tube amp, I will never go back to a solid state.

Yes.   Anyway a big difference in sound...hard to use "quality" as a measurement of a subjective essence such as sound. 

Everyone has their opinion, as you see above.  But the main difference is power.  SET tube amps are generally 10 wpc or less and require high sensitivity speakers. Those who dedicate to build thier system around them tend to be prejudiced in support of them.

Those with less sensitive speaker, most people, become dedicated solid state guys.  they have no choice, and they often rationalize and justify their position and become ss guys.  They tend to be less supportive of tube amps.

In between you have to push-pull amp guys who have moderate power, can use speakers a little less sensitive and try to pretend their push pull amp is as good as an SET.

My point is we all end up in camps supporting what we like and it is unusual to find someone who is agnostic in the tube/ss debate.

So it is really impossible to decide which one you are without listening, unless you want to just side with the one with the best writing style.