The closest approach: what amplification?

Ken Kessler titled his book on Quad "The closest approach" to summarize Quad's philosophy of producing a speaker that gets as close as possible to the reproduction of a live event. I have been wondering if there is a type of amplification that gets us closer to the real thing more than other types. I have met many audiophiles over the past few years, and what strikes me is how religious people can get about radically different types of amplification: some swear that there is nothing like small-power SET coupled with efficient speakers. Others believe that you don't have a serious system unless you use muscular SS amplifiers (e.g. 300 WPC). Others believe that powerful push-pull tube configurations are the best of both worlds. Finally, there is a small community of OTL aficionados that look at the rest of the world as if they don't know what music reproduction is all about.

Of course these people value different things. Some like imaging more than other things; others value transparency; others are crazy about huge soundstages; others seek warmth etc. And it is clear that some types of amplification are better for certain things and others are better for other things.

Now, let us consider simply the reproduction of a live event (not some specific, partial dimensions). In your experience, what type of amplification got you close to the real thing? Powerful SS, SET, OTL, powerful push-pull?
honestly I think most of it is speaker dependent ... people find a speaker they LOVE and then try to match an amp to those speakers. some speakers mate best with powerful solid state some with SET and still others with push-pull tubes.

so find a pair of speakers you love then match it with the "right" amp for your musical taste! and try all sorts of combos, sometimes things look like they could NEVER work on paper but in actuality sound pretty damn good. in other words, don't rule out an amp based on its topology or specs ... try it, YOU might like it.

Merry Christmas!

Find your own religion - don't buy into someone else's beliefs. All the various amplifier topologies have their merits as well as their weak points. There is NO one easy solution, no one right answer. Listen to all kinds of systems and figure out which one connects to your idea of what a live even should sound like (if that is your criteria for what a good system should do to make you happy and engaged with the music). I agree that the interface between amp and speakers is critical, especially when considering SET amplification where potentials are more limited, or electrostatic speakers that require gobs of current to sound their best. Enjoy the ride!

Merry Christmas!