What is the future of amp technolgy?

As digital technology makes strides toward the future, amp technology seems to returning to its roots of pre-1960. Tube amps are experiencing a large increase in popularity, and SS amps are generally moving to a more "tube like" sound. Then there is this new digital amp technology, that I don't know much about. Are tube amps the wave of the future, or a dinosaur from the past? Will SS amps finally reach a point when there is no reason to buy a tube amp? Will Digital amps eclipse both tube and SS amps, and become the best of all worlds? Your thoughts?
Thanks, Ghostrider45. At least that gives me some basics to work with. Much appreciated.
Something's going on when a first-generation product like the Bel Canto digital amps have a bunch of tube-o-philes singing their praises. One can only guess at how good the second- and third-generation amps will be...

Also, and I should say that I do like tubes and what they can bring to a system, as the new formats improve on both the hardware and software fronts a lot of(but certainly not all) audiophiles currently using tubes to smooth out the phase distortion created by their redbook CD players may start to re-evaluate the need to soften edges and fill out the midrange. I think the new formats will likewise soon send a lot of turntables packing as well(again, not all, but most).

My bet is that in a few years we're going to have some relatively inexpensive digital amps and players that will sound so incredibly good that they will relegate the tube vs. solid state debate to a distant back burner. But then again I've lost bets before.


I concur. One thing I forgot to mention is that "digital" amp technology is inherently energy efficient and relatively inexpensive to build, compared to classic big iron analog amplifiers.

The executions of this technology will only get better and cheaper.
Loads of new techie thingies, Digital switching, transimpediance modulating, Class Z+, Triple mono, Dual defractor power supplies, triple regulated digital filters, etc.

IMHO As only to SOUND, amp technology is nothing more than meaningless buzz words.

Older amps from Muse, ML, Mac, AR, J Rowland, VTL, D Berining, etc. sound just as good as most current offerings and are built better. Just my .02 cents worth and rant of the day.
I am willing to speculate that the combination of room correction and surround sound will eventually be the dominant technolgy. A new purist audiophile will emerge, considering any unnecessary analog input as an anathema. A new democratic audiophile who will embrace the idea that with digital equalization one may dial in the amount of sweetness, crispness,slam or any other favorite audiophile characteristic he or she desires.
The idea of rolling tubes,using different transistors, combining technologies or using cables to balance,modify or correct anomolies will be reviewed as a rather broad,crude and antiquated concept.
All bets are off if the greedy manufacturers (both soft and hard ware) don't get thier acts together and don't present finished and compatible products that don't evoke fears of planned obsoleteness.