Why is solid state more popular when tubes are better?

Yes tubes are more involved and require periodic maintenance. Hybrid tube components need not apply, these are really solid state.

Tubes are better for multiple reasons and yet the world and the trade prefers solid state. Those rare audio shops that are geared toward stereo listening and serious connoisseurs tend to Focus more on tubes.  Those in business who like to improve volumes tend to offer solid state.  All the YouTube channels looking to improve their business tend to be solid state.  Maybe because tubes require much more expertise to sell, and there's lesser and lesser to go around. Solid state is more of a fast food commodity.

Tubes are difficult for businesses due to all the maintenance and complexity so you see it less often. Much much easier to sell hybrids or solid state.




Tubes look cool...they just do. Also note that you can roll different tubes whenever you feel like changing the taste of things...you gonna roll transistors in in that SS amp? No, you're not. Here's a thing about what old Ralph says about his class D amps that mystifies me a bit: The D monos display a "tube like" harmonic distortion but at 1/10th the amount of his tube amps, thus likely making it hard for the pedestrian listener to hear it...just sayin'.

@skippytate ...Thanks, Mike...*fist bump*G*

This whole premise (ss v. tube) has been dis-cussed at into the ground ad absurdum with the same dame finality in ones’ lap...

You’re either ss’d....or tube’d. Some ’X-over’, but not lots...

I grew up with tubed things. Yes, they do have their characteristics, and their PIA issues that one can either live with and loved for that.

And that’s Fine.

SS is where the technology went, and is where it’s continuing to go; perhaps to the point where an AI will scan your room, ditto your head and your finances, and ’suggest’ what may make you ’happy’.

....and for many, that’ll be the end of their ’story’, put the book on the nightstand, and go to sleep. Dream of dancing ’bots in tutu’s.....or whatever...*L*

@wolf_garcia ...Hey, I can ’roll’ the chips in my sound card within my ’puter....

Does that count? ;)

There’s ’pro audio’ items of various sorts ’n apps that’ll give you ’tube’ characteristics on demand or in spite of yourself....*LOL*

Does That Account?!

*more L’ing*

You’ve read it here 1st....Soon, coming to a website in your face...

The app-ability to flick between the 2, and to ’dial in’ the amount of the characteristics you yearn for or ’have’ta have’.

’Roll tubes’ without burning your fingers.

Dogs ’n cats procreating; ’dats’ & ’cogs’, and ’fats’ & ’fogs’, when the goldfish get into the mix....

Wait until it gets to US ’umans.....

I might really end up appearing to look like my seagull.....WTF would it feel like, conversing with a bird? *ROTFLMAO*

We’re doomed...enjoy the ’floor show’, even if I don’t want to ’be underfoot’.... ;)


Tube amps are LOW FI , not HIFI, since 50 years

Talking about "fidelity" : tube technology is inferior to well designed SS technology, and deprecated since 50 years

Tube tech provide : high distorsion, high noise, high heat, low power, low reliability, high cost, non linear frequency response... Everything is worst in a tube amp (and please don't ask about even distorsion harmonics : these harmonics, as their name tell it : are relevant to distorsion... and there should be no audible distorsion at all in Hifi : so even harmonics are out of scope).

The only domain where tube is still superior is : LOW FI : mainly for guitar amps where high distorsion with majority of even harmonics and frequency response non-linearities are qualities, and high noise is not a problem, as well as low power on 15'' high efficiency guitar speakers.

Emergingsoul, I'd say you struck a nerve here! How dare you challenge someone's core believe! I picture in my mind how it would have been in the old west had there been audio equipment back then. The shootout at the O.K. Coral would have definitely been between Tubey Tobias and Solid State Sam! Now, where do you stand on interconnects? Watch your step!

This is very much a 'first world problems' discussion, but my pennyworth is from the perspective of someone who owns both S/S and - very recently - a valve amplifier. I've always had S/S, from original Quad 303 through (currently) Mark Levinson 331 and (my favourite) Michell/Trichord Alecto II monoblocs. All lovely stuff and I've never felt short-changed in the music department, but I've always been curious about just what difference (if any) a good valve setup could make.

The first valve amp I really listened to was an Octave v80SE, at the dealer from whom I was buying some Martin Logan speakers. Was most impressed but, in a dealer system, hard to tell what was making the difference. But it whetted my appetite – valve-curious, if you like… 

A couple of months ago, having missed out on a great deal on an ARC i50, I got the offer of an Octave v110SE with the add-on SBB capacitor bank, at price which, had I turned it down, I'd have spent the rest of my life kicking myself about.

So, inserting it in place of the Arcam pre and Alecto power amps in my system, and I'm absolutely delighted: there's an inherent musicality, subtlety and depth to the output that was (and remains) immensely appealing. That's not to knock the previous system, but just that the Octave provides an overall more satisfying experience, and I find myself listening to music even more than before, and finding new things to hear in familiar recordings. 

The downside of course is warm-up time - I've been listening for about 40 minutes this morning, and the thing is only just waking up and getting into its groove.

Then there is the cost of replacement valves, but you factor that into the purchase anyway - I'm actually pre-emptively purchasing a new set of KT150s against the time when the in-channel supplies of Russian manufacture dry up altogether.

I'm also discovering the delights of 'tube rolling', which adds yet another geek dimension to a thoroughly OCD hobby… :-)