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.




I built a Pass First Watt F5 and thought it sounded great. Then I built a 6V6 SE amp. Each cost me about $400 to build. The F5 now sits on a shelf disconnected from everything. Solid state sounds like a wet blanket in comparison. I am also a lifelong guitar player and solid state guitar amps sound pretty much like many solid state stereo amps - no harmonics, little dynamic range.  Dull.  Boring.  What Atmasphere says about his class D design is very interesting and I don't doubt him at all.  Looking forward to when something like it can be built by hobbyists like me.  

Tubes are typically inferior on balance if you know how to setup a system well and know what to listen for. 

Was this written in 1995 and just released now? :-)


Tubes are not quantifiably better than SS, in fact, the majority of true reference - class systems run solid state, which has been long optimized to be (subjectively of course) better than tube amps.


emergingsoul - this is just Trolling, plain and simple. The thread is just to elicit arguments and responses, and see your name in 'print'. Grow up. No-one in their right mind could possibly believe the garbage you're coming out with.

Tubes produce massive amounts of distortion, relative to SS - >10x as much, so if you like that, that's your preference. And that's what this is about - preferences.

As previous posters have said; each has its place and its strengths and weakneses. And a tube pre with SS power is a good compromise as each is working in its own best way, particlarly if one is using inneficient speakers, which tube amps, in general, are no goood for. I use an ARC Ref3 into an ESLabs DX4 class D amp driving Maggie 1.7i's, and it sounds sublime.

As for valves - HOW MUCH?!?!  I've just re-tubed (6 tubes) my Ref3 at a cost of £400, so valve amps cost a LOT to maintain/run, and that cost every 4000hrs. My friends 300b power amp, using 4 of them, tells me it'll cost c£4 THOUSAND pounds to replace them! And he needs aircon to keep the room cool and comfortable! And as for tube 'rolling'; what a rabbit hole that one is! No thanks.