First I have no interest in maintaining these things. From what I been hearing, most people I know that have them seem to spend more time screwing with them then enjoying them. Another thing I hear is that they are always swapping tubes searching for a certain sound. I guess different tubes produce different sounds. They are always looking for ways to tweak then and upgrade them.I don't know much about tube amps I guess. But I just don't want to be bothered with all that.
Tube gear is not a hassle, in fact, it's fun. Hell, there are even tubes amps that are self-biasing today.
Another thing I'm hearing is that I would be more impressed with the results of a tube pre amp the a tube amp.
That would depend on a number of factors, but that's certainly not the gospel. For horns, I'd recommend tubes all around.
Besides, my M-400a has given me the exact sound I have wanted since the day I took it out of the box way back in 1981.
Kinda hard to know about the exact sound if you haven't tried anything else in your system since 1981! Believe me, there are far better amps out there.
Tube amp with the power of an M-400a the cost would be way more then I care to spend on an amp. Maybe a 5-10 watt tube amp can satisfy some of you folks but it wouldn't even begin to do it for me.
That's a common misconception. The fact is that a tube amp can be 2 to 3 times less powerful (rated wpc) and yet play as loudly as a SS amp because tube amps soft clip, while SS amps hard clip. You'd be surprised how loud 10 tube watts can get. I don't know off the top of my head the efficiency of your speakers, but I'm guessing around 105dB. So, at one watt of amp (tube or SS) power, they are producing an SPL level of 105dB. At two watts they are at 108dB, 4 watts is 111db, 8 watts is 114dB.
At CF two years ago I think some folks got a wake up call. The 9t SS blocks rated at what, 575wpc were at least matched, if not surpassed in volume by a pair of 180wpc tube blocks, which also sounded a helluva lot better too.
For S&G's, there's a 50wpc VTL tube amp for sale right here for the paltry sum of $675.00 that I guarantee will smoke the M-400a.