I'm probably gonna purchase a used tube amp within the next few weeks, seems like there's a lot of supporters on headfi for tube amps so I guess I can't really go wrong :) Anyway just to ask, how would one know if it's time to replace a particular tube for the amp? Would there be indicators aesthetically, such as the tubes becoming black or something similar?
One question about solid state amplifiers though, from what I've read on the forums a lot of solid state amps try to present a more neutral sound, without any colouration or artificial warmth. The more expensive the amp generally the more accurate sounding (aka neutral) songs would be - correct me if I'm wrong here I'm kinda making an assumption - but wouldn't there be a point where too much neutrality would actually make the sound seem 'lifeless', in a sense? What is it about very high end solid state amps that attracts people ? Not sure if I'm putting it correctly as I don't have much experience in amps of any kind...
If you are going to be purchasing a fairly new design, then no problems, just get it and enjoy. No problems whatsoever. Just visually inspect the amp for physical damage. If you don't see any, then it's most likely just fine. You only have to be careful when buying really vintage stuff, like when I helped a business contact in China purchase a Marantz 8B from a US seller. That amp had to be fully inspected by someone who was very familiar with it before being turned on the first time.