They're only bought because they're cheap.
People are so eager for the glow of tubes that they will buy compromised equipment or amps where the tubes barely provide any amplification at all.
Also, I only run name-brand transformers. "Mystery meat" transformers are a risk I'm not willing to take.
If the cheapies ran good iron, they'd cost about the same as the amps that run good iron.
Those amps are not cheap because of labor costs. They're cheap because they run the cheapest possible power supply with the cheapest possible parts.
And, no, a very expensive and rare NOS tube rolled into it doesn't make a cheap power supply any better.
The post you quoted talked about Audio-GD gear as well. So, if you make that statement, I assume you have heard many Audio-GD solid state amps, as well as the tube amps you talk about? Do you have any experience with them, or just a 2 minute listen at a meet?
I get your point about tube amps, but to take that, and apply it to all Chinese gear, even solid-state, is a bit ludicrous.
On topic, anything dynamic is overrated here, and stats except the SR-007 and SR-009 are way underrated. Most head-fiers just don't consider electrostats. Too bad cause some of the affordable ones will wipe the floor with anything dynamic.
Edited by tvrboy - 9/4/11 at 8:58am