It seems even with fairly expensive tube amps the first thing you hear when contemplating buying one is, it sounds pretty good, but you really have to replace the tubes to get the really good sound it is capable of. Excuse me but buying a $700 amp and then having to spend another $100-$200 on new tubes doesn't appeal to me very much. Are there any tube amps for under $750 that actually come with good tubes already installed, or would I be better off to just go solid state with something like the Burson SL or Meier Classic.
It strikes me as odd that the manufacturers of tube amps use tubes that they must know, don't show the full capabilities of their amps. At the very least allow some upgrade option up front whereby you can have the amp shipped with some better tubes in it, rather than having to search high and low to find a compatible and better sounding tube set and then install them yourself.
Just venting a bit, it is frustrating finding what people describe as a tremendous sounding tube amp, only to find out that you need to spend a fair amount of time and money to actually get it to sound that way because new out of the box, it is just good, not great.