Originally Posted by elmoe
That's not exactly right though, because tubes cause more audible distortion than transistors from what I understand, meaning that the sound is colored more, and thus much less neutral. Even-order distortion from tubes is easier to hear but also less harsh than the transistor's odd-order distortion, however with a proper amp design it is clear that distortion from tubes is much more audible than transistors', thus linearity does not necessarily equal neutrality.
So while a 1vs1 comparison may in fact show tubes to be more neutral, it will never be so in a finished built amp design. Local loops or negative feedback well integrated in a solid state amp will give you a far less audible distortion than any tube amp design.
You need to look up the definition of linearity as related to tubes and transistirs.
A more linear device will have less THD and IM distortion.
Even order distortion vs. odd order distortion has a lot to do with amplifier topology.
You could design a tube am with low even and odd order distortion if you wanted to.
Tube circuits are typically simple circuits.
It is a universal truth that it is far easier to build an extremely simple audio amplifying circuit with tubes than with transistors.
Arguably, you can build a pretty good sounding vacuum tube pre-amp using two triodes (vacuum tube elements).
The simplest good sounding transistor circuit I have ever seen used 5 transistors, it was a Threshhold pre-amp.
You could argue that you can design a good sounding circuit with ONE Op Amp, but now you are taking about an integrated circuit with 30-50 transistors.
The rest of your post is basically true, but also (like my original comment on tubes) a rather one dimensional, unqualified view of transistors.
You also can build an extremely linear amp with a complex tube design using local feedback and global feedback.
Someone would probably listen to it and say "it sounds like solid state".
Probably more accurate to say you can build an extremely linear amp far cheaper with transistors than with tubes.
So may as well use transistors.
It has more to do with money than it has to do with tubes being inherently bad amplifying devices.
They are not.