Forgive me for assuming all tube amps have rolled-off highs — that's the most frequent characteristic that I see other people (and reviews) citing about the difference. When I've tried tube amps before, I've either detected no difference at all from (good) solid-state, or that rolloff. Usually no difference at all.
But, as I said, that was just one reason I wasn't considering tubes. The two others:
- Tubes can be finicky, and eventually burn out. I don't want to tube-roll. I don't want to buy NOS tubes from Russian missiles on eBay (again). I don't want to have to figure out what to replace them with, and where to get more, when they die. I don't want to diagnose a weird imbalance or noise in one ear when a tube gets flaky. I want an amp that works the same way every time.
- Tubes seem to pick up noise more easily, and I'm surrounded by computers and phones and tablets with cellular radios all the time. When I spent some time with a couple of tube amps at home, I had problems with my most sensitive and detailed headphones — the Beyer T90 — having audible noise from both tube amps that they didn't get with two solid-state amps in the exact same setup. And from what everyone says, the SR-009 are particularly sensitive and detailed.
Are these concerns unfounded?
Edited by marcoarment - 6/13/14 at 6:17pm