That's not really useful evidence of anything, though. Tubes are nostalgic, romantic, and exotic. I'd always expect them to do well in non-blinded, subjective "tests", especially in a room full of high-end audio enthusiasts.
Eer what? I would challenge that, by saying you are talking about your solid state systems here my friend. Audiophile enthusiasts obsessing over measurements
and 500x over sampling rates. The Audio Note room was full of regular guys, one guy brought his kids and they were enjoying the sound as well judging by tapping feet.
My take on the tube v solid state argument is each to their own, and I am not saying all solid state is bad, it isn't. What I am saying is in the real world and realistic sized living rooms
and playing all music types, a fantastic musical experience can be had with Redbook and tubed amplification. It seems simpler is better. The Lampizator DACs for example were a beautifully simple design with tubed output, but they sounds smooth, no digital edge, as good as vinyl, possibly better.
Tubes are nostalgic, romantic, exotic. I would say tubes are accurate, organic, real sounding in a well designed modern amplifier. Forget the 50's style warm glow and rounded off frequency response.
That is not where it is now. And the 50/50 split at the show of SS and tubed amplification says to me that tubes are alive and kicking. It is a brilliant combination of CD streaming with tubed amplification. Huge amounts of details and beautiful midrange realism with dynamics and bass when mated with 95db speakers.
I was lost a few years ago, drowning in a sea of huge solid stage power amps and gigantic inefficient speakers, Krell. McIntosh, Musical Fidelity. Now I am happy at last with my low powered SET 300B monoblocks driving horn hybrids. They give me so much more enjoyment it has brought me back to this hobby.....
Forget the glossy brochure and tech specs. Like buying a car, just go out and test drive it, and if it get you, rocks your boat, buy the thing!