the very reason why most people spit on EQ is the very reason why big shot recommends it. isn't it ironic? and from a measurable point of view, he is undoubtedly right. the little distortion or phase shift you might get from a competent usage of EQ is nothing in regard to what it can improve. sure you can decide that having the best dac+best amp+best headphone with perfect sound doesn't require EQ, well then, don't use it. same if your "oh so very imbalanced" sound system happens to be exactly to your tastes. but don't go saying that EQ is wrong when seeking to EQ the sound with an amp. that tickles me everytime I read it.
anybody's free to do what he wants for himself, with good reasons, or not, it doesn't matter because we're free to do so. but when speaking to a community, I find it morally wrong to pretend that tubes are for hifi if the very reason you picked the amp in the first place was to smooth some trebles out, add some warmth or texture(distortion) to the bass, because you liked the (different)sound better, or simply because it looked so damn good. none of those reasons are hifi ones.
same as I find it wrong to say that vinyl is better than CD, or that I will obtain flat sound without EQ(in some rare situations it might be possible, but I'm pretty sure 99% of sound systems could get closer to neutral or closer to someone's taste with an EQ.
we could argue that frequency signature isn't about hifi but tastes, but I find it strange that people would complain about nanosecond jitters, -96db noise of 16bit, -3db in stereo separation of a not double chiped dac, but would find it ok to listen to something several DB away from what they really want(knowingly or not), and sometimes with audible distortions. we can't pretend we care about fidelity if our choices prove we don't. signature is one of the most important parameter in sound, how can we not care about setting it right(for purpose or taste)?
but most of all, if both SS and tube amps exist at audible hifi levels, then what separates them?
some SS are crap, some tubes are crap. mostly SS reach distortion levels below what tubes can do, so in seeking absolute perfection we should say SS is now superior. but that's a little like saying that a sabre dac is superior. getting a 25$ hifimediy usb dac won't make you superior in anything. if the amp is well done, it a good amp. that's all there is to it, SS or tube, and a lot of good tube amps pretty certainly sound just like some good SS amps.
there is no shame in our choices so let's not try to over sell our gears with good looking lies where we have to pick sides for false reasons. I like rolled off trebles so even though my amps are neutral low distortion SS stuff, I buy headphones with rolled off trebles and a good deal of distortion in the low freqs(hd650 is one of those). then I fine tune with light EQuing. that's not hifi seeking, not quality seeking, and certainly not "natural, true sound" seeking. I just do it for my own tastes and would never tell headfi that my choices are better. while they sure are for me. 2 very different things.
some tube amp lovers are probably just like me, picked a more neutral headphone and then decided to roll off the trebles and get distortion texture in the lows with an amp. I see nothing wrong in that. it's not how I see things, but what counts is to be happy with the result. as long as we don't mix our tastes with made up audio qualities, we're good.
audible distortion can never bring a higher fidelity sound, else it would be called magic +sounding stuff, not distortion. let's just be ok with that very obvious statement.