What do you prefer? Tube, transistor or hybrid?

Burning passion or stay cool? Some argue whether digital or analog reproduction is superior, others wonder whether true sound is better reproducible via glass bulbs or silicon, in other words whether tube or transistor sounds better. Or is it not about sound, but more about optics or reliability? In our survey of the week, we've asked the subscribers of our bi-weekly newsletter, what they prefer.


  • Have had tube & transistor, buy for the sound not what is in the case.
  • I like both tube and solid state units but prefer a tube preamp & solid state amp set up if using both types together. Since my present set up is all solid state I indicated transistor above.
  • No preference
  • Tube for pre amp
    Transistor for power amp
  • There are many good transistor amplifiers who play tubely...
  • Tube pre-amp, solid state power amp
  • preamp tube
    poweramp transistor
  • A Single-Ended valve without feedback is the best option.
  • ASR Emitter - simply one of the best
  • Reliability is of great importance to me!
  • Good experience with both tube and transistor systems, but transistor is most appropriate when living room is music room.
  • There is no doubt that there are many very good transistor amplifiers on the market. But after having owned several transistor amplifiers, I went back to the tube amplifier where it all started with. The sound experienced with a (good) tube amplifier seems to be less fatiguing than with a transistor amplifier. Tube amplifiers can work with less or no overall feed-back, and have a very low damping factor, also the harmonics produced are different compared with a transistor amplifier. Due to the lower damping factor and usually lower output power, loudspeakers have to be selected very carefully and with high(er) efficiency. (Very often large speakers!)
    There is indeed a difference in sound, but maybe also something might happen "between the ears" when listening and at the same time looking at the soft glowing tubes....
  • I own a pair of Audion Black Shadow 2 power amps coupled with a pair of Audion Premier Quattro MC preamps.
    I find an audible hum to be present at higher volume, especially with digital. I would have preferred PS Audio amps with both valve & transitors if had my choice again as problems with feedback would be negated.
  • That is a very hard question to respond, but tube is a little better than transistor



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