Tube audio used to be quite common back in the 50-60s then they were mostly replaced by transistor based audio at the mid to low end of the audio market. However, tube never really went away - it stays in the high end market and offers extraordinary enjoyment to music lovers. Ask why people choose to have tube audio? Here are a few common answers to you to consider:
Tubes sounds warmer and more musical than solid state and is widely perceived as true high fidelity. For the same money or less than solid state, you can experience real hi-fi and impress your friends, family and neighbours.
Tubes are more fun than solid state and blend well with art and home décor. It has a much higher WAF (Wife Appreciation Factor) than conventional box electronics. It can truly be a living room conversational piece, as many of our female customers confirmed. Thanks to the sound of tubes, your music system sounds nearly like a live band playing when you entertain guests.
Tube Components can be customized to your sound preference by installing different makes of tubes. So upgrading is a lot more affordable (you don’t have to run a garage sale to sell off old electronics). A different set of tubes instantly gives you new sounding component. Solid State components are next to impossible to modify/improve by the end user.
Tubes are easy to maintain and repair as the circuitry is less complicated than solid state. Most tube amp maintenance is really just about putting in a new tubes – as simple as changing light bulbs.
Tubes are NOT more expensive than solid state, contrary to many people’s perception. With many products and components nowadays manufactured in China and distributed by reputable North American audio resellers, tube audio has never been more affordable and reliable.
Tubes can last a long time. The smaller pre-amp tubes can last anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 hours. Some military grade pre-amp mini tubes can last 200,000 hours. Larger power and driver tubes usually last 5,000 hours. At 4 hours per day use, 5,000 hours = 3.5 years. Many people upgrade their cars more often than that :)