Re: That vinyl sound
The thing to note about Quad switching from valves to transistors was that, yes they reduced distortion levels, but they didn't change the basic topology of the circuitry. The harmonic characteristics of both amps were deliberately designed to be the same. But even if Quad were gaming the test by controlling both configurations, it has been shown since that many so called golden ears of the AES couldn't tell the difference between Crown DC-300 (solid state) and VTL 300 (tube) amps. In general most competent power amps, when operated within their design parameters, sound pretty much the same. Differences usually only show when driving difficult speaker loads. Same goes for speaker cables, and don't get me started on the supposed benefits of upgrading that 1m of power cord that runs from the wall socket to your amp.