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Ok. I thought I would summarize what I think I have heard and maybe learned in my experiments before I go on to something else.
My results tend to make me agree with what I have read in multiple internet articles that amplifiers of good construction played within their non-distorting limits will sound very similar. As there are always caveats with statements like this, I will get mine out of the way now.
1.This assumes that the amps are played at reasonable listening levels.
2. I do not doubt that some differences might be heard with careful listening between amps with high quality opts vs average opts. I think however a person would have to weigh other factors like loss of hearing due to age, etc. against whether the extra cost would be worth it for them. You can get a lot of bang for the buck with some of the lower cost opts. Being a senior citizen, I am sure my hearing has suffered some loss. However, there is a great deal of music that is below 12k hz, and I can not justify the considerable expense of high end opts.
3. All this applies to tube amplifiers (pp & se) only as I did not have an SS amp to compare with the tube amps. I intend to try that when I can get my hands on a decent one.
4. Since seeing is believing, I invite any and all who think I am full of beans (or worse) to try it for themselves. If you have two amps it is very easy to hook them up so you can switch between them with just the push of a button. Get one of the inexpensive switches from the attached link (or elsewhere), hook the amps up to the inputs, hook your speakers to the outputs, and put some 8 ohm or higher (25 ohms say) resistors across the speaker output terminals on the amps to protect them when switching, connect the input leads from your source to the switch box, adjust the volume controls of both amps until the volume is exactly the same on both, and you are good to go.
If anyone tries this please do post your results on the tubes(diy) forum as inquiring minds want to know.

Edits: 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17 07/10/17

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