The Real Battle Isn't Tone
A Completely Subjective Opinion
But The Deciding Factor Won't Be Tone
It was a very different musical world when I got into guitar. In the 40+ years since I started playing, there's been a steady decrease in stage volumes, touring budgets, setup times, stage sizes, and venues supporting live music. At the same time there's been a steady increase in silent stages, fly dates, home recording, and social media and video as revenue streams for musicians. The requirements on amplifiers as musical tools are very different today. And tube amps are steadily becoming a less viable choice to meet them. If this is the future of music, and I think it is, tube amps will simply become impractical and irrelevant, no matter how much better they sound and feel. It's like wearing combat boots to a track meet – they might be the highest quality boots ever made but they're just not the best shoes for the job.