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Old 10th April 2021 | Show parent
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Originally Posted by jaddie ➡️
No. Many reasons. Tube B+ is between 100 and 450 volts, transistor Vcc, usually less than 100, and for line level or mic level audio, more like less than 30. Too many basic differences to make them swappable easily.

You can never satisfy everyone.

Almost 40 years back I designed a hifi preamp that left the gain stage open for the swapping of gain modules and power supply blocks. The idea was it could be ordered with tube gain, IC opamp gain, discrete transistor gain, etc. It was a nice idea. Never manufactured because the modularity ran the cost up so high it landed outside of perceived value. There were other issues too, but that was the deal breaker.

It also had a "modular" front panel. You could order the economy, gray paint with silkscreened legends, the brushed aluminum with photo anodized legends, same with a gold-satin finish, and finally, a glass half-silvered cobalt blue mirror. Legends were lit from behind, so they vanished when not lit. They were tube-glow-orange, and I had them fading up and down. Geez that was expensive. I'm sure the mirrored panel would have sounded the best.

But just because you can't swap active devices in the same circuit doesn't mean you can't compare active device type, you just have to consider the entire circuit design and be aware if factors outside of the gain device and what they may be doing.
Why don't you just take a tube mic and change the tube. If the sound changes it seems to me pretty hard to argue the tube plays no role in the sound.