There is another thread, the latest of many, dealing with low vs high wattage amps. By the way, those threads might be good in a "sticky". As part of this thread, IbanezRokr stated that he preferred large amps over small ones because, quote: Because it turns out I don't like power-amp distortion. I like a driven pre-amp, and a big clean power amp to make it louder. So 4 KT88's pushing 120 is what I fell in love with, I don't turn it up very loud, and I don't work the tubes hard. There's just current cruising through the power amp, nice and easy. To my understanding, the main differences between "solid state" and "valve" power amps are: output impedance, internal impedance, distortion, and soft clipping. Aside from the soft clipping, all of the others can be copped pretty well by a solid state power amp. Distortion is irrelevant, if power-amp distortion is to be avoided. This leaves soft clipping. So, do you like the compression/soft clipping provided by the power amp, or would you be happy without it? If happy without it, it seems an alternative to the heavy and expensive power amp might be something solid state. Edit: I remember reading elsewhere quite a while ago that this solution, irrespective of volume and soft clipping, was unacceptable. The poster claimed that this solution didn't "punch" through the mix very well. Why wouldn't it? It seems like "punching" through the mix would be a function of damping factor, which is a function of impedance issues (which are addressable in a solid state PA), and (I'm guessing) are experienced by the listener as a "sharply defined" sound rather than a "mushy" sound. So what gives?