My experiences are exactly similar. SS does not seem to replicate the magic of tubes. Though I am yet to and soon will, experience what Class A with tube pre stage has to offer.Without feedback: The sound has sparkle in the mids / highs and feels more open and has an extended openness with energy. The midbass sounds a bit weak due to this. I think most of the sound signature is of the tube and the output transformer quality. By changing either/both the amp without any feedback will also sound quite good imo. I am planning to change the 300B tubes shortly as the current one has gone very weak. I shall post my findings post that.
Withfeedback: The sparkle and the agressiveness of the mids / highs is lost and the sound appear more balanced. This will be good for some vinyls though but not for other media like CD & youtube. I actually now am liking without the feedback and have removed the negative feedback loop. I am now so much used to the sparkle of the 300Bs and cannot live without them now. The energy of this tube is fascinating and more lively and can related to real life music which gets absent with the negative feedback loop - again imo.
Since yesterday, my right channel 300B tubes has become so weak that it shorts within 30 minutes of operation. Hence after more than 6 months i connected my Denon AV receiver to replaced the tube amplifier. I played my usual music and noticed that i could not stand not even a single track with this amplifier. The Denon sounded very very laid back, dull, non-energetic, lifeless and all negative adjectives that you can attribute to an amplifier. Needless to say i turned them off in 3 minutes and watched TV instead.
Now my worries are can i ever go back to my old way of listening music - and i think probably not. Once you get used to something more refined then looking back is not a possibility for me in hifi. Please share your experience too.
Same thinking about “no feedback” topology. You do get to hear true tubes and OPT sound signature.
And there are some rare but great tube amps with a large number of output tubes and no OPT and it’s NOT OTL design but which have a large number of output tubes with very simple, minimal component topology and you get to hear straight tubes only from input to speakers.