Originally Posted by winny pooh
All those awesome large format consoles? no tubes.
Exactly. If you want something that sounds "warm" or "thick", or insert your buzzword of choice that often gets stuck on equipment with tubes - buy something that sounds warm, thick, etc.
Don't worry about the presence or absence of tubes.
Some stuff with tubes - Avalon, Fearn come to mind, are very clean and high-fi sounding. And some stuff with tubes, have very little to do in terms of circuit with old classic tube circuits. Except that there's a tube in it. The ART stuff mentioned above is one example.
Some think the sound of the old tube stuff was pleasing more due to the transformers than tubes.
In short, get something that sounds good to you. If it happens to have tubes, great. If it doesn't have tubes, also great.