Vinnie, thanks a lot for the info!
I agree that the sound quality is the final determinator, all the rest is just marketing and prejudice - judging equipment depending on the circuit type is futile.
There are some chip amps (class D) that can successfully compete with class A amplifiers.
Thank you, Gregory. Regarding your recommendation to get a SET amplifier, I have a few tube amps, including SET (Berning ZH-270, Wavac MD-811, VTL TT25 Tiny Triodes).
So far I am yet to hear a power amp to eclipse my Berning (PP OTL). But from time to time I read about solid state amps that rival a good tube amplifier and do not sound like solid state.
I am quite interested to hear them in my system. Namely Firenze Audio Rosso 460B, PTP Audio Bloc20, some Lavardin and LFD models. If they can sound as good, why use tubes?
I was planning to try one of these (probably the one from PTP) when I read about LIO, and how good the amp module is. Mr.Rossi has quite a reputation for building excellent amps (RWA).
At the same time I was thinking of getting a remote controlled attenuator with a balance control to complement my Shindo preamp.
People who make commercial preamps without a remote control and a balance pot should be given a separate punishment for that in the afterlife! Sorry, Mr.Shindo, Mr.Kondo, etc., etc.
Anyway, LIO addresses two of my issues, and has wonderful upgrade/update capabilities. It seems expensive only until one realizes the savings it allows.
Selling my interconnects alone will return a grand, and power conditioner will return another. So I plan to order LIO soon.
And if I personally find out that the LIO amp is more than a convenience add-on (why not through in the amp if I'm buying the thing anyway), and it manages to be on par with Berning and Wavac....
Then it really is a true price/performance revolution, no less! I certainly hope for that (dreaming of selling all the glass, getting rid of many boxes, and simplifying the system to the extreme).