Corrected! One of the first car audio all-tube amplifier (in recent years) is now available from a startup out of Canada called Luminescence Stereophonic Corp.
The Model One amplifier uses tubes in both the driver and output stages for a richer sound. It was developed by four audiophiles.
The Model One uses a total of 8 tubes in a 2-channel, full range amplifier producing (in low current mode) only 12.5 watts per channel, but it delivers sound that might be comparably rated at 100 or 200 watts RMS in a traditional solid state amplifier, said Pom Smarnpharb an audio engineer and principal at Luminescence.
The amps can drive any of the current high quality car audio speakers at loud volumes without clipping, he said.
The amp was tested by Of Sound Mind Labs, (OSM) which sampled it using Morel Elate 602 component speakers and a Clarion deck. OSM called the sound “butter smooth, silky and transparent. Images floated in space between the speakers…”
The amplifier is hand-built in Canada, at least in part by Smarnpharb himself. He’s planning to build about 1,000 this year.
Tube amplifiers were used in home audio in the early 1900s and are still sought after by audiophiles in home audio. The folks at Luminescence craved that same sound in their car and spent the last 4 to 5 years creating the Model One.
You can see a review of the amp by Of Sound Mind Labs at: http://thewrx.netfirms.com/osml/reviews/luminescence_stereophonic_model_one.pdf