While amp designers are taking advantage of poor engineering practices today, it is still poor engineering.
You have several interesting thoughts here, so I've separated them to ask questions about different phases of your post.
For this one above, could you elaborate further on your thoughts on this? I'm thinking that if you start throwing full range OTs in amps, you're simply going to have... or at least to WANT to limit the frequencies in some other part of the circuit. Given the guitars usable frequency range (which you have pointed out) and the frequencies at which the "more desirable" harmonics fall in, are you suggesting there is a reason, or more importantly, and advantage, to a more full range circuit? And as far as the other aspect of the power section, amp designers already know how to make big trannys and big caps for amps that DO need high output, more control, etc. and lesser trannys and caps for ones they want to bloom and sag... So my question is, are you still saying that is "poor engineering?" If so, what would you suggest to improve the amp.
Things like this are part of the character of an amp. That's why I mentioned earlier the intentional differences in a hi fi designed amp, where you would use full frequency transformers, plenty of power supply cap capacity, circuit designed to be flat, negative feedback to stablize, etc.
The only area where tube amps still rule is white boy blues and blues-rock, and even there, people are starting to see the light. A tube amp today is as much a status symbol as it is a piece of music gear.
I mean, I am a white boy and I do play some blues and blues rock, but speaking for only myself, that's not the reason I have tube amps, and it's also not as a status symbol. A new Axe or Kemper both cost more than my Bogner did new. I don't know that I've ever heard a tube amp called a status symbol. Not sure I get what you're meaning here.
Everything that can be done with tubes can be done more reliably with analog solid-state. It just takes more engineering skill and a market that is open to spending real money on a solid-state amp, good luck with overcoming that bias.
This is more like the first one. Can you mention a few designs that have proven that solid state can do anything tubes can do? I mean, I know it can make sounds and all that, but do you have any designs from the past that you think prove that SS can sound as good as tubes? If so, please let me know which ones you think accomplish that.
The most common solid state amps that I've heard mentioned as being "high end" are the Pearce stuff. I know Holdsworth used it alot and honestly he's one of my two all time musical genius musicians. But I never loved his tone. I'm sure the amps are cable of more/other tones, but Alan always went for a horn type tone, and while it was "his thing" I never loved his tone.
That said, I know it costs almost or as much to design a true high end solid state guitar amp as it does a tube amp. I know that most guitarists resist paying as much for SS as they will readily pay for tubes. But, IMHO, it's because when it's come right down to what really matters, the tone, the SS never was as good. And that's why guitarists continue to resist spending big money for SS amps. I think that if the Valvestate or Peavey Transtube or any other solid state design from the past "really had" sounded as good as tubes, guitarist would have jumped on board, but every time they put them head to head, the SS didn't sound as good, so you either bought it because it was "good enough and cheaper" or you didn't buy it. But I'm expressing my thoughts here. If you disagree, please tell me what designs or brands you think have equaled the tube amps in tone and feel. Trust me when I say, if things don't change soon, there will be a lot more guys looking for an alternative to tubes. But again, IMHO, even when/if that does happen, modeling has already stolen that market... and it's because solid state had 75 years to take the lead from tubes, and never did. And yes, sorry for the long post, but I know that none of that means that the best SS has already been done. MAYBE there is something better yet to come. But you have to admit that great minds have had decades to build something solid state that was good enough to replace tubes, and nobody has really even come close yet.