I should have stated in my above post that I have not actually heard tubes with the 804s, I am just putting two & two together, so to speak. I am stepping out on a taboo ledge here, basing these recs on what some people I respect have noted. I figure this is better than no response at all in this thread. If I were you, I would research/look in to used Joule Electra mk. II or III pre, conrad-johnson amps and preamps, Rogue amps and preamps, Audible Illusions M3A preamp, Counterpoint preamps (no longer in business, but can be sent for repairs), and Blue Circle. Searches for these on audioasylum.com will yield more specifics and other suggestions. Maybe there is a local dealer for you running around too. Check out this site someone else on audiogon has recommended: http://www.high-endaudio.com/index_ac.html It is very interesting and may help you.