Best budget preamp for Aragon 8008bb and Thiel 3.6

I am rounding out my "new to me" system. So far I have Thiel CS3.6's. For this very hard to drive speaker pair I have an Aragon 8008bb on order. Next are the preamp and source. The vintage and costs of the previous on the used market should give you some idea of where I am price wise.

I am not particularly interested in looks or bells and whistles. Sound is what counts. I once called myself a "connoiseur of the most for the least". Well, that's not quite true, but if I can get it done for less my wife is happy, and when my wife is happy I feel like a King!

I once again turn myself to those more expert than I (that means you)!

Thank you for any ideas you may have on a preamp for me,
If you have source(s) with 1.5V or more and low output impedance (<200), which would be most SS CDPs, try a Promitheus TVC. I prefer XLR with passives, but then the source would have balanced outputs.
Gee, you opened up a can'o worms for me. Now I've got to learn a whole new technology! Promitheus TVC's. I didn't even know this product existed.

Sounds very interesting though, and I just might go for it, especially if I can find one used!

Thank you,

I have an Aragon preamp 24k ips with the same amp that you have. It sounds excellent and it is only several hundred dollars. There are similar Aragon amps on Audiogon. You might consider these.

I used a cj PV-10 (tubed pre)with my 3.6's before moving on to a premier 16 and liked it very much. It was mated to a carver m500t and later a cj mf2500a.
Ditto on CJ PV10a, but if you need a remote. Try an used Sonic Frontier Line-1.
There is a PV-10 out there for $550. Is this a good deal? How do I know if the tubes are any good? How long to tubes last in preamps?

Thank you,
Unlike power amp tubes pre-amp tubes last a long time and are inexpensive ($10-$15 a piece). I replace mine every 3-4 years. CJ's web site I believe mentions 5 years with what they deem as normal play time about 20 hours per week. I have heard of people going 10 years on pre-amp tubes.

The PV-10 line stage has two tubes one per channel.

That price is very consistant with what I see them listed for and they sell rather quickly.

I would highly recommend this pre-amp it really works well with the Thiels. You can always sell it and never lose a cent on it if you don't like it.

Czbbcl, how do you thing this pre-amp would sound as compared to a Bottlehead Foreplay III? I can actually get one of these kits for less than the CJ and it seems like it has more going for it, like new tubes for example. It also has more tubes and seems to be a bit more advanced in design than the CJ.

Is this correct?

Thank you,
Don't know; never heard the bottlehead unit. If you are into kits then that might be a way to go. The cj performed very well in my system (so much so that I went further up the cj food chain). And at the price point of the PV-10 you can get your money out of it if you don't like it. The bottlehead is questionable if you buy it build it and don't like it you will probably lose money on it.

The tubes on the PV-10 are easy to change and are inexpensive. Just take the top cover off and there they are in all their glory. You can also play around with different tubes (called tube rolling) to get a different sonic signiture (fun).

(IMO) The Thiels really sound nice with a tubed pre and ss amp combination.
Forgot to mentioned that I actually had a vary similar system about 9 yrs ago. CJ PV10A -> Aragon 4004 mk2 -> Thiel 3.6.

Great sound stage. Not the most transparent sounding system I have owned but the music is all there.

Going with some NOS for CJ PV10A would be great. There are lots of used NOS tubes for sale that still have long life in them and they are about the same or slightly more expensive than current production tubes.
You can't go wrong with the Bottlehead Foreplay. They have an excellent reputation, a strong following and good resale value.

Cary AE-3's come up from time to time for $300-350 used. They have a tiny footprint and sound very nice. I had one for a while.

The Eastern Electric MiniMax gets rave reviews and goes for $500-600 used. Six Moons reviewed it a few years ago.

Personally, I don't care for passive preamps matched with solid state amps. If you had a tube amp, I'd second the Promitheus suggestion in a heartbeat. For $300 used, they're impossible to beat.
I use a Bryston BP25 with my Aragon 8008bb with great synergy.