Cary SLP 2002 or Joule LA 100 Mk III or?w/PassX250

All the threads about SS amp/tube preamp has me curious to give this combo a try. Possibly looking at these contenders to replace my Pass X2 preamp.

-Cary SLP 2002, the XLR is a bonus for the X250.
-Joule LA 100, Mk III

Any other recommendations are welcome, budget is around $2k or less, looking for less sterile sound, more of what tubes are all about. (AR will not work as per them (impedance issues). I've been thru all the previous threads on this subject, looking for more. Thanks & happy new year!
I paired my Pass X250 with Cary Slp 308 and it is perfect.
I got the best result with El.Harmonix tubes instead of Cary's stock GEs.Good luck.
I use the latest version of the Joule LA-150. Jud made a tube/transformer/wiring change. I've heard many different Joule amp and preamp models. I find all of his work to be harmonically rich and easy to listen to. He really gets it. The LA-100 has a virtual cult following, I've heard. Joule could be a good idea if it mates up.

I have an SLP-2002 that Cary made a minor mod to. The gain stage has been loaded down to give more range on the volume control. If you have a solid state amp, this will be a great match. Far prefer the Cary to any of the ARC pre-amps that use the digital volume control. You can also use 6N1P and 6CG7 tubes for gain. 6H30 tube as well and it doesn't sound sterile in the Cary. And for the output tube, you can use just about any 12A series tube and industrial equivalents. With all these tube choices you can tailor the sound from very tubey to the other extreme of sterility.
Why not a passive preamp?, I am currently running my X250 with a PLC Sonic Euphoria with nice results.

It's time to roll, the Dude abides....
Reb1208 - Regarding your slp 2002, what do you mean by - "The gain stage has been loaded down to give more range on the volume control." I'm thinking of getting an slp 2002, and i need all the info i can get.

SLP2002 gain is very high.
If you mate it with a low sensitivity poweramp, then you will have too much gain in small-medium size rooms. This means that you cannot easily regulate the volume control because it will be too high.
You can also lower the gain with 6CG7 tubes and/or attenuators.
The SLP-2002 was designed for use with tube amps that have a high input sensitivity and low gain. Rather than use 6FQ7/6CG7 tubes that reduce gain. You could send the pre-amp back to Cary. They will install some resistors in the volume control circuit board to reduce gain. Then this pre-amp will mate with any amp on the market. You could probably even bring it to a local technician, the mod is simple to install.
Reb1208 or Manuel
would the SLP 2002 work w/a Krell FPB 400cx?
I hope you are interested in used SLP 2002. The 2002 has been discontinued by Cary.
I've just about given up on the 2002,or any tubed Pre. Too many conflicts with regard to compatibility. It seems that NO ONE has any definitive answers. So, i'll just look into tube cdp's.
Are you going to move from your SLP-98 to the new SLP-05?
Reb1208 - are you speaking to me? I don't have an slp 98.
I used my SLP2002 with a Pass X250 and it worked quite nicely. Actually I liked the match so well that I sold the X250 and bought a pair of X600s. I use a pair of Russian type3 6H23 tubes in the Cary and it is superb. It is also nice that it has a HT bypass which has allowed me to have my 2 channel and HT systems in the same room using the same front speakers, amps, and cabling.
I really like my Joule LA150...
Oldpet, you snuck ahead of me. I was speaking to Claud. Don't give up, the great thing about tube pre's is the flexibilty to alter the sound.