CJ Premier 18/Cary slp 98-which is closer to PF-R?

I am looking for a midrange sound that is closer to Conrad-Johnson PF-R,lush,room filling bloom.Which one of this amps would be a closer match?Thank you for your inputs.
Not familiar with the CJs, but the SLP-98 does the "lush, bloomy" thing big time, but not at the expense of extension or dynamics. It's a very ballsy sounding preamp when outfitted with quality NOS 6SN7s...mine also has the oil caps and direct-coupled output options.
I agree with Triode that the SLP-98 does the "'lush, bloomy' thing big time." In my system, it did it a bit too much, but I can certainly see how it would be perfect for some systems and taste. The Conrad Johnson I am familar with is the 17, and it is not nearly as rich and heavy in the midbass.

An interesting alternative, allbeit more expensive, would be an Emotive Audio Sira. This is a very lively, harmonically rich and exciting sounding linestage that make both the CJ and the Cary sound a tiny bit flat and boring by comparison.
If you don't need a remote control then First Sound preamps are amazing. Very rich and musical and honest at the same time. Notes seem to explode out of a blackness.

I think it's hard to go wrong with Cary or CJ though. I've heard a lot of Cary and CJ gear and Cary does seem the richer sounding of the two generally. CJ finds a nice middle ground between being overly sterile and being overly rich. My choice would probably depend on my mood in the moment. I definitely have CJ moods and Cary moods...

I own both the SLP98 & the PF-R; using them in my 2 systems. They are both great pre-amps, but very different IMO. You almost can't go wrong with almost any Cary component, if it works with your system, but then I've also loved all the C-J gear I've owned. As for looks, Cary is usually "sexier".......
slp98 is one of the best bargains in the market and if you upgrade it with some Sylvania Nos...you've got a killer pre.
If you need more microdynamics and transparency then check also the LAMM.
I just purchased an SLP-98L and even with stock tubes it sounds very nice. It brings the music to life. Eventually I'll do some tube rolling, but will probably keep the rest of it stock.
I have the same with phono, I agree with you that with stock valves sounds terrific but with NOS takes of ! IMHO. Also use a good power cord is the best upgrade even above valves. I use Virtual Dynamics NiteII and I'm very satisfied with the result. And give some time for burn-in.

What tubes are you using/tried with the SLP-98? I'm using an original Electraglide pc right now, but am looking into a VH Audio Airsine, Michael Wolff, and Electraglide UK (seems like there are some good deals on these here). I'll check into the Virtual Dynamics as well. Thanks
I use Sylvania 6sn7w 1945's and 6sn7wgta all jan, all chrome dome, all black base. Others good are RCA red base from the 50's.

If you are not set on a solid state pre (since you mentioned the Cary), I suggest listening to the current c-j 17LS2 tube pre. It just lets the music through!

Good Luck!