How to match a tube preamp to a solid state amp?

I am reshaping my HT system to upgrade its 2 channel capability. The objective is to create a more lifelike reproduction of stereo and multi-channel playback from digital sources. My system, listed below, is all solid state, and lacks immediacy and soundstage. I suspect that the pre/pro is the weakest link right now, and the amp isn't top shelf either. I can only afford to upgrade one component, so I'm looking at the preamp. I also think my listening room is too small for my front speakers.

My thought is to buy a used tube preamp in the $2,500+ range and keep my AVM2 for the surround channels only. I am not knowledgeable enough to understand what potential problems could exist with such a set up, such as an impedance mismatch between the preamp and processor?

I would greatly appreciate recommendations for a tube preamp that would work well with my existing components. I may upgrade the amp in 2 years or so, but I need to select the preamp based on today's system.

I listen to vocals, jazz, pop, and movies. Music reproduction is more important to me than soundtracks. I went multi-channel on the expectation that the reproduction of SACD and DVDA would be at a higher level than 2 channel redbook, and have since learned that with my equipment, that isn't absolutely true. There's also the issue of how effectively or not the multi-track music has been mixed. I now believe that spending the same money on a dedicated 2 channel sytem would have yielded more satisfaction listening to music, but not soundtracks.

My system includes:

Aragon 8008 x5 amp
Anthem AVM2 Preamp
Teac Esoteric DV50 universal player
Talon Raven "C" front speakers
Bohlender Graebener 550 DX rear & 220 DX center hybrid ribbon speakers
HSU Research VTF2 sub

Cabling is primarily silver, and a collection of moderately priced balanced interconnects & speaker cable.

I utilize a custom TG Audio/Bybee AC filter and Porter Port receptacles into 2 20A dedicated circuits.

Room is 14 x 20 x 8, carpeted with no special acoustical treatments.

So, I can't afford a system-wide replacement and am looking for the smartest way to take a step in the right direction. HELP!
Unless you've already done this and you don't indicate you have, 'beg, borrow, or steal' somebody's hi-end 2-channel preamp and LISTEN. THEN if you're still convinced your preamp section is the culprit, I suggest you start with a conrad-johnson Premier Fourteen. It's several years old (and discontinued, of course, which is why it's affordable at c. $1500) but still as good as it ever was, and it's c-j's 1st with a remote control. It may not claim to have a 'home-theater pass-through', but it does indeed have Tape Outs, and they serve the same purpose. If you won't be running a separate 2-channel poweramp, probably you'll have switch interconnects when you go from/to 2-channel/multichannel, but that's no big deal (unless your equipment rears are 'buried'.

If you don't need a remote control, do consider the Y-S Audio Symphonies preamp at only $400, new, delivered to you. I did, and it's worth every penny. Here'e a used one for only $210-- .

Good luck.
How do you like the Talons? I'd recommend a BAT VK 5i pre that can be bought on Audiogon for about $2000....only problem is the sound improvement will be so dramatic you won't want to stop there...check out my system. Have fun!
What did you end up getting and how does it sound? I'm new at this and in the same boat, trying to match a tube preamp choice with an Aragon 8008BB poweramp, but in a 2-channel system. My speakers are Taylo 7Us in a 20x13x8.5' carpeted room.
May I second Conrad johnson. I have heard the Premier 14 and used the 17 for years. Both absolutely top drawer, detailed, but not fatiguing, great soundstage. I only got rid of it because I downsized to a tube integrated( a 90lb two man lift, did I say downsize) If you don't want a remote the CJ Premier 10 is good too.
The 17 certainly has a theatre pass through and from memory, the 14 did too. The 17LS mark 1 can be had for around $2000, the 14 for less. Both are built to last. I can't comment on the BAT, I am sure it is excellent too, but I am a great CJ fan
The new modwright preamp is really nice and as HT bypass.
Your pretty much facing the same issue I am. I sunk a lot of dough into a multi channel system (AVM 20, B&W speakers, james sub; i even put out for a UPD-1 univesal. If I could do it all over again, I'd sink most of the money into two channel. Can't do that now.

I'm looking at adding either a Prima Luna Prologue 3 preamp (Absolute Sound Editor's Choice) for about $1250 or perhaps a Cary preamp with HT pass through.

Good luck.