Hybrid Balanced Tube Preamp?

Hi Guys,
I am running a hybrid power amplifier which has two tube complement in the input section (rest is a solid state but class A) - i want to partner this amplifier a equally good "Hybrid Tube Preamp" which is Fully/Truly balanced, and would like "minimal" tubes..most shortlisted now seems unattainable because these units carry 4 or more tubes (Veloce,cary SLP) and the other brands have tubes in the output stage and mostly unbalanced (redwine audio,herron etc) - do you guys know of any other brands? does it make sense for me run a SS preamp like Hegel etc? i guess it defeats the purpose of then again having tubes in the power section!
I don't know your budget, but believe that you're trying to achieve maximum transparency with minimalistic preamps tube or SS and balanced. I think that you should try Wyred4Sound preamp with low gain. Tube fully balanced preamps will definitely have more than 4 tubes.
take a look at the AVM PA 5.2. this is a modular design balanced preamp with 2 12ax7 in the output stage.
AV SHOWROOMS has a very nice review of this pre
As a disclaimed I am a dealer for AVM AUDIO
PrimeOne Media
I think the "Coincident Statement Linestage" is just what you need.
You may want to look at BAT preamps.
Other fully SS preamps do not defeat the goal of good sound.To be honest and realistic, the place where tubes really make a big difference is in the output section. A signal from an SS a preamp is usually very clean and precise, the tube magic happens when the signal get amplified by the tubes in the output. Personally I would rather do that then flatten out the sound in an SS output but I am a converted tubophile.
Why are you avoiding more than 2 tubes in your preamp anyway?
I would buy something based on sound quality, build quality and how well it matches to your current components. Get that right and you won't have to worry about all that other stuff.
I recommend the VTL TL-6.5 signature line stage preamp. It is a hybrid preamp, with two 12AU7 tubes. It is very transparent and very flexible. I have this running my Lamm hybrid M2.1 monoblock amps.

(FYI: This replaced the Ayre K-1XE preamp that I had been using for nine years. The VTL is slightly better sonically and much better functionally than the Ayre, but the Ayre was a full function preamp, with a near reference phono stage.)

Note: Tube rolling is fairly easy and cheap due to the minimal number of tubes and the type. I went with the very neutral RFT 12AU7 tubes, which are fairly inexpensive.

Good luck in your search!
Thanks guy - this is going to be my "to the grave" system i don't want to spend a lot of time and money rolling tubes, but i hear you - the least number of tubes i might be able to acquire in a preamp maybe a minimum of 4, for it to be actually a tube preamp (full fledged) but i was trying my luck to to see if there are any other tube manufacturers that employ a single tube in the input/driver section.

Although there are many who has been fortunate to have a hiss/grain/gain free experience with full tube gears, i have been not so lucky in my pursuits hence i would like to keep my tubes as minimal as possible.

Unfortunately CoIncident is not a balanced design, but looks like i am headed towards VAC,BAT,LAMM etc now..maybe even Atmasphere (but just too many tubes!)
Hey Thegoodarcher,

You might want to make out a list of the features of your future preamp that you really want, so you can narrow down your choice.

I mention this because the Lamm preamps do not come with a remote control. (Obviously I am not a critic of Lamm products, given that I own their amps, but I'm merely pointing out that some (most?) people really want a remote control for their preamp - I know it was on my "must have" list of features.) Now sonically, the Lamm preamps are excellent. (I think they have just a touch of darkness to them, as do my Lamm amps actually, but they are very, very musical.) In addition, note that the Lamm preamps are actually not fully balanced, but are in fact pseudo balanced, (unlike their amps which are fully balanced).

You might also want to consider some of the Audio Research preamps, as they are fully balanced and have loads of features as well. (Their Ref. 3 preamp was on my short list as it is very good, and their Ref. 5 preamp is incredible!)

If you're looking to avoid tube rolling, (although I recommend against that actually), I would look into the BAT SE preamps, as well as the later ARC Reference preamps, as they use the extemely quiet and very neutral 6H30 super tubes, which you can't really tube roll, as there is only manufacturer, (to the best of my knowledge). BTW, Victor Khomenko, of BAT fame, is a really nice guy to work with, and will gladly answer all of your questions regarding his products.

Again, Good Luck in your search!
Hi, I would look into the Atmasphere M-1 preamp or the othe Atmasphere preamps, they are truly balanced designs, I have not had the chance to listen to these preamps, from what I understand, They are very transparent since they are one of the only direct coupled balanced tube preamps out there!