Looking for a good place to start

I want to enter into a tube/analog setup but have no idea where to start. What is a good reference to start understanding tube components? I remember listening to music as a kid on a Marantz system and it being very warm and full. A sound that I just can't seem to get from a CD. I'm sure its doable but I sort of have an attraction to vinyl. Something in me just wants to go that way. I'm here 2 or 3 times a day looking at turntables, waiting for the right moment to pounce, looking at tube components wondering where to start? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
Botit...a few things would help folks here give you advice. What is your current system? What budget are you looking at? Also, do you have any local high end audio dealers where you can go and listen to any equipment or better yet that they will be willing to let you audition at home in your system?
It is difficult to recommend an amp without knowing what speakers you have. Normally with a tube system you start with the speakers, make sure they are tube friendly. What I mean by that is they should be fairly easy to drive, somewhere in the area of 88-94 db sensitivity (or efficiency) with a nominal impedence of 8 OHMs or higher. (Tubes do not like an impedance below 8 OHMs, you will get sound but bass will be flabby etc). The reason for this is that tube watts can get expensive, a lower powered amp has less output tubes which can save money and still give you terrific quality.

Different tubes have different sound qualities. The output tube are primarily what people consider. For instance I like the sound of the 300B tube which have a beautiful midrange quality, others like the 6550 which can produce more dynamic range etc. You match the speaker to the tube that is in your amp driving it.

Like buying any stereo you start with speakers, make sure they match your amp, room and musical tastes.

I am not very good at using all the proper terminology but these comments will get you pointed in the right direction.

I hope I have not scared you off


good luck and enjoy
Cayin as an amp. There are many good speakers that match with them. Watch for a used one, great sound, great value.
I am going to make some assumptions. That your amp and speakers work well with each other and that your not interested in changing both at this time to go into tubes.
If that is the case, then maybe try a tube preamp making sure the impedances work between amp and preamp and go from there. Most preamp tubes last several thousand hours so there should be no problem with tubes for a few years. It would also let you think about how much downstream you want that effect.
Just my thought.
I currently have B&W 602S3's as my front HT speakers driven by a Pioneer VSX-94TXH. My intent was to incorporate a switch to allow me to shift their input from HT to analog. I plan on spending in the $1k range for a turntable and the same for a tube amp. I'm strategiaclly located about 1.5 hours from DC, Baltimore and Richmond :-( Not sure of any Hi-Fi dealers in those areas. Not knowing what it takes to get analog going those numbers can shift to the other side as needed. I don't want to cheap out and have a bad experience. I can remember listening to vinyl as a kid on a marantz system and I've been chasing that sound ever since...

I am not interested in making a lot of changes just what I need to do in order to satisfy my primal urges for vinyl. I don't quite understand your pre-amp suggestion.
A lot of people seem to feel that they can get the best of both by having a tube preamp and a solid state amp. There is a lot in the archives on this. It was just a thought for a minimum change and let you see if that satisfied your desire or if you wanted even more.
A good place to start would be to borrow a tube preamp on home demo and see if that provided you with the tube sound you are looking for. Again YMMV.
Hope that helps.
Was just looking at new threads, and one newer than yours is "go with a tube preamp or..." That might further enlighten you as to what the possibilities are.