Matching the Vienna Beethovens

I'm strongly considering a switch to tubes, but am concerned that I may lose too much dynamics and too much impact in the bass. I like all kinds of music, so I need an all-around good performer. Would I be better off mixing a tube pre-amp such as Joule or Sonic Frontiers with a strong solid state amp such as the Sim W-5 (available currently on this site at $2200, used)or Pass Labs, or should I go one way or the other with tubes or SS?

Also, I want to upgrade the CD player. I have an Ultech, but have been advised I'd be much better off with a Meridian, or the Resolution Audio.

I would appreciate all suggestions, as I am not in a good position to audition all of these components. I realize I'm looking at around $5-7K in upgrades. Should I take this deep a plunge?

Thanks so much, audiophiles!
If I were you, I'd certainly only do/buy one thing at a time. You may find that simply using another power amp, with your current Sim integrated for a pre, makes a huge difference and you won't need/want to upgrade anything else for a while (always a good thing). Whatever you're most curious about it the first step you should make. From your threads, it seems that changing the power amp section of your system intrigues you the most, so start there and wait on the rest.

That is certainly sound, not to mention practical, advice. Having read a lot of threads in the past few days, as well as the helpful responses to my own, I think what truly intrigues me the most right now is trying out a good tube pre-amp. It seems that the Joule is in my price range, and I have yet to read a bad word about it. Unfortunately, none are available in the used market currently. In the meantime, I can certainly play around with a new amp, using my integrated as the pre, as you suggest, until I find a good deal on the Joule or some other tube pre-amp. I wish I were as patient as I expect everyone else to be with my "novice" questions.

Thanks again.