Modwright SWL 9.0SE Pre ... your thoughts welcome

Hey, I have decided to dive into tubes ... well, you get my meaning. I was steered towards the Modwright SWL 9.0SE and so far have read some good things. I'm running a Levinson ML-27 for power and Paradigm S-4's for speakers. My transport is nothing special, Denon DVD-2200 but I am also looking at running a tubed DAC in hopes of bringing the system a little more alive. Right now the system seems a little flat ... not very exciting. Plenty of volume bass end it fantastic but the mid and upper end seem very packaged. Imaging is not very good ... High and mid frequencies don’t seem to blend well. Some CD's have fair to good sound but most seem pretty "plain". Just doesn’t have that delicacy I'm looking for. I seem to listen the SPEAKERS and not the music. I recently listened to an older set of Paradigms pushed by a small tubed integrated and I was amazed. The tubed gear really made the Paradigm speakers come to life ... I was set back in my chair. Vocals were clear and crisp … the sound was extremely detailed and I had to be drug out of the room. Since then I have really started to pick a part my system.

Cables are Signalcable Silver Resolution Balanced and Cobalt Ultimate speaker cables. I'm running Signal cable "Magic" power cables. Nothing fancy but it should do the job.

Is this upgrade going to help? Has anyone experienced this?

Any better preamps in the $1500-2000 range? What about Levinson SS preamps?

Help me out … Please
My current system is a Sony 999ES CD/SACD player; NAD S100 pre; NAD S200 amp; and Gallo Ref3 speakers with Gallo SA on 2nd coil. Also using a REL Storm sub. Fantastic bass! However, with some material this system sounds a bit harsh and fatiguing. I am thinking of replacing the S100 for the SWL 9.0SE. Does anyone think this swap would improve the sound significantly? Does the SWL 9.0SE work well with high-current solid state amps? Or would it be better to keep my S100 and replace the amp? I don't have the money to do both!
Thanks for your thoughts,
Though this is an educated guess, it is still a guess. I think swapping IN the Modwright would be a GREAT idea.
Do the preamp first. It will be money well spent over a new amplifier any day.
What are ModWright owners putting under their SWL? I'm thinking of trying some aurios 1.2s...