Need advice ono a Tube preamp

I have never tried tubes.I am currently running B+W matrix 801s seriesIII.I have several bryston amps a few 3b ssts,4b sst and 3 bst.I also just purchased a sony scd-1 and a moon eclipse.
I wanted to try a tube preamp in this system.I have never tried one and I know little or nothing about them.OK,I know nothing about them is more like
I don't want to sacrifice bass response,channel seperation etc but want to warm up the highs abit.Is this possible with a tube preamp or Should I try something else?

Simple Answer: YES. Just becouse the preamp is tube based doesn't mean it won't give the measured performance of SS. SOme of the best (IMHO "the best") preamps out there are tube based. If I were you and wanting to experiment I'd look at something from Audio Research, BAT, or CJ. Companies that have a good reputation, good resale, and aren't too tweakie. When you start to know a bit more of the sound you are looking for then move into the more esoteric stuff (if you want to).

Yes, agree with Chris to check out the pre-amp offerings from Audio Research, BAT, CJ or even less main stream brands like Herron or CAT. I have recently updated my pre-amp to a tube Herron VTSP-2 pre & the sonic improvement to my system has been significant. I have tried CAT SL1 Signature Mk 2 & others before settling for the Herron. Check out a recent review of the VTSP-2
You may want to try some Cardas cables 1st if you wish to "warm up the highs".
Good luck
You didn't mention price. I think you could do well with an Audio Research LS5MKIII or LS25 used.

Bob Wood
You have a speaker and several amplifiers that share a fairly "cold" characteristic, especially in the treble range. Frankly, you'd be more likely to attain the sound you seek by changing either power amps or speakers, depending on which you are more committed to. However, if it is the preamp route you want to take, keep in mind that there is the variable of the preamp itself, and then also the variable of what tubes you put in it, if in fact you go with tube topology.

At various prices, some options: Quad QC-24; The Sunfire Classic Vacuum Tube Preamp -- fnd some NOS Telefunken tubes for it; Audio Research SP16 or SP16L depending on whether you need a phono stage; McIntosh C2200 will definitely solve your problem; Melody SHW1688 -- like butter, and perhaps the best preamp I've heard to date. In solid state, it would be worth considering a McIntosh C46. It's revealing but not bright, and the 8-band eq does allow a touch of judicious trimming.

I agree with Ipy, but I'm an owner of a Herron VTSP-1A rather than a VTSP-2 but I beleive the same words apply. My Herron is the most neutral, quiet, and resolute preamp I've ever owned and I've owned some great preamps. In addition the build quality is top notch without being flashy. I recently looked inside my preamp and nearly drooled on it, that's how great it looks inside. Best of all used prices on the VTSP-1A border on ridiculous. Not really any used VTSP-2's yet though, but I'm sure it's worth every penny of the new price. Happy listening!
A tubed preamp is a great way to put a toe into the water of tube gear. You can find an excellent used tubed preamp on Audiogon in a price range of $1500-$3000.

A few to investigate include: Dehavilland UltraVerve, First Sound Presence Deluxe II, Herron VTSP-1A, and Modwright SWL9.0SE.

Based on my firsthand listening experience, you absolutely will not sacrifice bass response or channel separation with either the First Sound Presence Deluxe II or Modwright SWL9.0SE. User comments on the Herron and Dehavilland have been similar.
thanks for the advice,much appreciated.Are tthere any tube preamps I should avoid?You can just email me with this response as I don't want to affect someone's livelyhood.Thanks again.
A cheaper way to check out tube pre amps is the AES AE3. You can find them used on aoccasion. There,s one on the Gon right now for 400. And there are plenty of 6sn7 nos tubes.
I love mine, it's sound, and it's simplicity.
Another vote for the First Sound Presence Deluxe II, albeit you will not get a remote.
For the price (and then some), I like the way the Modwright SWL9.0SE gets you right to the music. If you want audiophile, take another path. But if you want to simply get into the music, it's outstanding, IMO.
conrad johnson depending on your budget there are a couple of models to choose from; used or new.
Manley Steelhead is an excellent choice. The phono stage is killer and bested the CAT ultimate IMHO
If I buy a tube preamp new then:
1) how long does it take to burn in
2) how often do you need to change tubes
3)will changing the type of tubes affect the sound much/little and if so are there certain tubes that are considered to be better than others?
Sorry for all the questions but I have really no idea about this stuff and am trying to lern before I buy.
Thanks for all the input.
If I buy a tube preamp new

Why new versus used?

1) how long does it take to burn in

That depends on the preamp...and the caps, resistors, etc. But, in general 200-300 hours.

2) how often do you need to change tubes

Depends on the tubes. I am only familiar with 6922 signal tubes. Excellent quality 6922 tubes made in the early to mid 1960s by Amperex or Siemens will last 3000-5000 hours or more. Premium quality 6922 PQ or 7308 tubes by the same companies were designed to last 10,000 hours

3)will changing the type of tubes affect the sound much/little and if so are there certain tubes that are considered to be better than others?

Again, this depends on the tubes. The short answer is yes, changing tubes will affect the sound. I suggest reading Joe's Tube Lore for a comprehensive description of signal tubes and their sonic characteristics. Although this is Joe's opinion, many have found his descriptions to be quite accurate. I have not discovered any other information source to equal Joe's Tube Lore for signal tube guidance.

Have fun. Consider buying a used preamp with an excellent reputation made by a company with first rate customer service.
TAD-150. Read the reviews...
I see some tube preamps have one tube,some 2 and some 4.I only need a line stage preamp.I would also prefer balanced outputs.As I am trying to warm up the mids and highs a bit is it better to have more tubes? Or does the number of tubes even matter?
You can accomplish what you want with a tube preamp. However, rather than focusing on the number of tubes a preamp has I would rate your priorities as follows:

1. Design, including how the tubes are used in the signal path and/or power supply.
2. The type of tubes being used. Each tube has certain characteristics that "color" the sound. Look for one that has the characteristics that match your sound preference.
3. Abililty to tube roll. This is not so important to some, but to me having this flexibility is a nice-to-have feature. You'll want to know what NOS options or alternative tube types will work with the preamp.

A lot of people are hot on the Modwright preamp right now. It might be worth a loook. Me, I'm biased, but I'd recommend you look into a Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII. Here is one listed on Audiogon: