Need your assiatnce - tube preamp recommendations

I am running a Marantz SA 11S1 cd player directly into a McIntosh MC275 IV to Epos speakers. Salk Sound Towers are on order and should arrive in a couple of weeks. The power cords, interconnects, and cables are all Signal. The room is 12x15 with hardwood floors but fairly quiet otherwise. Music is primarily rock, vocals, and classical.

The Marantz and Mac are both keepers, but, even with filters on, the system needs some help. I love the sound overall, but there is some "raspiness" and sibilance (?). No doubt I should wait for the Sound Towers but wanted to look for the preamp now.

The budget is about $2000, but I would be happy to spend less that. Have considered a Juicy Music Blueberry or Peach (do not need phono) and a used Macintosh C220 or Dodd but would like to hear what you guys recommend. Thanks
I (if everything goes well) should get Dodd Audio preamp in few weeks or so.
If you want and and are willing to wait that long I can let you know how it sounds. I personally have very high hopes for this preamp.

In the last 6 months I have tried/audition preamps like , Supratek, Jas Array, Granite Audio, Consonanse Cyber 222MK II and few others at Dealer's showrooms. They all sound different and have their own characteristics.

What you are looking for in your future preamp is very important to make any recommendation . I am sure you understand that.

All the preamps mentioned are around your price range if you are willing to buy used or demo.

Right now you can get Dodd preamp for around $2500 from one of the very few dealers that run their ads here on AgoN.

Good luck

Thanks very much for your thoughts Mariusz. I would be very interested in your experience, as the Dodd is high on my list. I live in Atlanta and think very highly of Walter (the dealer you mentioned - I bought the Marantz from him) and would like to deal with him again.

I am looking for a bit smoother, more lush sound, as the current set up is quite detailed and not tubey at all. Guess I am more of an EL34 guy, but I love the Mac anyway.
Yes, Walter is very profecional and I hope my relationship with him will only get better. I don't like to mention dealers by name so I won't be accused of promoting their bussiness. But good people deserve to be mention. Walter is probably one of those guys that represent good bussiness ethics and pleasure
to deal with.

Back on the subject .

Your system is very, very nice and I imagine that it is quaite musical .
Marantz and Mac match very well and should complement each other nicely.

I am not familiar with your room acoustics.
I would also experiment with some room treatments if you haven't addressed this issue already. Since some brightness and sibilance may have their roots there.
It might be worthy investment on top of what new preamp can bring to the table.

You have mentioned el34 as the tube of choice and it also happens that it is mine favorite of the family .
I have replaced a lot of equipment over the last few years but my el34 amp survived it all and I don't think that it is going anywhere anytime soon.

From the preamps that I have include in my first post, Jas was the sweeter and very lush with very nice body. I loved it but it was kind of locking in the last word of detail and transparency. Not a lot .....just a bit. It had endless options for tube rolling which I have not explored but I can only imagine the possibilities to fine tune the sound to your ear. However this preamp is very underestimated and overlooked as just another pre from China.
Supratek will also give you just a bit of " tubey" sound ....and it is very transparent as well.

Hope it helps (somewhat)

You need that good old Conrad-Johnson sound. Save yourself some cash and try the PV-11L now for sale on Audiogon. I don't know the seller; I have owned a PV-11 and PV-12, and they offer sweetness and warmth without too much bloat or high end rolloff. Maybe not clinically accurate but that doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. With only two tubes, you can try tube rolling till you find a sound you like.
You might want to look at the deHavilland Ultraverve or the Mercury. I have the Ultraverve and it is excellent (a 6sn7 based preamp).
I couldn't agree more with Jhold. In fact..I DARE ;-) you to pick up a CJ from the PV-5,8,10 or 11 and 12A, and see if you dont think it beats a host of these newer hi-dollar clinical sounding pre amps out today..
Keep your old CJ's and buy a new Juicy Music Audio Peach.
A true giant killer.
Beautiful clear non-clinical tube sound.
I really appreciate all the thoughtful ideas - this is going to take longer than planned! Have to admit I never even considered the C-J stuff, and the thought of saving $1000 is attractive. That's enough for the nice tuner I want...

For what it is worth, the system as is sounds absolutely phenomenal with an SACD. Smooth, dynamic, rich, musical, whatever - pretty much like a great phono source. Too bad I have about a 25:1 ratio of CDs to SACDs....