Pre to meet 2021 goals

I'm looking for recommendations on what you would consider a "valuable" pre-amplifier. I want to evaluate different topologies of amplifiers, so if there is something that would be at home (gain, etc) going from a First Watt J2 to Decware Zen Triodes, to Atmosphere S-30 to vintage Conrad Johnson tube mono's, please advise. Maybe throw in a pair of Nagra Pyramids along the way! 

Most of my experience has been with integrated amplifiers. I've enjoyed integrateds  from Luxman (550, 590) McIntosh, Simaudio, Audio Research, Leben (300X, CS600), Mastersound, Almarro, etc. I listen to and tweak gear for 2-3 months before moving from impression to forming a real opinion, rarely owning something for less than a year or more, unless I find myself not pressing the power button.  

I have great sound from my Devore O/93, Leben CS600, Mojo Audio dac and power supplies, Roon Nucleus with Tidal and Qobuz. I'll be adding this pre alongside the Leben just to experiment and have fun with amps that peak my interest, or that friends own locally. I tend to gravitate towards tubes and the warm side of neutral.

I'm open to end game recommendations, but audio for me is an adventure where I enjoy variety. I have enough quality stable relationships in my life- electronics doesn't need to be one of them. If you want to share a story about how you settled on an amp or a topology please do.  If you want to criticize my methods go for it. If you need to rage about politics feel free.


Please don't encourage raging about politics!

Since you use a Devore/Leben combo I suspect your musical priorities are similar to mine.  Regarding preamps I currently use a VAC Renaissance MKV which I really love.  The only preamp I'd consider upgrading to at this point would be a Shindo Vosne-Romane.
Audio Research SP6 (I have one). A significant advance over the excellent SP3! The preamp that William Z. Johnson said he'd always wanted to make! I prefer it over the later, more complex preamps from ARC!
T_E_P, I had a Vac Avatar SE in around 2008 when the DeF Super 8 came out and I really enjoyed it, especially in triode mode.  It paired very well with a pair of JM Reynaude Emeraudes too. I know you mentioned the Mk V, but would you recommend going older in the VAC line too? 

Roberjerman, it seems Audio Research has a big following in the vintage SP line.  I'm not at all intimidated with something of that vintage, and might prefer it, as long as it is quiet.  Is there an ARC specialist, kind of like Audioclassics is to McIntosh gear?   

Thank you both for the great  suggestions.