Maybe a Bryston preamp? What is the rest of your system?
Hi, I'm on a different comp now but I asked the first question.
I've got AAD 2001 speakers/stands
Those two are the definite components that aren't open for change any time soon. I probably won't change my cd player either, a Sony. My current preamp is definitely my weakest link. I'm wanting to take a little of the brightness off the sound and enrich the midrange, but just a touch on both. I'm not really looking to get into tubes. I'm thinking maybe a Plinius, ARC, or Conrad preamp, but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!
Tubes, tubes, tubes, tubes, tubes...
Did I mention that I think you need tubes!
Having owned a 4B-ST (now have the SST version) and had Platinum Solos (if memory serves me right similar to AAD - Phil Jones...) some time ago coupled with a Sony cdp (had a stock 333ES, now its modded) I can whole heartedly advise that the introduction of tubes at the preamp stage will do wonders. Lots of good choices - Sonic Frontiers, CJ, ARC and a good bang for the buck is Rogue (I have a Magnum 66).
A Bryston preamp will not solve your problem as they are brutally revealing and hide nothing upstream. I owned a BP-25 so I can speak with some level of experience. So in closing if you want warmth and are not willing to swap your source then look at a tube preamp.
Don't know if you made your purchase or not (it has been couple of month since your original question) but I can fully agree with Rgd about tubes in a preamp. Not all of them are warm. Something like Conrad-Johnson PV-14L would be one of the warmest and smoothest. It has only couple of inexpensive tubes and it is reliable. You need it because your source is not the warmest among CD players (I would call Sony players "grey" in sound/color category), detailed with leaning toward clean sound. You will love it with the "right" tube preamp, as Rgd said.