Preamp or CD Player for Best Sonic Improvement

I'm new to this forum. I have been considering an upgrade for my system & have come up with the following options.I have not being able to make up my mind yet so i shall very much appreciate any suggestions & comments.

(1) Upgrade my pre to a Mac TUBE C2200. ( I will only consider Mac for now )

(2) Upgrade my source to either Linn Ikemi or electrocompaniet EMC1UP.

Either way i will be upgrading my source at some point but right now i'm only interested in the option which will give me the best sonic improvement TODAY as i will not be able to upgrade again for sometime(at least for 2 years).I have to say that i will prefer option 1,the TUBES, if it can give me the best sonic improvement for the next 2 years till i can afford a better source.Is this correct or should it be vise versa ????

My sys - Linn Genki CDP,Mac MA6900,TDL Reference Studio Monitors(18Hz-20Khz),Transparent Cables

Thanks a lot for the replies,
I would say option 1. I found the most significant improvement in my system came when I added a tube preamp. It really gives the sound life and fleshes it out. Also the Mac is a better long term investment, buy it now and by the time you can afford to upgrade your CDP, that Linn Ikemi will be even cheaper, assuming you're buying used of course.
Are you planning on using the Mac C2200 with the amp of the 6900? I
own a C2200 and a C42 preamp. The 42 will never make it back into the
main system again. The 2200 is a gem. The 6900 has I believe the 42
preamp and the 202 amp in its integrated state.
I'm basically a "source first" proponent, and I'd get the Ikemi. It is clearly superior to the Genki.
Thanks for the replies.Yes Ljgj. I plan to use the amp section of the MA6900 (maybe till i can afford seperates) with the C2200.Can i expect a big improvement with the C2200 over my buit-in C42.

As Thsalmon suggests i too believe that the source is very important & the Ikemi is much better than Genki.But as i mentioned i will be upgrading it at somepoint.So would the C2200 be a better improvement NOW ?

Right now i would like to change the component which would give me the best overall improvement.I'm not very experienced with tubes & i have not heard tubes in my sys.I also know that the differences or gains in digital front ends are relatively small compared to the price you pay.So with my budjet of $4500/-,are the TUBES the way to go ? Final vote ??

You havn't mentioned other sources, and it may be begging the obvious, but changing the pre will benefit all of your source components, while changing the CD will only benefit....the CD. Additionally you might consider that, while amplification design is "mature", with so many emerging digital formats the future direction of digital source material is in question.
I vote for the C2200 and later get a new Cd player than the 402 amp. Sell the 6900 to finance the amp. The 42 is a very good preamp - the 2200 is more natural sounding and IMHO will be an improvement.
I recommend the Electrocompaniet CD player! I have the Mcitnosh C2200 and MC 2102 tubed components and the Electrocompaniet EMC-1 CD player. Before that I had the MA6900. The EMC-1 is a great, great CD player and matches well with the Mcintosh components. The C2200 will be a definate improvement, but for now the EMC-1 will offer a lot of bang initially and I think you'll be happy with that purchase for a while and can delay the C2200.
Thankyou all for the advice.It's nice to have a forum like this to turn to.

I have not heard the EMC1 as we don't have a local dealer but have read many good things. At least the Mac's have a dealer & i have arranged for an audition in a few weeks . Shall keep you posted .

I am considering another option on the source.Maybe i should post in the Digital forum.Pls. have a look.

Best Regards,
My vote goes for the Preamp first but also consider checking out a few different brands as you mentioned you have not yet heard tubes so the audition of several preamps is a must as $4500 is a fair amount of money and I think it's worth exploring more than the one brand. Happy Listening!
A quality (tube of course) pre-amp will definitely make the most dramatic difference. Yes, source components are very important but amplification of the signal is even more so. As others have stated, digital is constantly changing. Expensive digital is not the best way to spend your money and the sonic differences from moderately priced digital components to the upper echelon are more moderate in comparison to the improvement realized in lower to upper end amplifying devices IMHO. Of front end components, only analog (tt, cartridges, arms) offer big enough improvements to justify the price increments you must pay to attain better sound.
CD Player.