Preamp Sonic Signature or Character like RIAA Eq

Can or does a given preamp introduce a sonic signature or character similar to RIAA equalization for vinyl, as opposed to a ruler flat response from some passive preamps? (I find vinyl w/ its RIAA eq to sound very pleasing to the ear.)

Recently I discovered that using a preamp as opposed to source direct to power amp tends to sound more musical, even more dynamic. Seems to apply mostly to digital. One exception is my phono pre direct to power amp - it has its own volume control and sounds wonderful.

In auditioning integrated amps also, I have found them to be more dynamic, carrying weight and authority when driving my speakers. But I really like my power amp and even want to go with monoblocs simply because of the sheer power and dynamics that they provide.

It would seem a very good preamp is in order, at least for my system.

Any thoughts appreciated.
A lot of people think that passive controls have to be completely neutral and they are not. In effect, a lot of them behave as a tone control that reduces the bass (and dynamic punch) as you reduce the volume. This is due to an interaction between the passive control, the input impedance of the amplifier and the interconnect cable.

An active preamp does not have this problem and so may well sound more neutral (i.e. 'better') for this reason. Just because this is so, I would not immediately assume that the preamp is not as 'flat'. In fact it might be that it *is* flat compared to the passive control, and that is what you like about it. Enjoy!
all components are imperfect and have a sonic signature. pick your flavor and buy what you like. perfection is unattainable. embrace coloration and use it to your advantage.

I'm a proponent of preamps in general. For me too, they have been a necessity for ages, until recently as well, so I'm used to including them in any scheme I concock.

Recently I gave some creedence to the 'purer signal' path by eliminating the pre and using a source with gain and amps only. Well, it is different. Very good in it's own right, and might well be spectacular with an outstanding $$$$ DAC or disc player with gain.

As Mr T said, everything introduces something.

I've found I like active pre's, and active tube pre's the best.... naturally the better the preamp the better off you are. I have a choice in my system to go either way and 95% of the time, it's with the preamp in the chain... and I lose the flexibility to remotely switch sources that way... but oooooh.... the sound with it in there.
I must say, with careful comparisons, I have come to the same conclusion that a good preamp is better in terms of dynamics, at least for my system.

I did not realize, but I think the point Atmasphere made about interaction of passive, input impedance . . . is what I am hearing as a lack of dynamics as compared to the active solution.

Thanks all for inputs.

And now the search continues for a good preamp; I'm curious how good Sunfire's Classic Vacuum Tube is? Only asking since there is one listed and I do like my Sunfire Signature power amp. Maybe a good match?
IMO Ralph's comments pertain more to resistor-based passive preamps. I'm a big fan of the passive approach but have preferred the transformer volume control which tends to eliminate impedance mismatches. Today I actually own an autoformer volume control (Slagle modules) and a resistor-based attenuator (Lightspeed) that uses optocouplers. I can't decide which I like better (although I lean towards the Lightspeed). I don't experience any impedance mismatches, even at low volume levels, and there is dynamics in spades. As for musical, well with my front end (both analog and digital) and VAC amps I think it is very musical. In fact, I preferred both passives to my Jeff Rowland Capri which IMO is a lot of preamp for the money.

Also note that some integrated amps (example: Red Wine Audio 30.2) incorporate a passive volume control. Atmasphere offers a passive volume control as an option on their amps (M-60 and above I believe) as well. I doubt the M-60 with a passive volume control (which I would like to try at some point) will sound anything less than musical.