Preamp suggestions-upgrading from C-J PV10A

Hi. Upgrading my preamp-need suggestions. I have heard the Classe preamps thrown out there as a possible good choice. Other suggestions would be appreciated.

I am thinking about upgrading my C-J PV10A preamp-I have it currently mated to a C-J MF-2200 SS amp, VSA VR-2000's, and Arcam CD73T. I was thinking that I may want to go with tubes still, but just look for a better design. I have A/B'd the PV10A against some SS preamps (nothing special) and it really wasn't much better (the amp, OTOH, is very good). Any suggestions of a very nice preamp I could get used for $500-800? My current setup is a nice mix of lush vocals and accurate, deep-enough bass. The SS preamps I have tried were 95% as good on vocals, but a little heavy in the bass-I was thinking that by upgrading the PV10A, I should be able to improve upon my vocal performance, yet retain the same accurate, not-heavy bass. My speakers are pretty heavy in the low-end anyway (down to 26hz).

I listen mostly to Classical jazz, also Electronic (ambient, house, trance), some vocals and classical music.
I know you said "I may want to go with tubes still", but you can buy an Audio Research LS-3 (solid-state) for +/-$600-750 on A-Gon that I think is clearly a better preamp than the PV-10A and definitely not a lateral move.

For whatever it's worth, the LS-3 was Class A rated in Stereophile (they in fact preferred it to the $1k more expensive tube / solid-state hybrid LS-2). I have owned one for nine years and have it anchoring my second system, and can say categorically that it was not embarassed by the Jadis, CAT, Hovland and Rowland Coherence II preamps that have succeeded it in my systems. It has a "direct" input feature with a simplified signal path that provides ridiculously transparent performance for a preamp of its price, and is otherwise dynamic, neutral and extended.

I had a close friend who had a PV-10A, and it always sounded rolled off and a bit foggy (lacking in clarity) to me. He sold it in favor of a c-j PFR. The PFR is another option -- it is a respected solid-state preamp that would obviously mate well with your c-j amplifier (the PFR may be a few hundred $$$ above your budget, however).

If you really want to stick with tubes, the Audible Illusions L-1 or Sonic Frontiers Line 1 are both possibilities at that price point.
If you're going to stay with a tube preamp, I would recommend either the Audio Research LS-7, or SP-9 MKII. You should be able to buy either in the $700-800 range. They both beat the CJ PV10A in my opinion. More of a clean, airy, separation of instruments sound.

Best wishes,
CJ Premier 14 was my next step after the PV10 - the improvement was not subtle. It drives a classe amp and soon to drive Mcintosh 501's. I demoed audible illusions 3 I believe was the model and preferred the CJ. It is musical, rich, not analytical but plenty resolving for my tastes.
Add the Blue Circle BC21 to your list. They don't come up often, but used are about $700. If you can stretch, go for a BC21.1. Only down side is that the BC21 tubes (6sn7) can get pricey, but on the other hand it only uses 2. Good luck!
I had a 10a for a couple of years (mated to a mccormack ss amp) and really liked its lushness, especially on vocals. Wanted a built in phone stage (my 10a didn't have one) and went with a audible illusions 2d (which I picked up for 400). Had a couple of weeks to switch back a forth between the two, and other than the lush vocals of the cj, I liked tha audible illusions in every respect--tight bass, extended highs, better snap to the music. With you budget you could get a ai 3a.
Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Another thing-the PV10a maybe a little to musical paired to the MF-2200, which is known as pretty musical for a SS amp. I think I may want something more analytical, so a good SS preamp wouldn't be out of the question either.

What about a Cary SLP-88? I see those have been closed out and are going for $1100 new or $800 used. How is the Cary sound-I know lots of people use Cary, but have never heard their stuff.
Cary SLP-98 is just amazing.I wanted one myself but for 2400 used,simply couldn't afford it.Audio research LS3-B is in my system and as Raquel said is fantastic,but the last one I 've seen here went for 950$.
Good luck
If your speakers are heavy in the bass, a tubed preamp could make it worst IMO. I would try a Passive preamp (Axiom, Bent, etc..) where pitch and definition will help keeping your speakers in control.

Hope this helps

You might want to consider the AES/ AE-1 I am selling here for $550. Musical in every way. I have never seen one for sale here except mine.