Preamp with most dynamic contrast?

Which preamp in the $ 2000 to $ 5000 range offers the most dynamic contrast (both macro and micro)?

My current set up offers what I value most in spades (no listener fatigue, true timber and great imaging) but is somewhat mellow in dynamic contrasts, especially Micro. I think a change in preamps might do the trick. Current system: Vienna Accoustic Mahler speakers, Bryston 4BST amp, Electrocompaniet EC 4.7 preamp, Meridian 508.24 CD run balanced.
PS: I am tempted to try tubes this time...thanks in advance for your kind suggestions.

Bruno, I would highly recommend you audition a Placette dual mono active linestage. It is one of the great bargains in high end audio for two reasons: 1) It offers beautiful sonics, that sound like what you are looking for, and competes with reference pre-amps that cost upwards of $15000.00. I auditioned seven highly regarded pre-amps, solid state/tube, and finally chose the Placette to replace my highly regarded ML reference 32, that cost $10000.00 more then the Placette. 2) Since, Guy Hammel, the owner/designer only sells direct, his pre-amp costs $4500.00, thousands less because their is no retail markup. Guy's a great gentleman and you get a 30 day audition period to make your decision. I hope you would consider putting the Placette active linestage on your audition list.
Dear Bruno,
The new transformer based preamps are very good in this regard, and offer very high value, especially when compared to the "High End" as represented by the print media. There is a preponderance of cheap volume controls out there even in the "best" preamps, little plastic pieces that wholesale for less than $10.00!
You might save a lot of money that can be used to buy some music...
I recently acquired a passive Slage-King autoformer based pre and am very happy with it. It replaced a $1K custom pre I had made, at about half the cost. It has one input, one output, as in applying the K.I.S.S. principle.
I do most of my listening in the wee hours, and lack of detail, especially microdynamics, would completely invalidate the use of anything that wasn't top shelf in this regard.
During the day, I will blast out some rock or classical, and dynamic range is not lacking either. Classic rock (Pink Floyd) to classical organ (Saint Saens), I am not disappointed. I am sometimes actually startled by music I thought I was quite familiar with!
For reference, let me state my amp is a custom made 3D Audio 300B, speakers are Ocellia 98db/1watt eficient Ocellias, with a Metronome Technologie DAC and various digital sources. One would never expect the dynanic capabilities this system exhibits with "only" 9 watts per channel.
Don't forget the extremely high markup for most audio products, due to marketing, severely affects their price/performance ratio.
Another possibility is a modification to your present preamp's power supply. If you are happy with it's sound, it just might benefit from some more "juice". This would affect both micro- and macrodynamics, especially of it manages to reduce your preamp's noise floor.
Just one man's opinion, but I hope this helps.
Best of Luck,
Well that's a question that invites the invariable answer: "mine" (i.e. my preamp):)

FWIW, I've liked the dynamics with a Goldmund 7(old model, within yr price range used) and CAT Ultimate (again an older used model would be within yr price range).

I have used both these pres to drive ss and tube (OTL) amps.
Another pre that I never owned but used for a while was the "big" Spectral of ~10 yrs ago. Again, excellent dynamics.
Before you switch out your pre-amp, try a Musical Fidelity tube buffer stage X-10v3 between the CD player and the Pre-amp. This will eliminate "loading" while allowing maximum transfer between the two components. I recently purchased one and am extremely pleased with the results. You can purchase from Underwood HiFi for 375.00 shipped and return if not satisfied. I believe the X-10v3 will allow more dynamic contrasts in your system AND help give you some of that tube sound you crave.

Try a Herron VTSP-1A/166 tube pre-amp. It's less than $2,000.00 on Audiogon. It's fantastic!

Well I can tell you it is the preamp more than likely, I auditioned an Electrocompaniet 4.7 this year and it was very un-exciting to be honest. It almost seemed as if it did not have enough gain dynamics whatever, it was boring, but this could be amplifier matching. So I will go on a preamp I have been reading tons about and most will vouch for it on this site as being super dynamic and smooth, very transparent and its 2200.00, The Modwright 9.0se, check it out looks to be the ticket as they say.. But it is Tube and not sure it has a remote option, but is the current golden child in audio right now.
Assuming that you are talking used prices, I would highly recommend a BAT VK-51SE. You should be able to get one for less than $5000 fairly easily. Very dynamic, with more slam than any SS preamp I've had in my system (Coda, Threshold, Krell, Levinson).

At the low end of your price range seriously consider the Rogue Magnum 99. At the upper end the McIntosh C2200. I've used both with my 4BST and found them both very dynamic and clear - not at all mellow. The McIntosh is the better of the two; I wouldn't part with mine for anything else on the market.
I found mine in the Joule Electra LA-100MkIII. It actually started out as an LA-200 and Jud Barber upgraded it for me. The LA-100 MkIII is available new for around $4k including remote (I have the dual volume version and not the volume/bass version) and you can find them used for around $2k or less (depending on whether it is an original MkIII or an upgrade to MkIII). The LA-150 is also in your price range as well.

As for the Modwright preamp, I heard a few at RAMF in different set-ups and agree that it is a great preamp for the price. However, there have been many darlings in the audiophile world that end up being overnight sensations that dissappear into morning after obscurity. I'm not saying this is the case with Modwright, as I find Dan Wright to be an intelligent and friendly, two characteristics that aren't always assocaited with a designer, but what I am saying is to trust your ears regardless of the hype you may hear about a particular component.
Conrad Johnson tubed pre's do a great job at dynamic contrast(both micro and macro); it is what they are known for. In your price range I would suggest a used premier 16lsII or 17lsII; the 16 would be my first choice.

mine--Supratek Syrah (for your price range, could probably move up to the Grange).
If you can go single-ended, check out the 10A or 11A tube preamps from Steve Sammett at SAS Audio. They are a steal at $2K and $3.5K. I currently own the 10A, wouldn't even have thought about selling it (in the near future) except for the fact that I am looking into a fully balanced preamp to match with my Atma-Sphere amps.