I'd look for a used Classe pre-amp in your situation.
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A modern tube preamp shouldn't sound bad at all. I think want you must mean by "tubey" is slow,syrupy and rolled off. I have found none of that, using both a tube pre and amp of recent manufacture. Instead I have brilliant transparency halographic imagery and excellent tone. As always it comes down to system building. That said if I were to sub out a tubed component it would be the pre, because I think the tube output from the amp has the best influence on the sonic.