Thinking about moving to a tube pre - suggestions.

Hello all,
I currently have a classe ssp-25 preamp, connected to a Hafler 9500 driving B&W DM640s. Sources Oppo 981, and Technics 1200SL TT (Ortofon 2M red) via a Bellari vp-129.

In your 1st hand opinion, would a tube pre w built in phono stage improve the sound from the Bellari / Classe ssp-25?

I'm considering the following..
Mapletree Ultra 4A SE
Quicksilver Full Function Pre

Any other options at similar price ranges are appreciated.

Also I read that tubes should be changed every year or so, because the sound quality decays slowly.

An Audio Research will crush all of those. A vintage 2C or 6B with a tubed phono stage is amazing! My personal favorites are Anthem or an MFA (if you can find one).
I would actually ( don't know your price range ) jump on the Audio Research SP 11 full function preamp( listed in this site ) .This piece is listed as just returned from A/Resarch for check up ..This would be just what the doctor ordered for you..Has a great phono stage to boot...........
Thorman, that piece would sound great in almost any system!!!
As to the question about tube replacement. Power tubes in amplifiers need to be replaced about once a year, depending on amplifier design and how often you use them. Tubes in preamps often last 3 to 4 years or more, also depening on design and usage.
Elevick: Your right about that..Great all around piece..I owned sp6,8,9,and SP11 for years .Any of the SP6,8,10 or 11 would be great............
I especially love the tube phono stage.
There's an SP9 listed right now here. Any first hand experience with it versus the other AR models, and the Mapletree / Quicksilver products?

Alex333 : The SP9 in my opinion would be a "Bad" mistake..The SP 9 in my opinion are threadbare and very lean sounding...This would not be the direction you asked about...An Audio Rsearch SP 6,8,10 or 11 is a whole different story...
Thorman, Thanks so much for your input.

Still wondering abour the mapletree or quicksilver options.

How many Mapletree preamps have you seen on used market????
There is your answer.
The lack of any product for sale on Audiogon can be due to a number of reasons that may or may nor have anything to do with quality of a product or its popularity.

An item may sell only a handful of units in a given year, making the pool of available used units very small. Also, some products are sold primarily through word of mouth or through non-internet channels. Doshi preamps are an example that come immediately to mind.

Also, owners of a given item might not be frequent users of Audiogon. For example, I can think of certain manufacturers that have a much more avid following on AudioCircle, and therefore used examples of their products will be found more often on AudioCircle.
Or it is just that good for so little..............
do not ask me..................I do not own Mapletree preamp myself and do not want to sound like a broken record.
From my own, somewhat limited experience of few hours of listening sessions
in systems that I wasn't really familiar with, it sounded great.
If you need some references, I will be happy to get you in touch with someone who owns stock and other modified. He might be more helpful then I am.

You cannot go wrong with the mapletree if you don't care about chassis build quality. It has that DIY look but Doc's preamps sound great. I always liked the NOS 12sn7 tubes better than the 6sn7 and you don't have to pay the ridiculous $$ that the 6sn7 go for. When mapletrees go on sale, they are sold within hours, that should tell you something also.
Pulled the trigger on the mapletree. Cant wait to hear it.
It won't disappoint.
Great choice.
It is a keeper.

Finally got the 4A SE in.

This pre makes my system sound amazing, instruments are clear, almost 3D, detailed, natural, quiet, smooth. Everybody's jaw drops when they hear my system now compared to before.

Love the look. Friend of mine has quite a bit of experience with electronics, and says the component and build quality is great. Haven't started trying to upgrade the sound with different tubes yet, but even with the ones that came from Dr. Peppard (RCAs and GEs) I am very very happy.

BTW Dr. Peppard is a great person to talk to, very patient and flexible.
A tube pre-amp that is not talked about much is the Air-Tight. I have one and absolutely love it. It sounded really nice in the stock form and I had it modified and it is a giant killer. Used on AG you can find them for about 1800 dollars. Chow at Audiohorizons modded mine at a cost of a bit over a grand; this included taking the power supply out of the original case and isolating it in its own enclosure.

It is not howerver a tube syrupy pre-amp. This may depend on the tubes used and I am not much of a tube roller so that is out of my league....Using the tubes I have, whatever they are, it is smooth, spacious, with very impressive front to back soundstaging, and very pleasing tonal colors.