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Turbopay, I was asking the same question a short while ago. I was using a ss preamp with the 4bst and I felt something was missing. The replies to my question were coming back "GO WITH TUBES". Quite a few prefered the Conrad Johnson and Cary over Audio Research.Some like the sound of a 6SN7 tube over the 6922 tube. Not having the cash on hand for a Cary, I looked at AES ( Audio Electronic Supply)which is owned by Cary. I bought the AE-3 used for $400 and this little charm sings. It has point to point wiring so you can tinker with its inerts for the sound you desire. I never imagined that my system could sound so great with a tube preamp.
I was using The VAC Standard Preamplifier and also the Audio Research Reference 1 Preamplifier. The Reference 1 did a nicer job but I changed the Bryston amp to the Audio Research Vt 100 MK II. That made the nicest difference. The Bryston has some harshness especially to the vocals and no matter which preamp was being used the vocals did not sound smooth. The Bryston has more than enough power but I am very happy with the 100 watt VT 100 instead.
I've tried a few preamps with my Bryston 3bst..........Bryston BP25, Bryston SP1, Sim P3, Sim P5, a Marantz pre, some EAD stuff, some Krell stuff, and some other cheap stuff, but the COPLAND 301 MKII blew everything away. More soundstaging and far more detail,presented in a smooth liquid way. So many of my unlistenable CD's are now listenable. The Copland is very synergistic with Bryston gear......more so then...ahem.... Brystons own preamps, which seem to enhance digital glare. The Copland can be bought used on Audiogon for about $1000 used, and is competative with amps costing upwards of $7000us......no kidding! The bonus is you can tube swap and the Copland has a marvelous MM board built in if you want to get into vinnyl.
EAR 834L tube line stage (black $1295, deluxe gold $1595) is another good option. Also I second Dudeaudio on the Copland 301MK 2 as this is a killer tube preamp with decent phono stage. Blue Circle BC21 (6SN7 based) sounds wonderful and works well with 3B-ST but noisy when matched with 4B-ST (DC offset problem). The new BC21.1 ($1650 retail) is equipped with 6922s and could be a potential good matchup with Bryston amp.
I would go with a Copland as well- with Bryston and with almost any other amp as well for that matter. The 301 mk l or ll are that good. The preamp is seriously undervalued and priced. They outplay preamps costing 5 times as much. There is a reason that UHF magazine uses the Copland preamp for both of their reference systems- they could not find a better preamp regardless of cost.