Tube Pre-Amp Recommendation

Im new to this forum but have spent few months reading into posts. The more i read the more i get confused on my first purchase of a Good quality Tube Pre-amp. At this very moment I have always used Solid states pre-amp but after hearing the Audio Research Arc Ref 5 and 3 I am on the upgrade bug. Considering these units cost allot of money I need some suggestion if there are other Tube Pre-Amp which can either match similar levels to the Arc Ref 5 or better it.

I am not bothered about name brands or looks of the unit rather on how it presents the music to me.
I have not own a Tube Gear before in my life, and not sure on how to go about it. BTW I am in Indonesia (A British Expat Working and Living Here)

Demoing unit is out of the question here, even buying a unit here is so much more expensive then back at home In the UK. I prefer to Buy from USA (Will use a Power converter if needed)

My Current Setup is:
Speakers: Philharmonics 3
Amplifier: Audio GD Master 2 Series Mono Blocks (Will Upgrade Later to Krell, Macintosh or Pass)
CD player: Oppo 95 Using on Board DAC for the time being. Looking to upgrade later on for DAC
Room: Heavily treated, with Foam, Acoustic Panels, Bass Traps in all 4 Corners.

Budget less than 6000 Dollars.

Need Performance Level Matching that of Arc Ref 5Se or better.

Need suggestion and opinion on how to go about this. I prefer fasting sound more to neutral. Slight warm but not too much. I did find Cary SLP05 Pretty Warm, however on Ebay it slipped my fingers otherwise I was going to pull the trigger on that. I will being pairing this with Solid State Amplifier don’t want to get into Power Amps using Tubes for the next few years at least.

Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks Guys
Hey guys, I say "to each his own." You wanna talk about webpages, take a look at CAT - Ken Stevens has made some of the most successful and best sounding preamps of the past 20-some years and they hardly have a website! You might want to add a CAT preamp to your list.

Buying from Paul with his less than techno-savvy website is not going to be for everyone, but maybe he wants it that way. Think about it, if he had a great website, a dealer network, and attended all the shows, perhaps he wouldn't be able to keep up with demand. In this commodity driven world I can appreciate that a design artisan might want to keep control of his work, and deal only with customers who really want and appreciate the products. If his current advertising program (or lack of) wasn't working for him, don't you think he would make changes? Same with Ken Stevens at CAT.

On the other side of the coin, it doesn't take a large company to have an up to date website. For example, Emmanuel Go at First Sound has a very nice modern website for what is basically a one-man operation with one basic product. Emmanuel also makes great sounding preamps that you might consider.

I don't disagree that Paul at TRL may benefit (with increased sales) by having better descriptions of his products on the website. I personally like the detail given the products on the First Sound site. He could also consider getting some outside assistance like Ken Stevens at CAT did with the Factory Tour Feature Article on Soundstage! But, even if he never upgrades his website, you have to respect all the positive feedback he receives from audiophiles who have actually purchased his products. I came really close to buying a DUDE a year or so ago but, like Jtwrace, my amps have only balanced inputs and, at the time, I was too impatient to wait for Paul to construct a new balanced model and, like you, I was hesitant to spend the money on something unheard. That was my choice, and probably my loss since several audio-aquaintances told me how great the DUDE sounds so, maybe in the future... I would still love to hear one in my system.

Finally, I wouldn't entirely give up on solid state. I still think the Tom Evans preamp approaches most of the good tubed preamps I have owned, although it is a bit more neutral and slightly less dynamic so maybe not for everyone. Currently I am using a great sounding custom preamp from another design artisan, Steve McCormack, who took an old TLC-1 and, with carte blanche authorization, crafted an amazing balanced preamp that rivals anything I have owned. Steve's website needs a little work too - but then, I don't listen to the website.

Good luck with your search.
Your opinions are all great and nobody is trying to win or lose. This is not a matter of sides or right and wrong. To make it into that is unfortunate and disappointing. I buy based on hearing and reviews and comments from other seasoned, well respected Aphiles. I have learned a great deal from this site and purchased the Dude, Duelund caps and many other "under the radar" joys because of the combined experience of posters. I hope I have done this for others through the years.

I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas. God bless!
I forgot to add, I have owned the Dodd and its a wonderful preamp - right up there with the VAC that I currently own. I owned mine a few years ago and had issues with the battery charging making the unit somewhat unreliable. It looks like the Dodd uses a new system now, but I would suggest researching that issue closely.

In fairness to the OP, let's drop the TRL debate.
A pretty website and impressive specs don't guarantee a quality product or company. One must do his/her HOMEWORK before making any purchasing decisions. In a niche market, boutique companies are the norm rather than exception and if one is adventurous, they will be rewarded.

Like Mitch2 said, "to each his own" and it's ridiculous bashing a company for their website.
@ grannyring

No one is whining, to some people information is a key factor when making a purchase especially when a buyer is dropping $$$ on something they've never heard. Like you I appreciate a designer that takes pride in their product and taking the time to give some mandatory specs speaks volumes. It's the little things that show the designer looks at the little details that make a long lasting product. I've never heard the Dude, and I'm sure it sounds great, but there are many potential buyers who will immediately discount the product for lack of basic spec info.

I have some old gear that I've inherited from my father, hell he has some old gear that he still uses today; awesome build quality that's still going strong. These companies took pride in the little things and for me I expect that from any company that charges a high amount.