I have W4S SX-500 monos and I have been satisfied with my Modwright tubed pre-amp. Not selling it. Love it.
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Aside from making sure that out and input impedance's are within acceptable parameters ( You will have to do a search to get that info/as many times that I have read what is optimal I always forget.) Although important to note I have never actually bought a preamp for use where I checked those specs first. Whatever I have bought has always worked fine. I mention it because all the info one reads online will say to check that first. I have a Decware Cps2 preamp in one system. I is mated to a Creek passive preamp so that I may have remote volume control. This system has only 3 sources and is the bedroom system. Main system uses a Sonic Frontiers line 1 which is excellent build quality from the 90's with the famous hocky puck remote.. Highly recommended pre. This is my second one. However, Its a hybrid.. Im told. I think to get full benefit of the "tube" flavor both the input and output of the preamp should be tube. Audio Research would be my next buy for a preamp and not one with the new super tube. Stick with the models that use the 6922 or similar and tube rolling is possible. When using that new super tube.. one cant not use a variant.
My Decware also has a tube rectifier instead of SS which most pre's use. In other words the in/output stage of the Decware and the rectifying stage are all tube. And, the Decware has adjustable gain.. and it really makes a diff. When I use my Assemblage 300b the gain needs to be 1 or 2 clicks and with my Decware el84 based amp the gain can be 6 clicks raised. Some AR preamps have adjustable gain as well as some other makes as well. The Decware cps2 or others could be bought under 1k I would think used and be used (or not) with a passive remote stage. While an AR could be had anywhere from 800 up to 3500 depending on what you want/need.
I 2nd the MODWRIGHT , LS100, or the 36.5 with the external tube based power supply. These preamps will add incredible detail and a very beautiful tone... especially guitar strings. I use a older SWL 9.0 sig edition. I love the tubes in this thing! I have a Mullard 5AR4 rectifier. and 2 rare 5687's from RCA.This unit drives my beast ,a McIntosh MC352 power Amp. Good luck man!