Tube Preamp - What to buy?

Looking to take my first venture into the tube world and going with a tube preamp.  My budget is up to $2500 and willing to buy used or new however realize with my budget that used is probably a better path. I would like to have a built-in MM phone stage.  I am use to having a remote and tone controls, so that would be nice however not a necessity.  

For further information my speakers are Revel Performa3 F206 and the current amp(s) is Conrad Johnson SA-250 and I also have a Rotel RB1552.  I many be looking for an amp upgrade in the future, but one thing at a time. 

So far I have been looking at used Audio Research and Conrad Johnson preamps but very open to opinions on brand and model.  Thanks and I look forward to your opinions and experiences.  
@tvad @millercarbon I need to jump in and provide an alternative viewpoint. I own a Raven Blackhawk 3.1. It is a terrific integrated amp. Not only is it driving my 88dB 4Ohm Magico A3 towers super well. But I also have high level sub cables attached to the Raven binding posts tapping off signal to a pair of REL T/9is. There are plenty of dynamics, detail, imaging, soundstage. Everything we want. This amp has so far made my PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP with EL34s sit lonely and disconnected in a corner. My solid state amps are wondering what happened to me. My Pass Labs XP-20 is wondering if she is going to see her photo on Audiogon. There is NOT insufficient power in this amp, unless their listening room is Madison Square Garden! That is absurd. If I turned this thing up to 12 o’clock I would blow my head off!! I think @b_limo needs to check something else in their house and or system. Maybe get the wax out of their ears. But also check the tubes. But this Raven has plenty of power. Last thing I will say is I am glad I got the Blackhawk and not the Osprey. The Osprey would have been overkill to the extreme and a waste of money. My Raven Blackhawk isn’t going anywhere. My PrimaLuna? Well we shall see…
If I turned this thing up to 12 o’clock I would blow my head off!!

I think you just blew some MDS heads up.
Wanted to find @b-limo’s comment about the Blackhawk LE’s power on his 88dB 4 ohm Salk loudspeakers. He did like the Raven's sound quality. He found the fixed subwoofer outputs unhelpful in his system:

05-31-2021 12:36pmHaven’t really followed the thread for a few days... looks like it took a turn,

Anyways, still enjoying the Raven.
I do wish it had more power but thats available, just costs more money. The sound quality is fantastic and Im having a ball with rolling tubes and learning what sounds like what. I bought this amp used and it came with a bunch of tubes. All of them are decent if not good.
Anyways, I am really satisfied with the sound quality. It really is just awesome.
@Millercarbon, if the sub out isn’t variable, there is no way to adjust it seperate from the Ravens volume control unless another preamp is used before the raven...

are you trying to tell me that the integrated raven amp needs an additional pre amp in order to be able to adjust the volume of the speakers and sub together?

not having a variable outlut for a subwoofer is pointless and I’ve never come across or heard of such a thing. Are you telling me that I have to adjust the volume of the sub sverytime time I adjust the volume on the Raven? Thats stupid. You still don’t get it...

The thread is here:

As always, the best approach is to audition a component at home, and fortunately Raven offers a generous audition policy.

I own a ModWright SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition Pre Amp.
Couldn't be happier!

Very tweakable and responds well to tube rolling.
It uses the 5687 tube which has MANY variants to choose from.

Has my highest recommendation......
Don Sachs here.  I really don't care which preamp you buy, but for people to say my preamp is the sp14 is not correct.  The board is the same.  The board has been improved immensely because I have suggested improvements to Roy.  But, I run the circuit at a different operating point, I have made improvements to the power and filament supplies that are sonically significant,  I use FAR better parts than the kits, I have made numerous mods that are not published.   Plus you get a nice case.   Buy whatever you want, but for some person to say you are "giving" me a $1000 when you could just build the kit is totally inaccurate nonsense posted by someone who knows nothing about it.  Check out the prices for a pair of VCap ODAM caps or a 64 step remote Khozmo attenuator with relay input switching and add that to your kit price.  Gee that raised it by $500 didn't it?  The price of custom panels and a solid cherry or walnut case.   I have spent years improving what is a very good circuit.  I have spent years restoring vintage tube gear and building my own.  Thousands of pieces of gear.  I have heard tons of different caps, resistors, types of wire, etc....   I make choices based upon my experience and testing.  I build the best sounding piece of gear I can and then I price it based upon what it costs to build.   So yes, buy a kit from Roy and you will have a great preamp that will slay most $3000+ commercial gear.  But it won't sound like mine.....