Vandersteen 2ces, McCormack 0.5 and which pre-amp

Vandersteen 2ces and a McCormack 0.5 amp seems like a pretty popular combination among people on this forum. So, my question for the Vandersteen 2ce/McCormack 0.5 people is, which pre-amp are you using with this combination and why? I mostly listen to classical and opera, am currently using a Rotel integrated amp as a pre-amp and am thinking about making the move to a pre-amp. I play CDs only.
Being CD only I recommend either a quality passive volume control or a CD player with volume control. No preamp is better than no preamp.
I use the Modwright. Great preamp and will really bring out the best in the McCormack and Vandy's. There's some really good deals here now. (No, not selling or affiliated). I've had a few preamps and the Modwright is the keeper and best I've had or could afford.
How about a nice tube preamp like a Conrad Johnson pv12 or audio research?
McCormack TLC in passive mode of course! $350 and what you get is extra clean "no-sound" preamp that can be used active (buffered) if needed.
Even if you play only CDs, a step up in pre amp quality is going to bring you much greater satisfaction to the music listening experience. As Soundwatts suggests, a Conrad Johnson PV12 or similar model will amaze you by what you will hear as a far as depth of soundstage, extension and detail go.
I used an older, very early Audible Illusions pre in conjunction with my McCormack and Vandy 2ci's until just recently. The AI died, or at least started spewing injurious low frequency signals(as confirmed by Steve McCormack's excellent trouble shooting..thanks again Steve!) that would shut down the McCormack. The AI & McCormack combo is excellent & quite common...a little limiting as far as range/ fine volume control though. I just switched (yesterday..Merry Christmas to me!) to using the McCormack RLD-1 solid state (brave new world!) pre amp with remote and a .5db increment volume control. As I wallow in my listening chair making micro volume adjustments(unfortunately burning far fewer Christmas eve feast calories!), I am struck by the RLD-1's musicality, smoothness as well as increase in inner detail and dynamics. And this first listen based on a compromised holiday audio set-up..speakers moved away to accomodate the tree, inferior holiday speaker cables and ac, and kids rustling with their new acquisitions...
More critical evaluation will ensue after New Years with the exit of the tree and the return of audio nirvana...Steve McCormack also does mods to the RLD-1's as well as the DNA amps, taking them to another realm of stellar performance...someday my mods will come.
Thanks for your responses. As I said, I'm using a Rotel integrated as a pre-amp for the 0.5. Which do you think should be the next move: send the amp to McCormack for an upgrade or buy a pre-amp? For now, at least, it would have to be one or the other.
You might want to email Steve McCormack & ask him that question. I was in the same boat a few years ago. I was using a Creek integrated as my pre-amp and I didn't know if I should buy a pre or have my DNA 1 upgraded. I emailed Steve & he said "definitely get a quality pre-amp first, then worry about the upgrade".
The Rotel is the limiting factor. I don't believe the amp upgrade would be beneficial if it stays in the system.
Upgrade the pre amp.