Wanted:Warm, Sweet preamp.

I was wondering if any Agoners could help.

I am lookfing for a pre-amp which is tonally warm and has a sweet midrange yet without sacrificing detail and dynamics with excellent bass handling.

I would like suggestions in case I don't like the built in pre-amp in my cdp.

I am building bit by bit as I already have a temporary setup.
Do you want SS or tube? What is your budget? For SS, look at Plinius M8. For tube, check out BAT. Of course there are many other options.
Price range is a critical factor you omitted... ?
He pal,
From what I understood that you don't aim to stretch a large buck for preamp.
Well, it's great because such one IMHO is McCormack Micro Line Drive which is no more in production but used one you could get in $300 range.
I've listened the latest Cary 308 preamp, it's in this direction 99%.
Joule Electra...

Specifically the LA-100 Mk III or the LA-150 (if you can swing the money).

No doubt about it.
I would suggest the Cary SLP-98. Excellent sounding pre.
Budget allowing I would also second the Joule (LA-100 MkIII) or Cary SLP-98. I have had both in my system and although the Joule still remains the Cary is an excellent product. There have been some used Joule preamps on Audiogon of late priced quite reasonably.

Another option might be an Easten Electric Mini-max. I have read and heard very good things about this preamp. I believe it has the sonic signature you're looking for at a much lower cost. Tube rolling is supposed to provide additional benefits.

Considering my own system. I am now using a passive preamp for my digital front-end. Not all passive preamps lack dynamics and warmth. True, they will never rival tubes, but the custom K&K Audio TVC I just got using S&B transformers (versus resistors) is both transparent and dynamic (at all volume settings) with a touch of warmth that at times has me reaching for the Joule remote to changes the volume only to realize that I have to get up and do it because I couldn't tell which preamp was in use.
I would strongly recommended Emotive Audio Sira LE, so warm and beautiful sound without high roll off.
There's one currently for sale on Audiogon but way overpriced.
Joule-Electra, c-j Premiere 14 or 17, Supratek Syrah or Chenin.
The underated and often overlooked Mapletree Audio Ultra 4A. Warm, incredibly musical, and detailed. And, it has a tubed phono stage--all for $700. Don't let the price fool you; it can rival any pre 3x its price range. This review says it all: http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/mad4multra_e.html.
Sorry for omitting some details.

I would like to keep it under 5k if possible new or used. Prefably used. Even though I do like the sound of tube amps I would never rule out a SS amp.

I don;t need ultra transparency or detail. But I would like a bit.

I listen to all kind of genre's with Rock, accoustic, classical and opera being my faves and most played.

So pace is important as well although I don;t need the fastest sounding either.

Hope this info helps with recommendations.
ARC LS5MKII or III used. With GNSC mod if you can find one.

Bob Wood
Then of my original suggestions I'd recommend the Joule LA-100 MkIII. Warmer than the LA-150 IMO.
I would suggest VAC - probably Standard LE will give you most bang for the buck.
as a generality...anything with tubes.
Yep, I will second my opinion of the LA-100 Mk III with remote.

And you'll have a bunch of money left over.

Try to get a non-upgraded version.

My 2.5 cents.
I have owned warm sweet sounding preamps such as Croft Super Micro,Glass Audio kit and NEW valve.These are typical of simple tube preamps.They can have lovely mids and highs but tend to lack speed and snap.
So on balance they are not worth owning.
I now own a Supratek Cabernet which is far more balanced and neutral,has great speed,dynamics and snap but especially with 300b valves is also sweet and warm.

cary slp-98. super sounding pre amp with nice tube warmth.
I would try a Conrad Johnson preamp (new or old line) both fit with your requierements.

Also check out Accuphase preamps, nicely built and great sounding.

Thanks for all the replies dudes.
Graaf GM 13.5B II
The new cj pre amps are no longer warm, so only look at the older ones
Audio Research Ref2 Mk2. About $4800 used.
Surprised no one mentioned the deHavilland UltraVerve. With one 6SN7 tube, you can custom tailor the sound to your liking / preferences.
Check out http://www.space-tech-lab.com/

There isn't very much info out on the net on these ones, but they offer infinite variations of tube preamps and have been very well received. From small to large tubes, with all a product to match what you wan.t.

I called and spoke with Albert. It was very helpful.

Do it.

Before I'd recommend a pre I'd like to know your system.