Warm Preamp

I am looking to purchase a preamp with a warm side, either ss or tube. I am not familiar with tubes ,but no time like the present to learn or experience. I now run a plinius 102 amp, rega saturn cd and all top of the line zu cables and wires. Budget max. is 3k. Thanks
conrad johnson makes some of the warmest and sweetest sounding preamps around.
Also the Rogue Metis received excellent reviews.
I enjoy the Krell KCT and it provides all the warmth I could ask for.
All are US made if that matters to you.
Have you tried a Plinius preamp?

Older ARC preamps are warm. I like my BAT VK5i alot and maybe a VK3i might be the ticket?
Conrad-Johnson is a good recommendation.
Also, Audio Research LS-25 with the right set of tubes can really sound great.
Conrad-Johnson makes a full line up but their Preamps are what they are best known for IMHO. From the ART on down great pieces to listen to. Their older line up is probably a bit warmer
Older cj tubed pre's are more tube-like (premier 14 and earlier) their newer stuff(premier 17 and later) are more analytical IMO. Cary also makes a great pre and are more tube-like in their presentation. From what I have heard ARC and BAT are more analytical in their presentation but great pre's nonetheless

I agree with CJ and Rogue for tube warmth. I would also recommend Cary and Audio Mirror, both of which produce very seductive, warm tube preamps.

I've been on the same search myself for a couple of years...but I want warmth AND detail, and finding the right mix hasn't been all that easy. I would say ARC's are generally out, except for older ones, like the SP8. Years ago I had CJ gear, and I recently bought an old PV5, which is having some work done on it, but the buzz on it is that it's about as warm as you get...maybe too warm. I tried Cary gear, and would not recommend the SLP98--the one I had was wired with silver wire and was not warm. (I hate the sound of silver wire, but I guarantee that some people will say I'm crazy if I didn't think the SLP98 wasn't the warmest thing imaginable.) The SLP2002 was not bad, but in the end, didn't really quite get where I wanted. Same with a couple of Joule preamps (in fact, the LAP 150 is in many respects wonderful, but just a bit too much fizz at the top.) I kept hearing that BAT gear was "dark" so I thought that might work, and now use a BAT VK31, NOT the SE version. (The SE versions have the Russian "super tubes" in them, and seem a bit cold to me.) I put Amperex Bugle Boy tubes in it, and it's pretty darn nice.

Good luck, and tell us what you end up with.
I've been on the same search myself for a couple of
years...but I want warmth AND detail

Try a Shindo preamp like the Aurieges! It will be exactly what you are looking
for. A word of caution though: Shindo preamps do require careful matching with
amps due to the fairly high output impedance.

As for warm without detail: Rogue would fit that...
I have owned preamps costing 10x the cost of my Cary SLP98P and will never part with it. I you do not have or care for a turntable, get an SLP98L line stage. Call Larry Diaz @ Highend Palace, and he can most likely get you a very fair price on one. Good luck
I like my tubed Anthem Pre 1L from Sonic Frontiers. Has a matched quad of Bugle Boys in it.
I like my tubed Anthem Pre 1L from Sonic Frontiers.
I wouldn't call the Anthem Pre-2L warm or tubey. It was almost solid state in its presentation. For what it's worth.
I wanted to ask, when you say preamp with a warm side, you mean what exactly? Rolled off high frequencies? Emphasis on bass? Fuller mids? Or all this?

I mean looking at your components, Rega CD player is on the warm side of neutral, Plinius 102 is certainly a warm sounding amplifier. I'd be careful with a warm preamp. You overdo the warmth, and you will end up with a lifeless, flat uninvolving and uninteresting sound.

There is plenty of life in the high frequencies you would not want to kill. You lose air in the highs, you loose soundstage and image definition.

I think CJ CT6 or CT5 may be the one to get.

Be careful with older ARC stuff. You may end up with a euphonic preamp that is not as transparent as the newer stuff and will warm up your system more than you would want. Unless this is what you want. If you are going with the Audio Research, I'd be looking at ARC models that were produced between 1996 and 1999.
Thanks for all of your help as that has narrowed my search down. Will post when I make a decision, no matter how long that might take....
To all that helped me with information....Thanks...I am now using a bat vk-3ix pre but am starting to think about a change.
2nd, 3rd, 5th whatever, CJ. I have used a Premier 14 and 17 and both were about the finest component I have had in my system. Wide detailed soundstage, good depth and the warm side of neutral. The older units go for very low prices 2nd hand and you won't want to change. A strong recomendation