I have always liked sumo, threshold and belles. Classe is fairly warm and can be had with a remote.
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The most tube-like preamp I have heard is the Audio Refinement Pre5. This is an incredibly underrated pre that has 5.1 ins/outs for multichannel sacd and a very nice remote. The sound is very SET-like, with excellent extension at the frequency extremes and superb resolution of detail. I'm using it with a VAC tube amp with fantastic results. You should be able to fine one used for about 650-$700.
I guess that everyone is raving about their own tube pre,
so let me join the group. Audible Illusions Mod 3 is a great piece of equipment. A very simple layout inside using
four 6922's and comes with a stock MM phono stage. If you
need a MC stage, thats SS. Used about $1200, but well worth it. Remote ? absolutely not, but how many exceptional pre-amps come with remotes, and how much extra
Depending on the tubes that you use, some C-J's can be very "syrupy sweet" sounding. Cary's can also do this but i don't know about remotes.
By the way, you didn't specify if you wanted an SS design that mimics the "tubiest" sounds you've ever heard or if you simply want some really warm, soft and smooth tubed gear.
If you're looking for an SS piece that can mimic tubes with a remote, buy a Marsh MSD P-2000 and swap some caps into it. No phono section though but it has a very nice, full function remote. Without the cap swap, it will sound very warm but the top end is somewhat tizzy sounding. Sean
Either a Conrad Johnson PV-5 (around $500) or a CJ PV-ll (around $700) would fit your requirements perfectly. I have used both. They're both great tube preamps with a beautiful, lush, warm midrange; great on vocals. I think that the PV-ll is a little better on the dynamics (zippier?), while the PV-5 is a little more laid back. I'm talking a very minor perceived difference. You probably would be happy with either.