Which would you choose for good sounding tube preamp for an audiophile new to tubes.

I need your help guys. I would like to add a tube preamp to pair with my reference 200.2 B&K amplifier. My speakers are large ADS L1590 towers ( 90 DB efficiency rating). They were a flagship back in the day. I have had them restored by an ads tech. I am l looking at  a QUICKSILVER LINESTAGE LS PREAMPLIFIER, VTL 5.5 preamplifier, and a Sonic Frontiers SFL-1. All are currently used and on audiomart or audiogon. The Sonic Frontiers is for sale on hi-fi heaven. I purchased from them before and they check out the equipment that is preowned. My system is a little bright and dynamic sounding using the sonata B&K preamp. (There best at the time). I am looking for a little warmth in the sound and no harshness. I want some slam and afraid I will lose it if I go with tubes.  I have had success buying certain units because of the knowledge dispensed through this forum I am a member of Audiogon in good standing. Any help would be great. I appreciate the feedback. 


I love tube preamps.  I have in play now both tube and solid state.   Audio GD, Don Sachs and Supratek all make fine sounding tube preamps.  The Black Ice hybrid preamp is really good - especially if u replace the stock TungSol tube with a Linlai 6SN7: i use this preamp in my highly resolving reference system.  The SPL Elector is solid state but has no solid state shortcomings.  If I told u that u were listening to a contemporary tube preamp, u would not flinch.

Buy an old Counterpoint preamp - recommend the cheapest one you can find.  Send it to me for upgrades and you will never look back.

The old stock units sound really good especially in the mid-range.  They can use a little bit of help in the high-end and low bass but not much.  They compare to everything recommended here and then some.

Happy Listening.

Look into Aric Audio for all tube preamps. They have a variable gain control knob on them making it very easy to pair with an amplifier.