$18k Tube preamp for large scale symphonies please

hi, can anyone suggest tube preamp that's good for handling complex music & large scale symphonies recordings in studio/ theatres? i had audition some: Aesthetix, CJ ,Modwright, Audio Note, ARC but all seems lacking in some ways and definitely not enough air at top octaves and instruments separation/ spaciousness. all dealer agrees that some pre is good at certain genre of music and sound Great even more if music is relatively SIMPLE like vocal, jazz, light acoustic, slow rock and maybe pop songs. Yes i know personal taste varies as well: bass strength & high freq. extension etc. & gears matching too. could anyone share their expreience so i can narrow down a list? my music typically: Van Hellsing & Princess Mononoke movie soundtrack. hope dealers provide constructive comments. Thanks All in advance. -phil
Thanks Al. In the situations I have heard the IC's were 1 meter and low capacitance. Perhaps this has also played a role.
Hello Grannyring, you are correct. The higher the output impedance of any preamp, the shorter the IC should be.

However that does not explain bass response, but some of that depends on your speakers too, and whether you listen to recordings where the issues might show up. This is an area where audiophiles will say things like "this preamp has more impact than than that one" even when both preamps cut off at the same frequency. IOW, its in a realm of 'in comparison to what?"

What we are talking about here is issues with phase response, which behave to the ear more as a coloration than a frequency response issue, although when the phase is right you do get more impact.
I have not gone through all the posts but just want to state the somewhat obvious. If you are going to spend the kind of money you listed for a preamp, you absolutely need to demo the gear in your system to understand the synergy (or lack there of). While I like the build and sound qualities of Shindo I would never be presumptious enough to think that there is a "best" of anything in regards to audio. My experience is that personal taste varies considerably in this hobby. Once you get a list of candidates, try to listen to them in your system and ignore all opinions but your own. I know this is not earthshattering advice but I am amazed at how many people buy very expensive products blind based on 2nd hand information.
hi Atmasphere,
just reading thru one of your earlier post, you said "Deep bass seems to me the hardest thing for tube preamps to do right, but if they do that right there will be no solid state that can keep up". BUT i think SPECTRAL Audio would have no problem with speed if you are refering to that...
Philipwu, I am not. The ability of a tube preamp to play the instruments with body and impact at the same time is the pervue of tubes and the bane of transistors. Sure, its easy for transistors to be fast (harder for tubes but what we are really talking about here is bandwidth and good tube preamps have as much bandwidth as transistors); the issue is how do you have speed and detail at the same time as being relaxed?

Too often I see brightness associated with detail and I see many audiophiles accept that to get good detail, it has to be bright. But it does not have to be that way- its possible to have more detail (than a bright preamp) and a relaxed, effortless but dynamic presentation all at the same time.