Best Preamp for Hovland Sapphire Amp and Quads

I have a Hovland Sapphire EL34 tube amp and Quad ESL 63 speakers. Presently, my source is a Pass Labs DAC1, which has a SS preamp built in. The sound is excellent to my ears, but I have wondered about adding a tube preamp to the system, to take it to another level. I also would like to have a remote control for the volume. Don't need phono stage at this point in time. I know that Hovland makes a couple of good preamps, but they are so darn expensive.....thoughts and suggestions for cheaper options, preferably under $2,000 used, would be appreciated. Conrad Johnson? Sonic Frontiers?Thx.
The Quads benefit from the most dynamic equipment available, as they are not so dynamic by nature, it helps atleast to get the upper hand on dynamism upstream. I found that the CAT preamps are very dynamic. I had the Ultimate v1, which was very nice (even though CAT was not that much fun to deal with directly). They have older models that might fit your budget. In any case, my recommendation is "look for a dynamic preamp".

Best, Peter
i owned several pair of quad 63s and now have a pair of quads unlimited quad 57s.

i do not find the quads lacking in dynamics. if you are looking for a tube preamp, i suggest you listen to as many as possible. i suspect you have a preferred voicing of a preamp and only you can determine the preamp which satisfies your needs.
I think you are probably right.....a few months ago i thought what i wanted was a pretty warm sound, but my tastes seem to be changing ; as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and I need to do a little more of that; if only my darn job didn't get in the way of my hobby so much!
You could try, if you can find one, an MFA Luminescence or a MC Reference. I use a prototype MC Reference with a pair of MFA M120 or Webster Electric Tube mono's to drive my Quads and I enjoy both. Very different sound from the different amps though.
My $0.02