First Tube Preamp

I am strongly considering upgrading my preamp from a solid state B&K 10MC Pro to a tube preamp. It will be my first journey into glass and I was looking for some recommendations that will not break the bank and also give me a chance to get my feet wet without having to tinker all the time.
The other system components are a Parasound HCA800 amp, NAD
CD player, Snell EIII speakers and a Sonographe SG-3 turntable with Grace 707 arm and Micro Benz cartridge. I have a large vinyl collection and most listening involves LP's.
I would appreciate any input while I'm trying to decide which way to go.
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I did the same thing recently after being a SS guy since the purchase of my first system. I was curious about all the fuss around tubes but at the same time didn't know what to expect or what to look for. After careful thought and many reviews, I've decided to go for a Conrad Johnson. One of the best decisions I've made with audio. Mainly because of the value, reputation and general availability of their gear.

CJ offer preamps in different price levels. A lot are available on the used market. I think it is mainly because you can upgrade your CJ for a better CJ without taking a new mortgage or divorcing your wife eveytime. A lot of people do this without changing for another brand.

Whatever the model, there is always somebody, somewhere who is going to come out with a better preamp for the same amount of bucks. This is called competition. But as a first experiment with tubes, a CJ will not let you down being simply for your listening pleasure and/or the possibility of trading it quickly for an upgrade.

Good luck !
Find an AES 3 made by Cary under the name Audio Electric Supply. I've had one for at least a couple of years now and I just love it. Watch for a used one here on Audiogon and be sure to get a couple good NOS (new old stock) tubes. I bought a few Sylvanias. It has three inputs and one out plus a volume control. No remote, nothing fancy, but I do believe you'll like it. Good luck and happy listening.
2nd the advice on a C-J preamp. I have a PV-5 and I wouldn't part with it. Sounds glorious. Keep in mind though that the vintage C-J stuff is getting up there in age (even the PV11) and may need some work. But IMHO after you replace (upgrade) various parts they sound great.
Be sure to consider an Audible Illusions Modulus 3 at around $600 or 3A if you can spend closer to $1000. Someone has a 3 on auction here at present. Easily one of the best and most reliable tube designs around and they have a really great phono stage. Also, like CJ, very easy to sell if you want to try something different.