General question about tube preamps and gain

I have a (possibly moronic) question unrelated to my previous thread. This is a general question about tubes and gain.

So say you buy a tube preamp and it sounds clean and clear. You decide you want that dark, syrupy sound (classic tube sound?). So you buy tubes that impart this sound on the signal and install them.

Now installed, you notice that the more you turn the preamp volume up, the more the tubes impart that sound on the signal. But you can’t play it loud. 
So could you, theoretically, put attenuators (lets say -10db) between said preamp and the power amp to lower the output signal which you’d then turn the volume up and drive the tubes a little harder to impart more of the tube’s sound at lower levels?

I hope this makes sense. It does in my head but that don’t mean much.

I don't see why not. Realistically a lot of preamps and power amps have more gain then they will need. So the preamp many times is running at the bottom of its dynamic range.
In my mind it makes sense. But then I don’t have any actual knowledge so maybe I’m way off.