Leaning towards tubes, but need help long

Seeking an integrated or amp/pre-amp in the $1500-$3500 range new or used. My speakers are the old Conrad-Johnson Synthesis LM260s, which I still prefer over speakers well above their original cost such as the Krell LAT 2. Primarily listen to jazz, especially vocals, orchestral, chamber orchestra, string & brass ensembles. I’m not a hobbyist, so please forgive any misuse of terms. My primary priorities are what I’d call airiness, detail and texture (the separation of instruments, the “woody” texture and action of the fingers on strings, timbre on voices). I also like warmth, musicality or whatever you’d call it, but not at the cost of detail. I’ve never owned tubed gear, but still remember McIntosh electronics from years ago that blew me away on vocals. Was thinking in terms of the Krell KAV400xi to replace the 300i I wish I hadn’t sold, but it was too “in your face” for my taste. Other solid state units I considered were the Naim 5i (warm, but lacked detail) and the T+A PA1230 (warmth + detail, but not worth the $1000 premium over the Krell IMO). Current consideration list includes the Manley Stingray, Rogue, used Bryston power/pre, CJ CAV50 and, if its worth the stretch, a used Mark Levinson 383. Except for Bryston, I’ve not had a chance to audition any of these, so I may be making a leap of faith. Any input, especially in terms of the finickiness of tubed gear much appreciated!
Recently purchased a Rogue Audio Cronus integrated and it is quite the sonic value. Please audition one in your quest.
Kag, the Cayin A 88-T is SELF-BIASING, at least according to the people that sell this amp (and the posts on Audioasylum). I also e-mailed the distributor and he assured me of this. As for me, I have fun switching from KT-88's to 6550's ( I have a total of 4 quads including the stock tube) and I have not had any problems. If we were talking about some Jadis integrateds, (like the Orchestra ) then biasing is very difficult and dissuasive for the non-initiated. And besides, in all honesty the Cayin betters the Orchestra in most parameters, so it's a non-issue.

I would actually like to find out if YOU have heard otherwise on the Cayin. Thanks.
Hi Paul

I was also under the mistaken befief that the Cayin A88T is self/auto-biasing. This is NOT so. I have got this information directly from the manufacturer (Spark Audio). They have, infact, sent me the biasing instructions. I will be happy to email this to you. Can you confirm your email address?

The amp has to be biased from the inside. The bottom cover has to be removed. There is a cathode resistor for each tube. The voltage has to be measured across each resistor and the biasing pots (again internal), have to be set.

I checked the bias (actually the technician did) about 3 months from getting the amp. It turned out that one of the tubes was not biasing properly. I replaced it and the amp sounds much better now. The bias holds properly since then.

I don't know why the Chinese manufacturers mislead customers on the issue of biasing. Probably they are scared of liabilities in the unlikely event of a mishap.
Hello, I would seriously consider the deHavilland tube Verve or Ultraverve preamp. It has, IMHO, beautiful tone and detail with lots of clean bass and "tinkling" highs...a very excellent preamp. It can be found used for the range you mentioned.