Looking to upgrade my preamp, suggestions?

Decided it is time to try out a newer preamp, have upgraded everything else over last couple of months bar this so...
Present pre is an ARC LS2 with gold lion tube and herbies tube damper.
Rest is Esoteric sa-50, bat vk600se and b&w 804d.
Listen exclusively to rock music, old and new
Important to myself, solid bass, vocals and soundstage, a remote might be nice too...lol
Thinking along the lines so far of bat vk32se, a newer ARC like ls17 or 27. Yes all tubes
Suggestions along solid state lines please?
budget is about 3500 max
Prefer to hear from actual owners of preamps suggested for your actual experiences
thank you all in advance 
 Had quite a few hours with the C48 now and can sum up a little better.
Life with the LS2 was good but cd fed through its balanced inputs always sounded just a little forward, bright and aggressive, not terrible but compared to vinyl fed through rca it was very noticeable. The vinyl always sounded rich and warm and highly detailed.
Well the c48 manages to pull that off with every different input whether it is cd through balanced, vinyl through rca or the bluesound vault2 through digital coax. Everything sounds very warm and natural, very highly detailed and one track in particular I was listening to last night by Rush ,with my eyes closed ,startled me as it sounded like Geddy was singing to me personally over my right shoulder!
So far I am of the impression that the C48 is doing what a good preamp should and that is imparting negligible  sonic influences on the actual music.
Combine that with all the convenience factors of built in phono, headphones and 4 digital inputs and I would say I have just what I was looking for.
Oh and the remote, keep my backside in the sofa now!
If you keep the LS2, try a Mullard 6DJ8 in it. If it sells, an LS26 just came up on Audiogon, asking price $2750. It uses the 6H30 tube.
Classe CP-800. Loving mine. So versatile and it gets out of the way of the music. Doesn't have a "sound", so if that's what you like it's a good investment. 
when you compared your ARC with the McIntosh C48, did the ARC have fairly new tubes in it?

also, doesn't the C48 have its own DAC?  did you use that or the one in the CD player?

The arc ls2 only has one tube and yes it was fairly new and a big improvement over the old one.
i tried both dig inputs through the cd player and through the c48 but stuck with the c48 as just about every input whether digital, rca or balanced sounded very very similar, whereas there was a noticeable difference on the older arc depending on whether rca or balanced input.
Not saying the c48 is the last word in sound but for me with the convenience of the digital inputs(5 in total) two sets of xlr ins and rca inputs, plus mm and mc phono inputs and a headphone out...and a remote that also controls my mvp851....
well just a lot of convenience factors that were also very hard to ignore there!