I mainly use a Conrad Johnson Classic 2SE that I love. So this post isn't about "going up a level" but more like something else to try and play with. I was thinking a cheap preamp kit to add more tube like sound. Ok, let's not get into what the tube sound is. The CJ is EXTREMELY transparent and adds nor takes away anything - it does what a preamp should - preamp and burffer. What kits would you recommend in the $500 range. A kit using mainly the 12axt, no tone controls, simple, no 12AU7 or 6922, something that puts more "warmth" back into the equation. I would use this mainly for my newer gear like a NAD C275BEE. Which gives me listening fatigue after 20 minutes.