I am shortly going to be in the market for an external mic preamp to be used mainly on vocals with a recently aquired CAD M179 LDC. In the short term I will be using the CAD M179 with my Fireface 400's own preamps and have not really got any grumbles with the FF400's pre's apart from the lack of dedicated gain pots. I also own an Audient Mico which I use for stereo micing my acoustic guitar and have found this to be excellent for this task.
I would like to get something with some colour that can thicken the sound if required so am thinking about valve mic pres, I only need one channel but there is no harm in getting two if that is what is on offer.
I realise that there are alot of cheap valve pre's out there that are going to put in a worse performance than running my vocal mic through my FF400's internal preamps. My question is what sort of ballpark pricewise should I be looking at to get something that will be a stepup from the RME FF400's preamps whilst also giving me a coloured valve sound as an alternative.
If there are any products that anyone would be willing to point me towards or any advice that any folk would be willing to share, especially RME fireface owners, I would be very grateful.
Initial budget (once I shift a few things) would be in the region of £300.
Many thanks in advance!