EAR Yoshino preamps?

Hey folks. I'm debating adding a preamp into my system, which currently comprises an modified Audiolab MDAC (which needs a repair, pending), some sources and a pair of active speakers. Whilst the MDAC does a sterling job with audio, it doesn't allow me to connect any analogue inputs and I have often wondered if a dedicated preamp, connected using balanced inputs from the MDAC and balanced outputs to the speakers, might actually give me a better sound.

For a variety of reasons I have a valve 'itch'; one of the best sounds I ever had was when I once ran a valve pre/power into Audiophysic speakers, but young children forced me to go back to s/s. Now that they're a bit older, I'm very tempted to look at valve preamps.

The obvious choice, after a bit of research, would be something like the EAR Yoshino preamps, but I wanted to gather a few opinions and hopefully alternative suggestions form the people of the wam.

I must apologise for a long absence, but needs must and it is nice to be back...