This is my first post here at recording.org. I know there are a lot of knowledgable people in these forums with a lot to say, and I'm looking for direction. I'm a musician, formally trained to some degree (a BA in Music Composition), with a modest little computer-based studio in my basement that I've put a lot of sweat and time into. I write and record my own music, which at the moment is primarily alternative rock music for lack of a better term. No longer aided by a band, I build songs from the ground up, first drums, then adding overdubs. Here is my current gear list for some context: 2 - MOTU 828 mkIIs running into a PC with Cubase Focusrite Octopre 8-channel preamp HHB Radius 10 4-channel tube preamp ART Pro VLA compressor dbx 266 compressor AKG C414 (old one!) 2 - C1000's EV RE20 (just refurbed) 2 - MXL 2003's Event PS6 monitors handful of Shure SM57's and a Beta 52 Behringer Eurorack mixer for sending headphone mixes to the tracking room I'm looking to improve the quality of my recordings without spending thousands of dollars (which I don't have anyway). I'm comfortable with the results I get with my current setup, but I'd like to take it up a notch. I'm willing to sell certain pieces if necessary in order to maximize what I have. I'm leaning toward selling the HHB for a better preamp or preamps. What is the best value out there? I know mic pres make a big difference, but there are so many options. Microphones as well. Any advice? (If it helps, I know the whole deal with "garbage in, garbage out". I have quality instruments and know a few things about getting decent sounds, even I don't go about in the most technical manner.) Thanks ahead of time.