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Old 2nd February 2018
Gear Addict
I'm sure that 5017 is pretty cool
You might want to look into BAE's new UK Sound 1173 as well.

I have never tried the warm gear, but it does not seem to get unanimous love in the high-end forum.

My personal path was from a stock 002 to a BLA signature modded 002r to a BLA Auteur mic pre to a BAE 1073mpf. It was not until I got the BAE that I started to appreciate the importance of good quiet gain.

I love tracking into a fast compressor followed by a slower compressor, and I totally understand you wanting a combo box.

I highly recommend chandler gear as well based on my experience, but at your price point you cannot afford both a mic pre and a comp. Heck, maybe one of their 500 units.. if you can find a deal on an api 600b or something.. then you can pick up a dbx 560a as well for cheap while you save and keep your eye out for deals.
good luck.