Thanks! Yeah its quickly coming down to Synergy vs Axe FX, I just gotta decide if I want to go full digital or not. Though I am going to look up the IE-4 also.Michael Nielsen has done a bunch of helpful rundowns of classic tube preamps on his YouTube channel, including this one comparing the Soldano, CAE, Fish, and Egnater IE-4.
I'm partial to the IE-4 myself. I used to have one of the Egnater modular preamps too (the M4) but sold it as I preferred the four channels in the IE-4 to any of the Egnater/Randall modules I tried. Someone posted recently on another thread here that Bruce is preparing to do a special run of new IE-4's with some extra features.
Also, OP I wouldn't overlook the Axe-FX, either the II or the III. Either would probably sound killer going through the new Fryette power amp. It's not quite the same as a real tube preamp, but I've found with the right amp model/settings (and cab sims off) run through a tube power amp and into guitar cab, you can get awfully close.