Balanced or fully SS pre with tone controls

Im looking for suggestions for the above for around $5k new or used.
If you must have tone controls, you limit yourself quite a bit in terms of selection. McIntosh seems like the most likely choice. If your sources are digital, maybe a digital EQ like the Behringer deq2496 would be a better solution. The cost is low and it leaves you with options like using a stand alone dac to improve sound quality while the signal is still digital. Then you can just choose any preamp you like.
What you can do is get a modern, no-tone control pre-amp with a processor pass through input, send an output from that pre-amp to an older pre-amp with tone controls, return the output from that pre-amp (with the signal "tone-controlled") back to the modern pre-amp (the processor input). You can then switch the tone controls in and out. For instance, a recent Audio Research line stage and the old SP-3 (the last ARC I remember having tone controls).
Several McIntosh preamp have highly versatile tone controls and balanced inputs/outputs. You might also consider the Spread Spectrum Ambrosia.

Do you have experience with tha behringer unit?

Yes I have a digital source.
I do have one. Ultimately I prefer to listen without the EQ, but the reality is a lot of music I like is not recorded well I use the EQ to fix recordings that I would otherwise not be able to play on my revealing system.

Its not that expensive, but it has more features than you can possibly imagine. I know several posters on AG who has the same EQ, and have nothing but good things to say about it. If you're interested in one, downloading the manual would be a good place to start.

I should also note that when you first look at the manual or use it for the first time, it can be overwhelming. It looks complicated but it really isn't that bad. You control the signal path through the EQ using the menu system. As you make your way through, you pickup whatever functions you need, and leave the ones you don't. Also, if you have analog sources, you can get an analog EQ for them, and run it through the tape loop. Using the tape loop allows you to take the EQ completely out of the system when you don't want to use it.

If you live near a Guitar Center, you can get one there. They have a really good return policy if it doesn't work out.
McIntosh. The only other pre's (just off the top of my head) with the qualifications you desire are Japanese brands such as Accuphase, Luxman, Yamaha, Onkyo, and American brands such as D'Agostino. Most of them are higher priced than the McIntosh, unless you're talking about vintage Accuphase and probably Luxman.
Oh, and new Onkyo and Yamaha would be less than $5k as well.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Ive since purchased that unit and along with REW, smoothed out the null and peaks that my treatments weren't able to fix.

I have also EQ'd to a house curve to resemble a Fletcher-Munson curve and shelved the treble to tame the brightness of the 801N.

I am very satisfied with the flexibility of the unit and will be playing around with the stereo width function once I have finalized my house curve.
No Contest for me...
SST Ambrosia
Good Luck, Tim
Isn't SST out of business now since James passed away?
There back in business.
Ok, that's cool...