Balanced Tube Preamp Recommendations for $2000

Hi All,

I'm looking for a balanced tube preamp, must have remote, xlr in and outputs and HT bypass, preferably used and would like to seek your advice.
Budget is $2000.

Have shortlisted the Aesthetix Calypso and Audio Research LS17 SE. Any other candidates I should think about?

Will be using it to drive a pass labs XA30.5. Primarily using it because I want to consolidate and use one set of speakers for both my HT and 2 channel listening. Was previously using my m2tech young dsd DAC to directly drive my amp.

Thank you for your advice in advance.

Showing 1 response by monoogan

If you could score a used Audio Research LS25 you'd be golden. All the inputs can be used as balanced or single ended, you set them at the front. The outputs are also single ended or balanced. The preamp is balanced from input to output, each phase has it's own gain path. It has a 0 gain processor bypass but the preamp has to be on to use it. An LS26 or 27 is newer but it might cost more than you budgeted.

As far as output impedance is concerned in practical use any load over 15k is fine, 10k is probably OK. I've used mine to drive an X350 and an Adcom GFA5802.