Best 2K preamp, be it tube or SS

I am considering really, REALLY, really hard to figure out what to do with my preamp section. I bought a First Sound Presence Deluxe MKI one year ago and although I like the sound, I am pondering about having it revised to the MKII edition, but at the same time, I wonder if I should go for a different sort of pre for the same money....Was looking at Rowlands, the new Synergys or the old Consummates. I am looking for something revealing, but not necessarily harsh, and no, I am not interested in the Audio Illusions nor in Sonic Frontiers....I had the SF, liked it, but at this stage, I am looking for something refined, around the 2K range, used, that would give me the hump I am so craving for. This pre can be tubed or SS, as long as it will give me an improvement I am searching for. Separate power supply, optional.
Buy a Pass Labs...

You won't regret it!

So black in the background it's unbelieveable!


Should have included this link for you in my previous post...

(and no, this isn't my ad I just wanted you to see the model I was referring to)

Good Luck,

Unfortunately, the Blue Circle amp probably wouldn't be the best match for it, but the Placette Passive Linestage sounds like what you are looking for. It is the best "pre" I have heard under $3k and as for a list that I have compared it to that it bettered: Rotel RC-995, Krell KRC-3, Musical Fidelity A3cr, Linn Wakonda, Mark Levinson 380, Conrad Johnson PV-10B and PV-14. Why don't you try one of the Blue Circle BC3 preamps? My friend brought his over and I was very impressed, it has a very large, lush, open, alive sound. It definately has some tube character/coloration but in a very good way.
The Audio Research LS 16 MKII sounds like what you may want. No harshness and not tubey, just smooth, accurate and dynamic. It really gets out of the way of the signal.
The Cary SLP98 is tough to beat in that price range.
I had my mk1 upgraded by first sound to the mk11 and at the same time I think he did something to make it mate with my mccormack amp better. All I can say is best upgrade I have ever made to my system. I run my cd player direct now and then to hear what the preamp does or doesn't do and this setup is the most tranparent I have tried so far.
Id have to say the Adcom GFP-750 is the absolute best. Or if you can get a high end version of this pre-amp by Pass Labs used you can add great looks to the mix too.