best budget pre used

Hi all...

i'm looking for advice on which pre might sound best w/my setup consisting of:

b&k st-140 > maggie MMG / mirage sfx-8 sub

I plan (eventualy) on getting a benchmark DAC-1 as my front end and bypassing a preamp entirely, but I need something to get me through for a while. anything at all will be an upgrade from what i'm coming off of.

so, anything in the sub $300 range will do. I see plenty of cheap rotels going for under $150, but i have to wonder.

would a b&k pre be best suited to the ST-140?
a tube pre? I'm eyeing a few within my pricre range. I love the tube sound, but I hear this ST-140 is warm sounding on its own and would rather have something clean and clear ahead of it.

I apprecaite all of the great advice given to me over the last month or so.
McCormack Micro Line Drive speaks for itself in your situation.
Also try the Adcom 565 or 555II, full featured and clean sounding, with decent dynamics and soundstaging.
I use a Counterpoint 7.1 tube pre with an ST 140 and have always found a nice synergy between the two. Have driven both MMG's and Sound Dynamics RTS 3's with the setup. The Counterpoint has a very nice phono section as well. I have seen them posted here for 250.00 - 275.00. They use 2 12AX7's and 2 6DJ8's per side.
If you can stretch just a little, I saw a Forte Model 2 for sale for $400 obo at a neighboring website. It also has a mm/mc phono section. I know I broke the bank, maybe you can work a better deal. Not many alternatives under $300 other than those mentioned above.
Audible Illusions Modulus 2 series, Conrad Johnson PV2ar and the Counterpoint 7 or 7.1 mentioned by Slipknot1 are all really nice preamps at the top of your price range.
In my opinion the best pre you will get for that price is the Space Tech Lab QA001. It Is a true giant killer. Check the site. Also do a search under Space-Tec-Lab here and at It is spectacular for the price!
There is a Cambridge Audio C500 that someone is selling here for $155 including the optional remote control which cost $50 by itself. The C500 is one of the nicest sounding super low cost preamps I've heard, that is modern in features like a remote control, etc.

If you can find an old Superfon preamp, it would do nicely also.
Try an FT Audio or Another Passive Pre .The only way you'll do better is if you get into the $1500+ range.

Creek,Channel Island and a few others also make Passives ,but you'll have to match them for gain with your system.

I have a B&K ST-202 and was using a pair of Maggie 1.4 before moving on so I have some idea of what will work.

Happy Hunting!
Audible Illusions or McCormack
great ideas...i'll look into all of the suggestions.
so far, ive been looking at:

- b&k avp1000
- antique sound labs waveline L1
- audio experience music mk3 (whats up w/these??)

i'm looking to get something sooner than later. any comments on these above?