Best preamp fpr AR Classic speakers?

I need your suggestions for a dedicated music set up I am finally getting around to. Here's what I have so far:

AR Classic 26 speakers (88 db, 4ohm)
Nakamich1 PA 5 mkii amp
Denon 3810 for playing CD's

Budget is limited (less than $2K). Looking at Pass X-1,Musical Fidelity, Krell etc. Never had tubes but could be open to that.

The AR's tend to be a little bass-shy but uppers and mids are terrific.

I listen to blues,jazz,rock mostly.

Thanks for your help.

Get the speaker/amp match correct and the majority, if not all, of your problems with their sound will be ameliorated (within the capabilities of the speakers). I suspect the Nakamichi isn't delivering enough power into the bass frequencies relative to the mids and highs, which makes the bass sound weaker in comparison.

Attempting to match a preamp for speakers is the wrong approach, and will not fix the problem, IMO.

You could try something like the Portal Panache integrated amp, which sells for around $700-$800 used.
I had AR 302s for almost 10 years. The 303 series speakers were built in 1995 and were designed to recreate the AR speakers from the 1960's. The 302s faced off to the AR5s.

I used a Musical Fidelity CD PRE 24 successfully with the 302s. The CD PRE 24 was a combo CD player/ preamp. The standalone preamp would have been a model 3.2.

Best regards,

A used Ayre AX-7e integrated amp would work great (around $2k here on Agon).

Good luck.
Thanks for your observations. I missed out on a couple of Ayre AX-7e recently. If can pick one up I may go that direction and probably sell the Nak. Is the Ayre under powered (based on Tvad's comments) ?

How would an Ayre preamp like the 5xe sound with the Nakamichi amp?
All Ayre equipment is balanced...sure you can run it single ended but it won't deliver its excellences like that. I am quite sure it will work, however, not as wonderful as it could. Call Ayre...they are nice people and will answer you the proper answer.