Choice of preamplifier: help

Here is my system:
Power amp: EAR 890;
Preamp: Klyne SK-6;
Speakers: Quad ESL 57 (or Reference 3a DiCapo i, depending on the mood);
CD-Player: Rega Apollo;
Turntable: Denon with Denon Cartridge 103-R

I am quite happy overall, but I am thinking about upgrading the preamp. Money is not a hard constraint, but I would like to stay below or around $5K for a good used one. Considering CJ CT-6, Shindo Monbrison, new Klyne 7 series, and CAT ultimate MK2. Which one would you go for? Any other suggestions?

Just to give you a sense of my taste, I love detail and good imaging, but I also like the liquidity that even the best SS preamps cannot deliver as much as tube ones (that's why I may sell my Klyne, despite it's a very good one). Thanks.
I would add the Aesthetix Calypso to your batch. It offers very good detail and resolution (better than most tubed preamps that I have heard/owned) yet is an excellent unit for tube rolling. It offers excellent spatial characteristics and is very musical without being mushy. I suggest doing a bit of a search in the forums as it has received lots of extremely positive feedback and is typically being compared against preamps in the $7,000 - $10,000 range, which is indicative of just how good it is. New it is within your price range, used you could save quite a bit. Others I would add to your list would be AR Ref. 3 or Ref 2 (used to get closer to your range). Any of these would be preamps that you can hold on to for many, many years. The Calypso will be a bit more detailed and resolving that the CJ. The CAT, I hear, is a very good preamp (based on comments by another member particularly that I have learned to have a lot of faith in and respect for).
I just went to a dealer and took home a CJ CT-6 for a test. My first impression is quite good. It is less punchy than my Klyne, but it looks a tiny bit more musical...I don't know. I will try it more and with different types of music and let you know. Thanks
Check out the Dodd battery-powered preamp. Good review on It's really something, and quite the bargain, too. Cheers,
The new Parasound
Add the Art Audio Gill Alana to the list. Tube midrange with greater dynamics.

Blessings, Bob
hi, have you tried the new EAR preamp to go with your amp? i love that amp, btw....
I own the CT6 and Quad 63’s. Amplification is 2 Music Reference RM10’s in mono block. I’m not familiar with your amp, but I think CJ and Quad in general are a very nice match-up. If you end up getting the CT6, do yourself a favor and try some NOS Siemens or Amperex tubes. They take the CT6 to another level.
Pre-owned ARC LS-25 Mk.II are selling for around $3K and should be a serious consideration.
After a few listening sessions, I can say that I prefer my Klyne to the CT6. The CT6 is a very good preamp, but I found it to be less brilliant and detailed than the Klyne is. The sonic difference between these two preamps is huge. I guess in the end it's a matter of personal taste. I am looking into the new EAR, but I am also considering the new Klyne 7 series.
Based on your comments on the CJ preamp, I would strongly recommend looking into both/either the Calypso and/or the AR preamps (as also referenced by AudioFeil). Both of these preamps will deliver more detail and resolution than you will typically get with the CJ. They both will be a bit less "tube" sounding, but at the same time having an excellent balance of being musical without too much softness. In my system and many other systems that I have heard these preamps in, they impart just the right amount of "tubeness" without allowing the music to become "mushy". In my opinion (ie. my preference) the result is a very good balance. But for the record, I would take extra detail and resolution over extra warmth.
Ckoffend, I think you're right about my lack of tolerance for excessive tubeness. I never tried AR equipment, despite a number of Quad aficionados told me AR is a great match with this speaker. I am also seriously considering hte new EAR. The 890 is just spectacular...if the 868 is in the same league the combination might be just stunning. It's just a bit more expensive ($6K+ with the phono stage). Finally, the guy who sold me the 890 tried a number of preamps with it and claims he obtained the best results with Shindo equipment. It's quite expensive and hard to find second hand, but it might be worth a try.