Could someone recommend a good tube pre/main amp?

Hello and thanks for taking a minute,

I have always wanted to get separates, and finally have the kind of electrostatic speakers that warrant quality separates. I am all about high frequencies and voice--imaging, detail, crisp highs, hearing the singer take a breath, etc. From my research so far, the ideal combination seems to be a tube pre with monoblock main amps. Is it correct that monos get channel separation (and thus imaging) that is virtually impossible with stereo mains? Could someone recommend some good used tube preamps that would go for around $300-350 used? And then I would need a SS amp that would not lose the details that the tube pre created. I have heard Carvers are very good with highs and detail, but in my $300-350 price range I have found Carver, B & K, Altec, Hafler, and other brand HQ mono blocks. Also, my friend has a vintage Fisher tube amp for sale. I have a Pioneer Elite receiver, so the pre is really not necessary if I could find a main amp that can do it all. My budget is about $500-600 total for all. I know you're laughing:) What think you?
I would tend to shy away from the Carver amps, I never did like their sound and their relaibility (when I was selling them) was spotty.

The B&K and Hafler amps are knwon to be very good performers. Heck, there's a Hafler DH-220 on Agon right now for $195, I'd look real hard at that if I were you.

Buy the amp first and then see how good your Pioneer's receiver sounds when mated to it. You may get lucky and be able to get by for only a buck-ninety five...

Thanks RL and all for your responses,

As for the Hafler or B & K, I can get a pair of 6bq5 single ended monoblocks for $200 from someone I know and trust who says they sound great. Would you prefer the Hafler or Burger Kings even over monoblocks?

Also, as for tube preamps within my price range, I have heard good things about Audio Research, Jolida (integrated), Audio Experience, LA Audio, Vincent, and have heard that AMC sounds good for the price. Of those, or any others within $350 firing distance, which do you think would offer the best upper mid/high detail and imaging? Upgrading the tubes is an option, as well.

Thanks again!
I'm sorry, I was mistaken about the monoblocks. They were not 6bq5s, they were solid-state monoblocks from a recording studio.
Electrostats are generally very power hungry speakers, so most tube amps would not necessarily be a good match, unless you buy one of the newer models that put out more wattage then the average tube amp. The more tubes in the amp, though, the costlier, both initially and to eventually re-tube it. Not sure you will find something in that price range you mentioned.
wainwright, thanks for the recommendation on the Hafler. It said sale pending, but I put in an offer in case buyer balks. A little slow on the draw. I'll have to grease my holster next time. There were some other haflers for sale but you're right--that one was truly exceptional.

Learsfool, yes, and the more tubes and power you have running, the more hum, hiss and background noise. Tube amps are out--back to tube pre/ss main. thanks.
At your budget (and quite a bit beyond that, IMO), you really can't do better
than an Onkyo A-9555 integrated, which you can get new w/warranty, free
shipping, and 30-day eval period for under $500. It puts out 100/200 wpc
into 8/4 ohms. It's comfortable running into 4 ohms, and can handle the
occasional dip into 2 ohms without freaking. It's grip and control are
excellent, but it excels at low level details reminiscent of a tube amp, while
having the wide bandwidth, speed, clarity, and control associated with good
solid state. It has a very nice remote control, plus 7 inputs including MM

I have a long history of getting used/vintage amps and preamps to extract
high end sound on a budget. But since I got the Onkyo a couple weeks ago, I
have undergone a complete paradigm shift regarding price vs. performance
and new vs. used. My Onkyo has displaced Amber, VSP Labs, Hafler, and
Outlaw preamps, and Amber and VSP Labs power amps in my 2-channel
system where I do almost all of my music listening. The Onkyo completely
outclasses them all in every conceivable performance parameter.

You must give the Onkyo 100 hours of break-in, lest you send it back
prematurely, miss out on its goodness, and think I'm the worst of all
crackpots. Once it breaks in it is absolutely astounding at its price. I honestly
can't name a similarly functioning electronics chain south of $3000 that I
would clearly prefer. In fact, I specifically prefer the Onkyo to anything under
$3K from Cambridge Audio, Rega, Music Hall, or Musical Fidelity.

With a good aftermarket power cord (I use a PS Audio), the noise floor is
really low, helping open up the low level detail.