golden tube & k-horns

i just bought a nib golden tube se40 special edition that i plan to pair with my k-horns, preamp will be a mcintosh c-38 until i decide on what tube preamp to get but im sure i dont want a mcintosh preamp, i allready have a ton of mac gear.

i want to start a 2nd system built around the k-horns & golden tube amp & want all the gear to be tube gear & want to stay at 1,000$ or less for a used preamp.

any suggestions on a pre that will not only match well with the sound of the golden tube but i want the looks to be a match also, i prefer preamps where the tubes can be seen & not hidden inside a case.

i allready have a cary tube dac that i plan to put into the system as well.

wouldnt mind suggestions on a tube cdp staying around the 1,000$ price range.

thanks, tube newbee.

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>>wouldnt mind suggestions on a tube cdp staying around the 1,000$ price range.<<

For a new-production CDP with two 12ax7 tubes, the Jolida sounds absolutely great and fits your price point handily. Personally, I use the California Audio Labs Delta transport coupled with an outboard CAlifornia Audio Labs Alpha DAC (also with 2 tubes) and love the results. The Alpha, no longer in production, shows up used on eBay and on this site periodically from around $500. Have fun!
I use a solid state pre with my GT se-40, mostly because I wanted a remote. You may want to consider having some mods done to your amp, such as those offered by sonic craft, see here:

I had the SE40BB upgrade done at about $200 including labor by just shipping the circuit board to them. This upgrade improves the sound while also removing some of the problems some people have had with it, as explained on the site. Well worth the effort and the turnaround was pretty quick. They may also have suggestions on a tubed pre.

The best 6L6 I found is the Svetlana, rather than the Sovteks supplied with the amp. The best SN7 is a tossup between the EH and Sylvania.

Best of luck with your system.