Looking 4 good lower cost pre amp $300 to $600

I just bought a new house and am putting my higher end HT setup in the family room. I will actually have a dedicated room that I will use for two channel. Since I have a higher end HT setup I don't need a high buck two channel setup. Perhaps tube or not????

Whats a good pre amp in the 300 to 400 hundred price range?

Rotel RC-1070. A 'professional' reviewer stated that the MM phono stage alone on this pre was worth the cost. A no frills pre amp - no tone controls or balance.
If you don't need phono or to drive long cables the Creek 22 passive is one of the best preamps on market and costs $500 new with remote.
I should have added that I don't spin lps. Just cd

I will start to check some of these out.
The AES AE-3, made by Cary, is a very nice tube preamp and within your budget.
I have a TAD 150 Signature tube preamp. Please check Audiogon discussion and google.com. It's a darn good preamp for the money. The Signature version if the factory modded version. The TAD has 2 sets of outputs, ALPs remote volume control, phono section, headphone jack. Uses (2) 12AX7 or 12AU7 or 12AT7 tubes so tube rolling is not expesnive unless you go with exotic tubes. Tube life is long - 1000's of hours unlike my former Audible Illusions preamp which just chewed tubes. I'd be looking for more than $600 but not all that much more. Again check around. I don't think you'll do better for the money.
I would also recommend the AES. Well within your budget with a bit left over to upgrade the chinese tubes.

Richard Bischoff
Used AES AE-3 or Eastern Electric Minimax
This is interesting checking all these out. I should mention a pre amp that accents the midrange and not so much attention to the highs. In other words, a bit warmer with a accented midrange. I like a liquid pronounced mids!

What do you guys think of a top rated integrated amp under $1000 used?
Adcom 565 ? One for sale in Huntsville,AL craigslist.
Bottlehead Foreplay III
11-10-08: Freemand
I should mention a pre amp that accents the midrange and not so much attention to the highs. In other words, a bit warmer with a accented midrange. I like a liquid pronounced mids!
Go tubes, Man, go tubes!!!
What do you guys think of a top rated integrated amp under $1000 used?
What kind of speakers would it be driving?
An integrated under $1000 really opens up your options. On that front, I would include the audio refinement complete, the musical fidelity A3.2 and the Musical Fidelity X150. I'm sure there are a ton of others that would work well in the that price range, but these are the three I have the most experience with.
I have some Highly modded redone Kef ref 104/2.
This two channel and tube thing is kinda new to me. I have been a Home Theater geek for many years so I have to say I am learning another side of my hobby.

The integrated amp seems like a smart move perhaps. I was just going to use a spare amp I have laying around like my Chiro or Carver amps that where replaced years back by my reference HT amp. But to have it all in one package seems simple and more cost effective and perhaps more bang for the buck. I just think about only using one shelf on a higher end rack, one less set of stillpoints cones and one less Synergistic Tesla interconnect that can then go down to my HT setup.

I like the simple minimalist approach here. Am I onto something here! Are integrates a good way to go and more cost effective? Tubes do sound very appealing also.

11-11-08: Freemand
I have some Highly modded redone Kef ref 104/2
Redone with different drivers and/or crossover? If so, it might be hard to know what the specs and impedance curve are now. The original 104/2 specs were - 92dB/W/m at 4 ohms, 55Hz to 20kHz (+-2dB).

Since you are a fan of midrange, tube integrated seems a natural choice and the 92dB efficiency is a fairly easy load provided there aren't some big dips below 4 ohms. And the 55Hz lower limit should save a low-priced tube amp from having to produce the hardest frequencies.

Anyway, in your price range, you might want to look for a Jolida tube integrated in the 40-60wpc range like the JD-302B(50wpc) using EL34 tubes that's for sale here at $595. EL34's are pretty meaty output tubes, soundwise and do a good midrange.

Thanks for the details. Helpful info!

I bought some of scan speaks higher end woofers for the inside. Redo all the wiring. Isolation to the cabinet of both the crossover and the mids, tweeter pack. Tons of resonance control among some other tweaks. I would still think the db level would be about the same.

I do plan on using a sub.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I have checked all these units out.
I have a Musical Concepts Mc3-T pre amp I will be listing soon. It is a very good ss pre that I just had rebuilt new caps,transistors(blackgates) seperate power supply phono redone at a cost of $350.00 This pre list for $1600.00 and out performed pre at much higher cost. Google for info. If you have interest I will sell for $400.00 Steve.