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At Under $1000 you'll find several good pre's.... if you want an Adcom, you can grab a GFP750, best preamp to ever come out with the Adcom label... Its passive and active both. I don't believe that It has phono, but there are several good phono sections cheap.... I can recommend a few, but I'll start with The DB Systems DB8.
Hi Wayne, came across 1 more on ebay for you:
As far as all the models that I have sent vs the Emotiva...Here is my feeble opinion:
*The Emotive with the right equipment can be decent.... I've only heard it once, but in a system that I wasn't familiar with. Many report that it can be edgy & bright, but overall a good value and again with a good gear match can be satisfying.
*Adcom GFP750 is an oldie but a goodie, Nelson Pass piece. Remote, balanced and single ended, passive and active. Detailed yet no grain.
*Sunfire haven't heard it, this model has a decent rep.
*Aragon 18/24... I've heard the 24, pretty good really, smooth, decent detail, but single ended only, no remote... should be low price.
*Parasound Classic 2100... I consider this in the league of all the above. Except maybe the Adcom. A touch smoother than the Emotiva, but not much.
NAD C165BEEE Similar to the Parasound... adds a bit of warmth. nice piece.
In my opinion, the PS Audio, The Muse and the Arte Forma Perla are all 3 in another league from those listed above.
Back in the day, I had two OCM 200's used as monoblocs (Used the xlr input). I was using an OCM 88 preamp which was a superb combo. Only issue was the step values on the remote volume control. I believe it was 1 db which I felt was too large.Living only an hour from the Belles factory, I took it to Dave. He modified it to either .5 or .75 db. not sure which but it was much better than the original value. You'll get many replies to your question, but the OCM 88 IMHO is a real sleeper preamp and a great compliment to your amp.
If you're thinking about an Adcom 565 remote control must not be a concern. The 565 was ok in its day but there's so much better even in the same era. Might be just a little out of your budget but a great preamp which you'll be able to resale if you ever do so, for what you paid. Conrad Johnson PV12 with phono. Only issue is there is no remote. Heard most of the units noted on this post and I'd go for the CJ easily over them. Another great preamp in the used market but no phono section is a ModWright SWL 9.0 SE which has a very basic remote. Wonderful preamp which again you won't lose money on and they resale fast because it's a killer preamp. A lot of nice affordable outboard phono preamps out there so I wouldn't shy away from buying a line stage preamp and pick up a used Cambridge Audio 651P phono preamp or other.
Wayne, I have not owned the SA-31. I have owned the Vincent 226 integrated and thought it outstanding for it's price class. Great soundstage with good resolution, not overly analytical. Convinced me to stick with the tube pre/SS amp concept.
I think the used SA-31 on sale here is offered at a very fair price. It is a very recent production and comes with a pair of interconnects. A highly regarded budget pre. You would need a phonostage however.
Not affiliated with seller. Check out his/her feedback.
I should disclose that I do know the seller but can say that he takes excellent care of his gear. I haven't heard this preamp so I cannot comment on it but I will say that it was because of this lengthy thread on another forum that Vincent showed up on my radar. It's a pretty good read if you have the time.
Many Belles amps are just around 1v input sensitivity for full output.
Make sure you pick either a passive preamp or active with little or unity gain.
The last thing you want is to have loud listening level around 8 to 9 o’clock on the the volume knob.
And if your source/s have higher than 2v this will exacerbate the problem even more.
For just under $1000, you can build the SP14 kit from VTA and get something to set up against those much, much more expensive preamps you see on Audiogon.
...or you could build the same sort of thing from scratch using boards from Glass-ware Audio. Would cost you about $500 in parts.
Just google "aikido preamp" and do some reading.