need a good preamp for around 500

i have the folowwing equip. pioneer elite tx39 as preamp now. psb stratus gold towers.nad c541 cdp. sonance 260 2 channel amp. tara labs vector rsc 2 ic and have signal cable double run speakers wires. What would be a good move for me when looking for a good preamp. acan be an older model if neededm thanks for any info kevin
AES AE3 used. You won't regret it. And if you buy used you should have money for another set of tubes. I love mine. It adds warmth. The first thing I notiticed was that I could hear the wood in accoustic guitars.
Here are some good choices in your price range in the classifieds right now:

Mapletree Audio Magic 5B SE this one stands out.
Eastern Electric Minimax
Conrad Johnson PV-10 AL Preamp
Counterpoint SA-2000 this one stands out.
AES/Cary AE-3
great info guys. i have never had anything tube before. looks like that must be the way to go. thanks alot please chime in if u see anything else. cheers kevin
without remote.
used ones come out every once in a while and can be had at the top of your budget.
simple dual channel with 12AX7 tubes.
cheap and easy to tube roll, a lot of gain and beautifully made.
Plan A)


Plan B)

good ways to go....or the Counterpoint as mentioned above by: Mingles

just my two cents worth.

i put an email out to the owner of the counterpoint because it says local pickup only. I would love to get it if he would just ship. Do you guys really think it would be a step up to take the pioneer out and replace it with a good preamp? im just learning what works and what doesnt. hopefully i can hear an improvement over what i have. signal wire where just put in the system and they made a big difference with the golds. thanks for the info.
Do you guys really think it would be a step up to take the pioneer out and replace it with a good preamp?
It depends on what you're looking for. If your goal is to add more realism and depth to the picture, a tube preamp will help, but it probably won't be dramatic. If you're looking for a big change, I recommend replacing your amp and preamp with a tube integrated. To my ears, tube amps make everything sound more natural -- especially vocals and stringed instruments. 50 tube watts should be plenty if you play at moderate levels. Jolida JD302b and Cayin A-50 T should be in your price range.

If you play at high volumes and you're looking for more punch and dynamics, I recommend a more powerful amp. Your Sonance is underpowered for that. Stereophile measured your Stratus Gold at 84 dB efficient. They need more power to really rock.