Need a Solid State Pre Amp For under $2000

Meridian 506 20bit
>>Need Pre Amp<<
Krell KSA 250 (not S)
B&W N802s
Transparent MusicLink premium speaker wires
MIT Balanced Cables 2 sets

I have just purchased the speakers! ...YEAaa... I am currently running the meridian directly into the amp with some Tara Labs cables. NO VOLUME CONTROL.. but let me tell you Film & the BB's sounds amazing and is recorded softly

I was ready to purchase a KRELL KRC hr but not many are available.

I need a solution for under $2000.00 with balanced XLR in and out. I'm considering Ayre K-3, K-5 or even K-1 in I'm lucky. Does anyone have a suggestion? What about Meridian 502 for a temporary way to control the volume?

If you live near Seattle come and listen to my Electrocompaniet EC-3. It has balanced outputs. Moving coil phono section is stunning. I will be selling it for around $700.00 when I get my new Passive pre. It has a warm tube-like sound, yet it still has great dynamics and detail. I have used it with my Quad 57s.
if you're happy with the sound running directly thru the amp, why not get a passive pre-amp--i see a bunch of xlr units listed on agon. personally, i just bought a luminous audio passive pre (available with balanced ins) for very little dough and couldn't be happier.
Coda Coda Coda,did i say Coda,nice one on ebay right now for unbeatable price,I really dont see what would come close to it,i have a windows 4 and could not be happier.
There is a Bedini 250/250-Mk II on ebay buy it now for $1499.
Next, send it to Bedini for a modification and rebuild ( service) for $650.

A little overbudget, but you end up with a fine class A amp.

Oops, need my glasses. Pre-Amp is what you want.
NHT PVC Pro uses Jensen transformers. Only $80 (you can't even buy the raw transformers for that price) now. Pick one up while waiting for an active preamp to come your way.
Used BAT. The highest up the chain you can get for the money. Upscale usually has something that was traded in etc. I forget if all of them use that Super silly name for a tube, in any event it won't interfere.
I currently have the Ayre K-5xe and Rowland Capri inhouse for a side-by-side evaluation. I am shocked at how musical the Capri is. The K-5xe may eventually bloom into an equal performer (just had the "Evolution" upgrade), but at the moment, the Capri is way out in front. The ONLY thing the K-5xe may do bette is pinpoint imaging. Otherwise, the Capri is just stellar. It really draws you into the music. I simply don't want to turn it off.

If you can find one used for less than $2K, I would jump all over it.

Thank you for the fast answers. It seems you all may have felt the anxiety that I have been feeling when you are so close to having your dream stereo to tinker with.

I like the passive Idea. Not familiar with the brands. Any reconditions. I like depth and precise imaging and more of a analytical sound vs, the warm sound of a tube setup.

What passive pre-amps do you recommend with regards to my analytical taste? I need balanced in and out and a remote.

Passive units control the volume still, right?

Hi Again,

Does anybody have experience with matching a Krell Amp with any of the old KCT, KRC hr, KRC 2 or 3 pre amps?
I've been told it would be the best option for the money with my gear.

I'd look at the Vincent SA-T8. Dick Olsher is a long time tube aficionado and perfectionist reviewer, and he gave this hybrid an absolute rave in the Dec. 2008 Absolute Sound. In addition to its 4-in/2-out single ended connections it has 2 pair xlr inputs and one pair out.
Keep your eyes open for a Krell KRC-3. This is a great sounding preamp and will match up well with your Krell KSA-250. They go for around $1000 on the used market. Another nice preamp is the Classe CP-50.
passive preamps do control the volume--typically they use a manual attenuator knob, tho i've seen some that also have remote volume control.
in general, a passive preamp more transparently passes through the sound from the source than an active preamp--i.e. it will impart less color and character than an active preamp. the passive usually will have less distortion and noise; disadvantages might be reduced high frequency level and less punch. all that said, if you use a passive pre, it will be your source and speakers that determine your "analtical taste"--in other words the passive pre will merely pass through whatever signal is presented to it.
as for brands, look at placette audio (which has unbalanced ins/outs and remote) and channel island (ditto)--either should work well for you.
also, adcom makes a very highly rated pre w/remote and balanced and unbalanced ins/outs which operates in both active and passive modes--a couple are currently listed on agon.
Thankas for all the info. I'm looking into a passive.
Is a Krell KRC hr higher up in the line than a KRC 3. I do know the KRC 3 is a couple years newer.

A series 7 Klyne might fit your bill; Stan Klyne's pre amps are highly sought after and are regarded as among the best in the solid state.
Awaiting a new Unit, check back w/ me..if interested in Meridian G02 PreAm....well taken care of...I'm attempting to go phono stage direct to Amp, as w/ my DCS gear