Need a Solid State Pre Amp For under $2000


Details
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?

Thanks,
Jess
basque23
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 (www.bedini.com...click service) for $650.

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

Regards,
Miles
Oops, need my glasses. Pre-Amp is what you want.
Pardon.
Post removed 
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.

Guys,
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.

Loomisjohnson,
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?

Jess
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.

Jess
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.
Hi,
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.

Jess
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