new preamp

I'm looking at new preamp for under $23000 .Does anyone have any recommendations?
I'm going to go listen to the McIntosh C1100 and the Audio Research Ref 6 SE, maybe the Bermester 077( although that is considerably more than $23000)

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I would seriously recommend the Luxman C900u. I also think the ML 523 is outstanding. I doubt that spending more will yield meaningfully better sonics. I’ll get beat up but I can’t imagine that you’ll think Mcintosh is in the same league. In addition I’ve seen that mac owners are not happy w service. same for arc for what that’s worth.
The build, sound and ergonomics of these two units leaves nothing to be desired and both list for 15k. IMO
@keithjacksontucson  If you have a balanced amplifier then a balanced preamp will help you get the lowest distortion out of your amp(s).

But most high end audio preamps do not support the balanced standard! The standard is important in that it helps prevent ground loops and helps prevent the interconnect cables from having a sonic fingerprint- if you've ever had to audition cables to see which sounds better, you know what I mean. Here's the balanced standard in a nutshell:
1) pin 1 is ground, pins 2 and 3 carry the signal; in the US pin 2 is the non-inverted side of the signal.
2) ground is **ignored**. In this way the shield does not play a role in the sound of the cable. Put another way, the signal is not referenced to ground so there is no circuit completion done by the shield as there is with a single-ended cable.

3) the output impedance of the source (preamp in this case) can drive a low impedance (1000 ohms is typical).

To this end, nearly every cartridge made these days is a balanced source and most tonearms can be operated as a balanced source as a result, simply by use of the correct interconnect cable.

Traditionally the only way to drive a balanced line and support the standard (also known as AES48) was with an output transformer. Balanced and single-ended are inherently incompatible (there is no such thing as 'quasi-balanced' or any such nonsense); for this reason if you see a preamp that has balanced outputs and also RCA outputs and there isn't a switch to go from one to the other, then you can conclude that the preamp does not support the standard. This is because an RCA connection employs ground; if there is no switch that means that the XLR output does too. The good news is it is possible to properly drive a balanced line without using an output transformer and it can be done with tubes.

Like I said, Atmasphere- Ralph Karsten is my favorite. That being due to not only producing a first class preamp, but also having a great designer who can tell you why his products do what they do.
I didn't know Atmasphere before Audiogon, but his well informed posts led me to buy a pair of MA-1's, MP-3 (now upgraded to MP-1) sight unseen.
I haven't been disappointed in my buying decision.
The best part is that Ralph and his crew will answer questions readily via a phone call.
In fact, he diagnosed a problem with my amp causing a buzz with a UV-1.

I’m interested in a new preamp also. Looking at the CL1000 and the ARC 6 AE. I have Luxman c900 amp and Martin Logan’s. thoughts??
Similar setup to above ESL 15a with m900u was running Dac Direct from Dave did not have any pre ,,, could not miss opportunity to get cl1000 ,
It sound so different now with preamp , layers upon layers of music and my Logans never sounded so good , bottom end also opened up significantly .
23K. I would look at the McCormack VRE-1c preamp. One of the best components one can buy.

  Or save some cash and get the Sanders Sound “the preamp”

check them out.

both amazing 

the McCormack is in its own league by a country mile!
Gryphon Zena is by far the best pre I’ve had in my system. My previous preamps were the Mark Levinson 526 and then the Luxman C900u.
@m2team00 I'm thinking of upgrading from my Gryphon Diablo 300 to Antileon Evo stereo in the near future.Would the Zena be the best match for the Antileon Evo ?

@gdnrbob  Could you tell us more about MA-1? Have you compare with Audio research power amplifier?