New to the two channel world - Advice needed on preamp

I am new to the two channel arena, but have been in AV my entire career. I am looking to find a solid preamp to match with my system.   I would be open to integrated amps if they are a better option.

Current Rig

Paradigm Prestige 85F’s and Prestige 1000SW Sub (Not sure if I really need a sub or not, but I have it nonetheless)
Bryston 4B-ST
Sony ZA3100ES (I know its an AVR, but it had the requisite preouts)

I listen mostly to FLAC files off of a PC. Looking to stay under $2K. Any advice for a newbie?
first you have to know what you are looking for .all those preamps suggested above sound different .you have two important things already:speakers and a very good power amp. one question should be-which preamp sounds the best with bryston and paradigm?  you should to go to stores or houses and get an idea about the sound signature of some preamps and guess if it will suit your system and acoustic conditions.a dac is very important as well
another question is which sound are you after? a used peachtree grand pre should be nice you can use the tube buffer or stay solid state . 

F917025 - I listen to a mix of rock, blues, and classical.  I prefer warm to bright, but love to pick out individual instruments and follow them through the song.  With me being new to this, I know the parts and what they do, I just don’t know which part is the best place to spend the money.  Preamp?  Interconnects? DAC?  I have listened to peach tree in the past and have been very impressed.  Would I biamp with the additional outputs on the Grand?
Hi theaudioninga,

I would read some other threads about preamps to learn more.

In the meantime, I would audition or purchase an older, used preamp from, say, Conrad Johnson or Audio Research.

You have to start somewhere and this would give you a general baseline to compare to what you read about in the various threads.

With CJ or AR you have a piece of gear with a good reputation that could be sold when you decide to try something different.

My opinion, I guess, is that a desired preamp is a journey and you would be lucky to pick one that you love on the first try.

Thanks for listening,


Thank you for the info Dspr. I agree. Audio is so personal. I will start with obtaining more knowledge and move forward from there. 

Thank you everyone that responded. Glad to be joining the two channel world. 
You might consider the Benchmark DAC3-L, which is a line preamp and state of the art DAC in your price range new . It has a usb input , 2 coax & 2 optical inputs , and 2 analog inputs . It has a lower noise floor than anything I saw mentioned , with 2 pair of RCA outputs for your amps and subwoofer , and a pair of balanced outputs should you later get a power amp having that professional grade of input . It also sounds fabulous and is reliable, and should you not like it , there will be no problem reselling it .
My opinion .