Never mind what the dealer said, how does it sound to you?
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I was looking at the Kantas. I found them to be a bit forward and found a KT88/6550 wasn’t enough Tube to tame them and found them fatiguing with traditional sounding SS gear. I listened to them at a couple retailers with different gear. I found the Sopra’s to be a hair less forward than Kantas.
Naim is a bit pricey but will work really well since they are sister companies and Naim gear tends to be warm. Naim and Focal are sort of like peanut butter and jelly, nice individually but perfect together.
The Rega Elicit R would be a great choice. Rega is very musical and will help tame the forwardness of the Kanta’s.
PrimaLuna would be what I would recommend in your price range from a tube perspective but with the EL34 tubes.
Full disclosure, I am a manufacturer and dealer. I sell none of the gear mentioned above and offer nothing in your price range that would be a fit.