Pre-amp for sunfire signature 2 channel amp

I am looking for best possible pre-amp for ML Ascend powered by sunfire signature (2x600) around $1k. I am leaning towards McIntosh c15 just because I've got a good deal from the local dealer. I would prefer new equipment since pre-amps are more sensitive than other components in the system. Any help?
I "somewhat mistakenly" found the Marsh MSD-P2000 to work exceedingly well with my Sunfire Signature. I had sold my HT processor and needed something that was "handy" i.e. "had a remote" to temporarily fill in. Since i had the Marsh and it fit the bill, into the HT system it went. Quite honestly, i was utterly and completely blown away when i fired it up and listened for a while. One of those "magic combo's" that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Music has a very natural and "correct" timbre, excellent bass extension without sounding either TOO "wet" ( bloated ) or too dry ( overdamped ), female vocals are as liquid as i've ever heard, highs are clean and clear without any sense of stridency, etc.. When my brother first heard it, i was playing Diana Krall's "Love Scenes". He commented, "it sounds like we are in a night club sitting relatively close to the stage" i.e. it was SO "real" sounding, as if you had direct sound coming off of the stage from un-amplified instruments.

I have held off buying an HT processor simply because this set-up sounds so good on music and does a very credible job watching non-DVD movies in two channel ( my DVD has a built in processor ). As of today though, i am "negotiating" on a deal for a Pre/Pro, so that will all change. I really, really hope that what i end up with does as good of a job on music and also produces "magic", but i doubt it.

I warn you that the Marsh seems to take FOREVER for the high end to settle in though ( sounds noticeably splashy out of the box ). This may be due to the "exotic" caps that are in the unit, as Richard Marsh is responsible for much of what we know about "audiophile grade" caps. It also has some type of built in Power Line Conditioning (PLC), as he is the designer behind the Monster PLC's. One other ( possibly major ) thing is that it it does not have a phono stage. This may not be a big deal though, as you could easily run a seperate phono section into one of the extra inputs.

The overall unit is quite convenient though, as it does have dual RCA outputs should you ever want to passively bi-amp and a FULL function remote control. Anything that you can do from the faceplate, you can do from the remote. No programming, since it is a very simple and plain remote. The preamp is also not a "fancy gadget" either, just a bare bones unit with plenty of switching, tape loops, volume and balance. I never turn the unit off ( all of my gear stays turned on ), so i don't know how the unit is effected by "cycling" off and on in terms of warm-up and best sonics, etc...

Keep in mind that this is the SS version, not the hybrid tubed version. I think that the tubed model is called an MSD-P2000T, signifying the tubes with the T at the end. The T does not offer a remote and sounds a little darker in my opinion.

Keep in mind that the usual disclaimer applies i.e. different systems, personal tastes, cable combinations, etc... may provide various results. I just thought that you might be interested in the results that i had, especially since you can typically find these used for about $600 - $750 or so. Good luck and keep us posted... Sean
Ditch the sunfire, get a Krell 300i used integrated for around$1,500.00 and you will be very happy with the results. I owned a sunfire and it just couldn't do it with bass. Don't get me wrong but it does have alot of shortcomings when comared with others in it's price range.
get a theater grand 2 , youll be happy with the sound and be ready for surround if you go that direction. signature amps are excellent performers,never run out of power,clean sonics,no wasted energy,work well with ml,s.
It is kind of funny that Hotrod mentions the TG 2 for use in a 2 channel system. I just spoke to a gentleman was doing the exact thing that Hotrod mentions. As it turns out, he had the TG 2 driving a standard Sunfire ( 300 / 600 ) hitting some ML's ( can't remember the exact models ). He told me that he had tried a LOT of different preamps and he thought the TG 2 was the best. This included some tubed units ( ARC, etc...) also. Might be worth checking into even though it is more money that you initially mentioned. Sean
Rather than an answer, I have a relevant question.

I'm trying to build a 2-channel audio system. (HT is not that important to me now. So with the 2-channel amp in mind, I'm wondering how would I connect the subwoofer.

BTW, so far I've decided on
B&W 803
Amp and Pre-amp (undecided but thniking about B&K and Rotel).

thanks in advance for the help.
Typical connection would be amp to subwoofer, subwoofer to speakers.

I've tried the B&Ks on my MLs, and I was disappointed with the sound quality. I've also auditioned the Rotels on B&W 803, and i have to say it was about the same level as B&K components.

As for my setup, I am getting sunfire signature amp (2x600 watts) and sunfire theatre grand II. They are little more expensive than B&K or Rotel, but I think I am getting much better sound quality without breaking the bank.
I've decided on TGII for pre amp. (Thanks Sean and Hotrod)

Now I want to upgrade my system to accomodate HT since TGII already handles surround sound processing. I just want bear bone, mediocre HT system. What do you recommend for driving center and 2 real speakers? I don't want to break the bank, and my new amp should work well with 1st amp (sunfire sig).

Thanks in advance for your help.