Pre-amp to combo with Mccormack DNA 0.5

Just bought the Mccormack DNA 0.5, after ALOT of research. Thank you all who helped me choose.
Anyway, my second step on the upgrade now will be to buy a pre-amplifier. I have some cheap options available, but I want something that will make me satisfied for years to come, so research, again is necessary.

My "easy" options are:

Mccormack TLC-1 ($500) - Same brand, some say it'd be a good match, some say it's passive and has got no personality. I heard it myself and liked it, but no pre-outs, meaning I'd not be able to plug my Rel Strata II subwoofer in it. No remote either.

Carver C-4000 ($200) - Legendary choice, don't know much about it, except it's a classic.

QED Vector Reference ($600) - Another passive unit, at least this one gives me a remote.

Basically I need something that will make my sound better, or at least not change it. And then some pre-outs would be good, Remote is a plus only. Price tag can't surpass $900, and territorial limitations should be respected, as I live in Brazil and cannot get certain brands.

Any of you has a suggestion?
You just got your self a nice amp so why cheap out now on a preamp especially if you want to be satisfied for years to come as you mentioned? I have the Mccormack DNA .5 Deluxe and did the preamp search thing several years ago. After trying the passive route first I found the Mccormack matchs up well with a tubed preamp and run mine through a CJ- PV 12 AL which is a sweet combination. I've never felt the urge to upgrade either component (unlike most other audio gear I've purchased in the past) and I've had this set up for 6 years now which tells me I must have done something right finally in my system.
You should be able to get a TLC-1 for less than $500. Passives are not for everyone though. While passives are tempting to those on a tight budget, generally it's a bigger crap shoot. Definitely try both actives and passives with the rest of your system before you buy.

Frankly, for your max budget of $900, I'd see if you could get a good deal on a used McCormack RLD-1 or Rogue preamp. (I think they both have a second set of outputs for your sub and also a remote.) At their price points, you are very well set.

Also, I know Steve McCormack is now modding the RLD-1 and, of course, your DNA.5, so you'd have alot of versatility in the future as your budget and needs allows.
I've got a DNA 0.5 Deluxe and use it with a TLC-1 with great results. The TLC has two outputs, one passive and one buffered. I connect the passive outputs to the 0.5 and the buffered to an HSU sub. Sounds wonderful. You should be able to find a used TLC-1 for $350-400.
Moonrat: I wish I could find a good deal on a CJ here, in Brazil there are no representatives for this brand... I'll try to get my best though

Labtec: I'm considering a passive unit, I think that to get a good Active unit I'd have to cash out $1000+. Especially considering the abusive prices in my country...

Sfar: The salesguy told me I WOULD NOT BE ABLE to use the buffered and passive outs SIMULTANEOUSLY. That's one of the things that put me off the TLC-1, as I wish to use a sub. Now, you're telling me that you DO use both at the same time. I sincerely enjoyed the TLC-1+DNA 0.5 combo, and now I enjoy it even more. Can you confirm this information?

Many regards to all...
I have a DNA .5 Deluxe that I recently modded to near rev A status.Definitely save up for the mods after you get your preamp. You'll never even think of upgrading again, unless of course you go for a whole different type of system - like a 3 watt triode amp.

As for preamps, I originally had a TLC-1 passive. It ruined me for life. There is damn few active linestages that have the transparency of a passive unit. Unfortunately, the passives lack dynamic impact. If you listen to any kind of rock or jazz or BIG classical, then I would suggest bypassing the passive route and going for an active unit.

The McCormack amps have a high input impediance for use with passives, so are also a good match for tubed linestages. After a lot of searching I finally found a unit that was almost as transparent as the TLC-1, and gave me much better dynamics (BTW - the mods to rev A also improved the dynamics greatly). You will definitely have trouble finding it anywhere though, those who buy one don't get rid of it often. It's an Audio Prism Mantissa preamp, now owned by Mark Levinson and sold under the Red Rose banner.

Now, if you don't go with a passive to begin with you may not have my problem with transparency. But if you do go passive first, don't say I didn't warn you.

Thank you for warning me, I use mainly more agressive music, so I could have problems with the passive unit. WHat do you think of Mcintosh C36 or C40 instead?
I've got a chance to acquire either a Quad 99 pre-amp or the acclaimed Adcom GFP-750 instead. How do those sound?
A comment on using a McIntosh with McCormack. I have a C38 pre mated to a DNA 1/B, and before that it was used with a DNA 0.5. While the sonics are solid - at least to my ears - there is an issue with gain. There are a very limited range of volume settings, at least with my speakers (ML SL3) and room. 8 o'clock is relatively soft, 9 is fairly loud, and 10 is beyond my comfort level. I use a universal remote and it's not always easy to adjust the volume up or down by just a little bit.
Yes, I definitely use both the passive and buffered outputs of the TLC-1 simultaneously. The passive go to the DNA 0.5 and the buffered to the line-level inputs of an HSU sub. It's worked perfectly like that for more than a year. I'll check the manuals at home tonight but I don't recall any warnings about using both.
Hello Jmabe -

Just FYI - you absolutely can use both sets of passive and buffered outputs on the TLC-1 simultaneously with no problems of any kind. As Sfar points-out, using the passive output to drive your amp and the buffered output to drive a powered subwoofer is one of the useful options the TLC-1 provides.

If you need any further information on the TLC-1 (or an owner's manual, perhaps) please contact me directly.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack