Preamp Advice

I’ve narrowed my choices to 3:
Akitika PR-101
Van Alstine Insight+ ec (used)
Vincent SA-31 (non mk version).

I’m looking for any information on how these sound and any opinion on build quality/design. Also, any suggestions for others, with tone controls, in the $500 range are appreciated! 

It will be used for a bedroom system consisting of an Emotiva UPA-1 amp, Infinity Reference 5’s, Kyocera T-910, and digital stuff via my Focusrite Saffire Pro 24.


I use, and recommend, a Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid preamp. If you upgrade the tubes and output caps, they are a great sounding pre at a great price, and are an enjoyable build.

Thanks for the recommendation Dan! This looks like a really cool project. I'm going to research it a bit more thoroughly. As a guitarist, I can really appreciate and prefer tube amplification.

For the interim, I just scored a vintage Akai PS 200C solid state preamp. I'm going to give it a full refresh. It wasn't on my list, but I hear they sound great. And being a rare piece, it has collectable value as well.