Look into some used Classe preamps, My dad used Classe, Lexicon and Audio Research with his Focus 20/20.
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I'm generally a fan of tube pre-amps and I tend to reside in the "simpler is better" camp. Here's a nice simple one within your budget. Oh, and it is a quality headphone amp too.....
Not affiliate with the seller and haven't heard the unit, but like the concept.....
If I were in you situation I would sell the nakamichi amp and look for a good integrated amp in the $1-1.5K range.
Some good choices here, like Plinius 8200 mk II, Classe CAP-151, Krell KAV-300iL, just to name a few. In your price range I think you get a better value out of integrateds than from seperates.
Hey, thanks for the advice everyone.
Pescolar- there is a Cary SLP 88 up for sale, asking $975 (includes some extra tubes- link:http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatube&1170359958)- it's too rich for my blood.. i emailed, asking for a deal.. here's hoping, heh..
Could someone please explain to me if I need to worry about wearing out these tubes? I listen to music all day, every day. Sometimes light music, sometimes heavy. Ok, pretty often, it's full and heavy, if not too loud.. Does this mean I'll be buying replacement tubes for a tube amp?
Excuse my noobie questions, hehe..
Cheers, and happy holidays to you all.
Check out the Parasound Halo P3 preamp. Just a little over your budget used. Also they made a model P/LD 2000, or P/LD1500 that come up for a couple hundred every once in a while that where pretty good preamps. Years ago I had a second system in my shop consisting of the same speakers you have and a Parasound amp and preamp I picked up used. The sound was pretty good. Lots of power and ready to rock loud all day....everyday!