Replace my reciever acting as a pre with???

I recently purchased an Oddyssey Stratos amp and paired with a Yamaha RX-V2200 receiver serving as the pre. I've decided I can do without my center channel/suedo-surround system. For the short-term, I'm looking for an inexpensive pre-amp to replace the receiver duties until funds permit me to go with a tube pre. If I dump the receiver I loose the tuner feature, which the better half will frown upon. I've seen manufacturers like Adcom, Anthem, NAD, B&K, etc that have the tuner integrated with the pre-amp.

My question is, will I get significantly better sound stage and added warmth with one of these pre-amp/tuners than my current 2yr old Yamaha receiver? If so, what model would you recommend? Budget is around $300 used and I prefer a remote.

In my opinion you could improve your sound quality in the manners you mentioned by upgrading to a better preamp. The question is how much do you have to spend to achieve the sound you desire.
Although I don't own a Channel Island Audio VPC-1 passive preamp, I have heard one and I feel it would be a great investment ($249) for you to make. I also think you would be very happy with the acoustic improvements. It should accomplish what you desire.
Check out:
Having owned most of what you are discussing, my answer is definitely YES. The 220o doesn't even have gold plated jacks, I think? You should be able to sell the 2200 for more than $300 I would hope.

Adcom, B&K, Parasound, Marantz and more offer either pre-amp tuners or pre/pro/tuners of higher grade. You could probably get a really nice pro-logic unit for that much and end up with something that was upwards of $2000 new.

The other option is to Spend you budget on a nice little pre-amp and buy an "el cheapo" tuner with remote on ebay for $35 to keep the other half happy. You can find a huge variety of older class A rated solid state pre-amps or tube pre's for $300.
Lak has a great suggestion, and I would add the Luminous Audio AXIOM passive pre which is only $125 to your list of candidates.

It only has provisions for one source, but it will let you know what your system sounds like without the Yamaha in the mix.

I have the Stratos monos mated with Mapletree Audio Design Octal 6A Triplex preamp with great success! Go to or and look for Mapletree Audio Design forum. Here's the link just in case you want to check it out.

My brother (has Stratos Extreme Amps powering the highly modified Newform R645's) and I (Martin Logan Ascents speakers) compared it to a Morrison Elad, and to an ARC LS-12. Both of us end up getting the Octal 6A. There's just a special synergy between the Octal and the Stratos amps that I cannot explain here. For $435, I cannot recommend it any less!

hope this helps
Don't wast your money, keep the Yamaha until you have more cash. None of the stuff you are talking about is any better or at least not much better than the Yamaha. If your going to upgrade...Do it right and get much better. If your set on a tube pre, save your money untill you can get a good one. Nice amp by the way from what I've read!!

A preamp can make a very nice difference but not at the price point you are considering. It sound like you are trying to integrate stero and home theater. There are several preamps that do this pretty darn good. You are probably looking at a pre over $1,000 (new) before you would hear much of an improvement. Obviously, I haven't heard all the pre's under $1,000 so this is just an opinion. I have gone through a similar upgrade, though my ultimate goal wasn't a tube pre, and I can tell you that a good pre makes a substantial difference in sound quality.
Thanks all for your input. I hadn't really thought much about a passive pre, but started researching them. The CI unit looks nice, but was limited on inputs. It turns out Odyssey makes one that will mate perfectly with my Stratos. In addition to two inputs, it also has an HT bypass which is exactly what I need. Now I can keep the receiver for HT and tuner duties(eventually move it to the basement for HT only), until funds permit me to upgrade. Best of all, the Etesian cost $275 and has an optional remote. Sorry if this sound like an ad for them, I'm just stoked to find exactly what I want at an acceptable price.