Talk about coincidences .That was my pre, back then but just not mk2.I remember when I traded in my 9 on an Encore.Wow,what a step up.+they gave me900trade in.Really felt I had pulled a fast one on the dealer. AR & CJ have 2 things in common.Their lesser expensive pre's are not great value,but worth a lot used.Also had CJ pv6 or7.So when we are talking things I used to own I know where they stand against the rest.You have done the right thing.Get good speakers first.And next;your an Audiogon member. I think you know where I'm going with this-yes? The FEAST of used gear here is mind boggling.Don't buy cables yet, is my best advice.Cables would be a band aid. You're here asking questions;That tells me you want to move up.So getting the most"music" for the money to feed them speakers,and I see you like tubes, is what the abjective is.Start a thread-What amp-pre amp for Vandersteen's I dont know it all.There are some pretty smart guys out there.Vandy's have a loyal following, you'll get lots of suggestions.I'll repeat my first choice:Music Ref 9 mk2(12/14 hundred).For the pre: Sonic frontier line 1, If you don't do vinyl, CJ 12/14 if you do.Budget constraints may mean waiting.If you do the thread,I'll look in.Hope you don't think I'm looking down my nose at your eqpt.At this point I figure cables are not your primary need.No way I can tell how much you have or want to spend,but the advice is free.