suggestion for a multi channel pre/amp please

I am looking for amp / preamp suggestions that can run multi-channels; I have existing 6 wall speakers that I need to run with my cd player. I am not too knowledgable with these things so I apologize for any silly questions. Do I need a multi channel amp and pre? do I need both, or which one can I purchase first? My budget is is the low-mid $2k range used or new. Thanks for your help.

I think you first need to decide what your needs are. Are you looking for a combined HT and music system or something for music only? Are you are a critical and/or avid music listener? What are your expecations of the sound quality you are seeking? I don't know what in-wall speakers you have, but they may limit the potential of any source. Is that okay?

If a music only system, I would probably explore a used preamp/amp (2channel), integrated or receiver (w/ a analog bypass) along with a pair of used speakers.

If you are looking for combined HT use, I would probably go the receiver route. While I think you can find some bargains, $2,000 for both a HT preamp & amp will limit your choices & may not be money well spent. A nice receiver would be below your budget & permit some speaker upgrades if warranted.

This answer may not help much. I think you need to provide some more information as to what you are looking for.
Consider the Audio Refinement Pre-5 (5.1-channel pre-amp, for two front/main, one center, and two rear channels + subwoofer) and Audio Refinement Multi-5 (5-channel power amp, 125 wpc). Used units from Audiogon would get close to your budget. Audio Refinement is YBA's "budget" line, and these pieces produce really excellent sound for either stereo or multi-channel/home theater listening. With a good "universal" player (able to play CD and DVD-audio & -video), you'd be in business, without needing to get a separate processor. A bunch of manufacturers (Denon, Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Esoteric, etc., etc.) make such players. (The Exemplar Audio-modified Denon 2900 is totally amazing, but at alomst $1000 for the Denon + $2500 for the modifications, is probably more than you'd want to spend.) Note that with the Multi-5 amp you would need a powered subwoofer or a separate amp, which would receive signal from the 6th (".1") channel of the Pre-5 pre-amp. Look for reviews of the Audio Refinement Pre-5 in Stereophile (Kal Rubinstein) a couple months ago and UHF Magazine last year (?), and believe what they say! And the brand's power amps have the same standard of excellence, in my experience. You would be thrilled with the sound (depending, of course, on the quality of your loudspeakers).

I am looking for a combined HT and music system. I am a avid music listener and sound is very important!! I would prefer higher quality sound even though the in wall units will limit their potential (I later plan to move it to the basement, when it is built, with proper/higher quality speakers). It will be used for music/HT 50% each. I am willing (actually being allowed by my wife!!) to spend up to $3k at most.

I am not concerned with the speakers at the moment as I will save for it later, once the basement is completed. Thanks.

Thanks for the input.
One last thing to ask: You said 6 in walls? If so, are you willing to forgo the rear center? Most stuff is 5.1 anyway. Why buy a 6 channel system if you really want 5?

In your price range, you can find a nice used anthem, rotel or similar with a quality 5 channel amp. Also, check out I don't recommend a reciever, go with seperates.
I agree with Elewick's advice to go for separates rather than a receiver (although I know of fairly discriminating stereo/HT people who like their Pioneer Elite receivers just fine), and that you might be able to find Anthem or Rotel units that you would like very well. For musicality, though, I would say the Audio Refinement units will be exceedingly difficult to beat at anywhere near their prices. Finally, let me apologize to all readers, and especially to Mr. Rubinson, for getting Kal Rubinson's name wrong in my first posting.
try a new rotel unit..i purchased one for a guest room HT set up as it has all thx, etc applications .. as things turned out, the room wasn't ready so i put in in my main system's room which is also our dining room. it has been used in 2 channel mode exclusively and i am stunned at how complete the unit coloration, etc. i did buy a power cord from Signal for about $65 and it helped tighten up things. sorbothane feet, also..i listened to everthing in the $ 1500 range and neither the denon, nad, or sony beats this player. plus, it is very easy to use. after breaking in it sounded even better....i think the 70wpc integrated is about 1350-1500..test one. and put the balance in yor bank or towards music. ideally, you could find a demo model, broken in and at a significant savings...
Thanks for your feedbacks. Please keep them comming if possible ( the more ideas the better ).
A used Integra preamp would be good. The one that goes for a lot of money; not sure of model number. NOT a receiver.

Used Tag McLaren is less than 2k and very good but the future of the company may only lie in car chassis for formula one and not in high end audio. Never know.