The Dehavilland Ultra Verve 2 is a steal on Audiogon right now. No, I do not know the seller. I own the CES show demo.
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I have an Eastern Electric preamp thats very good. Hard to beat used.
Even cheaper and still great(I hear), The Dared pre is super,read the feedback on the web. Ebays got em $450.00 new.
I own a set of the Dared VP-20 mono blocks with the 6L6 tube, and their freakin great too. So I wouldn't be shy of the brand.
Look into ASL also.
I would highly recommend a TAD 150 signature preamp. There are 2 of them posted on A'gon currently (I have one, but I don't know the sellers). It is a full remote operation except for power on (for that you have to get off the sofa. I don't know if a universal remote will have the codes, but assuming it's a learning remote you can program it in. It also has HT passthrough so if you want to have 5.1 you can have your pre/pro feed the TAD.
Airt tight ATC-3; rarely talked about on Audiogon. I have had one for years - it was a fine, excellent sounding tube pre-amp. Then I had Jospeh Chow of Audio Horizons modify it - he even took out the power supply and built another box to house it in. Along with other upgrades, this is a stunningly transparent, highly musical pre-amp capable of excellent low-level detail retrieval and can also generate very nice spatial/imaging cues to your ears.
There is one for sale now for about 1800 dollars; I am thinking of buying the ATC-2 that is more expensive that I presume is even better than the fine ATC-3.
The Audio Horizons tube pre-amp is also another fine performer and is a tremendous value as well.
the Lector Zoe is a excellent preamplifier with 4 different tubes choices to tune your system
The Vintage 6h30-dr Tubes from the 70s have more control and really put this pre in there with the majority of $4-$5 k preamps out there it is a solid all around performer it replaced a modified Modwright that was pretty