used pre

hi guys and gals. i am looking for a different pre to go with my system. i have tried 4 now, and am still looking. so far i've had cambridge audio c500 (the original pre and am using as a phono stage now),adcom gtp450(worst one), music angel tube pre(currently using), and a cayin sl-5sc. it must have a remote and dual pre-outs, and a good phono stage would be nice but willing to go with an outboard one. sound wise, i am looking for smooth with no graininess as most of my music is metal/rock that is not recorded very well. i do not care if it is tube or s.s., or what brand/country etc. i like to listen at loud levels, hence the non-fatiguing requirement. as you may be able to tell from the pre's i've already tried, my budget is south of $1000. i guess i could i could slightly stretch that if there's absolutely no other way. the rest of the system is:
-marantz cd67se
-monarchy audio 18 deluxe dac
-sonic frontiers ultra jitterbug
-goldring gr1
-classe dr8
-classe 70
-energy 22 ref conns(dr8)
-energy pro 22's(70)
-velodyne spl1200
i hear good things about the old dr pre's from classe, but no remote. (can a remote volume be retrofitted?) i seriously appreciate any advice i may get thanks a bunch, pieman
Not only is remote essential but a remote that adjusts for L/R balance and polarity control (phase). Also consider a fully balanced preamp design- they also have unbalanced I/Os, but rework your system to fully balanced components for greater magic. PS Audio GCP is a great example, but will be a bit north of $1000. PS Audio website has a classified section in the forum area. Maybe you can find one there.
you can get a sonic frontiers preamp in that range
You might consider a B & K preamp. There are a couple of used ones listed at the moment. I once owned a PT3 that I thought was actually very nice. The PT5 for sale is probably similar. good luck
I would put a Forte F44 on my short list. I believe it has all the features you are looking for. I don't think you could do better for the money. To my ears it is a very nice sounding pre. I believe it would better the previous ones you have tried by a significant margin. These were very hot a few years ago but I haven't seen much discussion lately. No phono stage though.
thanks for the help so far. the forte sounds interesting , but i think the ps is past my limit. i may have a chance at a sim p3, and am wondering where that would fit in with the others.a question though, the sim has 1 pair of rca's and 1 pair of of balanced outs. my classes have both and the sub only rca's. is there some kind of y-connector for balanced cables? thanks again, pieman
TAD 150 Sig