I see you haven't had any responses, so I thought I would give you a reply. I thnik the problem here is your budget. I did a quick search here on Audiogon and really didn't see anything that I could recommend at $250 or less. The Monarchy is a good piece of gear and deserves a good preamp--but honestly I don't know of anything at $250 or less. Apparently no one else does, either.
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