My favorite is the Atoll PR-100.Great sound and remote control!!!
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Boy, that's a pickle. You have a great amp but no preamp and thus no music. On top of that you have only $500 for a preamp for your great amp. So you can choose between limiting your great amp with a preamp that is not at the amp's level, or else no music. Shucks.
I don't know what I would do myself. If I played vinyl I'd maybe save a bit more while I looked for an older Klyne. I've (rarely) seen SK-5As for under $800.
You can also keep an eye out for a McCormack Micro Line Drive. It has 3 inputs, a tape input and output, plus it has the advantage of being a passive and active preamp. The active side can be adjusted +/-3 dbs with jumper inside the unit. Another plus you can have a remote control added for the volume control, check with SMc Audio on this.
If you've never heard the difference between an active or passive preamp this is a great starter to help you decide which you prefer. These can be found well within your budget and it comes with the help of a very caring designer.
Skiezo.. How did the hunt go for a used preamp @ approx $500? I still think a McCormack TLC-1 or TLC-1 Deluxe is the way to go @ around $500. I have a McCormack TLC-1 deluxe and love it. I paired it with a Rawson Aleph J clone for a time and my system sounded really good. I had to turn up the volume controls a little bit higher to get the sound I wanted since I prefer the passive output on the TLC-1. Overall it was good experience. I now have a Threshold 400A with the TLC-1 Deluxe and I love the combination.
If you can score an Adcom GFP-750 with a blue board for $500 great. I heard these preamps sound wonderful and are a great value. I wanted one for a while but could never acquire one @ around $500. They always seem to go for approx $700.
Take care. JD