What preamp


I had been an Audiogon member for a while now and I need help deciding what preamp to buy, Things had been a bit difficult money wise, but I'm an audio enthusiast and I'm trying to put together a decent stereo system. The speaker are Polk Audio RTi-A9 the amp is going to be Emotiva XPA-2 . I'm looking for something to match the amp and speakers, I would like to have something to calm down the bit brightness of the Pollk Audio RT's that I've had heard they have. I'm also looking for balanced out connection aka XLR. All recommendation are always welcome. Thank you

What price range?

I was looking at an Emotiva preamp that it seems like having very good feedback.
I think you will have great synergy by staying in the Emotiva camp. Emotiva equipment is really very good at its price-point and should be highly considered. Their customer service is also very good and responsive.
Price range from $450 to $1000.
Instead of asking a preamp to fix a problem (and adding another coloured component to your system) I would try to dampen the room more if the speakers are too bright. Or change your listening axis. If that doesn't work, sell the speakers.

I believe the best preamp is no preamp. If you can get away with a used DAC with balanced outputs and a volume control (ie. Benchmark, etc.) I think that is the way to go. It won't solve your brightness problems though.
Thank you Ddd1 for your response
Anyone else?
I kind of agree with ddd1. For me, if you can't get a really good preamp, then don't use one. Preamps can be very problematic , but if you can find the right one, I think it will sound better than not having one.

More importantly: "I would like to have something to calm down the bit brightness of the Pollk Audio RT's that I've had heard they have."

Are you kidding? I don't mean to offend, but why would want to fix a brightness problem your speaker has because someone else says they are bright. That's just crazy. What do you think? You're the one that has to listen to them, not someone else.
Thank you jkj25, would you recommend any preamp, my amp has balanced imputs, but the Emotiva preamp doesn't.
Your amp is not a truely balanced amp so it wouldn't matter if you use single ended or XLR connection.

IMO A9's and Emo gear do run a bit brighter on the top end. I've owned both and that was my experience with it.
Are you sure that the XP-A2 is not balanced ?
Well, anybody is going to recommend any preamp that is know to work good with Emotiva gear?
First Sound has absolutely the best preamp Ive used.I saw some here for sale.They are special,cheers,B
That preamp is not into my budget. :-(
I need preamp suggestion please?
If you confirm that your XPA-2 is not truly balanced, then I suggest the Lightspeed Attenuator and a Burson AB-160 Buffer.
TUbe pre-amp with balanced outputs (to take advantage of higher input impedance on the Emo. amp withbalanced inputs according to specs.

Might be hard to find a tube pre from teh better known makers with balanced output in that price range, even used, but I am sure such a beast might be had.
There's a Bel Canto Pre 3 available on Agon for 800 that is a great balanced preamp, and would be a significant upgrade for your system .
I'd like the BEl Canto, balanced or not, as an alternative to a tube pre-amp.

I have been tempted to try going that way myself, but have stuck with the tubes for now.
Where ate the Emotiva people in here?
For around 500 to 600 you can get an Accuphase C-200 it lacks for nothing. Nothing I've had has knocked it of the top spot for 5 years now. Its mated well with every power amp Ive had and has never been the weak link. Best on your hunt.
Anyone knows about the new preamp that is coming out from Emotiva?
Any additional imput anyone?
If you can stretch your budget a bit or find used, maybe a Benchmark Pre if your source material is mainly digital and having a popular reference quality DAC is part of the value proposition for you.
Thank you Mapman