What's your "diminishing returns" preamp choice?

What preamp would you consider is at the point of diminishing returns for you? I realize this is a vague and subjective question, but I think it will be interesting to hear the answers.

Of course, a $10,000 preamp will (probably) sound better than a $1,000 preamp but everyone has a different point at which they feel they have spent enough money. In some cases, one may feel that there isn't a significant difference between a $2k piece and a $10k piece to justify such a purchase.

I've noticed that there are some gems in the audio world that defy their price point. For instance, Apogee Centaurs, Halfer 9505 etc. I've always found such pieces fascinating.
I've tried quite a few preamps in my time, such as Joule Electra LA 150 MK III, BAT VK 30 SE, a Sonic Euphoria transformer-based passive.

I decided I again wanted to go back to a tube pre, and I had wanted to build one for some time. So, I bought a Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid kit, using silver hook-up wire, upgraded Goldpoint stepped attenuator (with Bent Audio remote volume control, Clarity Caps output caps, and NOS Amperex 12AU7 tubes), and I enjoy this little preamp more than any of my previous ones.

It is dead quiet, with great detail and dynamics. Good performance can be had with little expenditure, and, for me, the DIY aspect adds much enjoyment to this great hobby.

A VTL 2.5 the newer version. Good price made very good, I have had the 5.5 for. 15 years WITHOUT one problem. Lucky I guess.
I buy audio components for the status they place me in the audiophile community. For me, the law of diminishing returns runs backwards. The more I spend, the better the value.

Ditto to Timrhu.

The best most transparent preamp is no preamp, unless!!! you need to your ear, a "colouration" that nearly all preamps bring to the sound.
And then it's particular to your own system and your own ear, no one elses.

If you believe that your source amp and speakers have the sound you want to maintain and keep, then a passive preamp or no preamp (if your source has a volume control)is the way to go.

Cheers George