Responses from whitecap

Does anyone have any experience of hybrid valve and solid state power amps?
Einstein Audio:  The Light in the Dark 
Best Rocking Speakers 15K and Under
Typo correction: meant to say "sold," not "sole."   
Best Rocking Speakers 15K and Under
If not already sole, your Kef Ref 3s properly matched with a sub (or two), might surprise you big time.  That said, if you remain dead set against a sub, read no further.  We use the three-way Kef Reference 201.2 monitors, which produce not much b... 
Einstein The Tube Preamp, Need A Favor From Fellow Owner
Thanks, I've already done that, and its great for holding the tubes in place on their delicate mountings.  But the bigger risk is that during shipping the box is turned on end or upside down, in which case the weight of the preamp itself (notwiths... 
Cd Player Choices To Match Up to Vintage Electronics
I get great results with a Rega Saturn (paid, I think $400, here on A'Gon)  fronting a Pioneer SX-1980.   
New or Old CD Player?
Indeed, imgoodwithtools, you know precisely what you should do:  ARC Ref. CD8.   Lo and behold, there's a real nice, lightly used one on the block here at A'Gon right now, and you don't need to spend $5K.  Its offered by some member goes by the mo... 
Soooooooo many possibilities...!
With your Mac amps, be careful of impedance issues with many of the non-Mac tube pre-amps out there  --  for example the CJ ACT II is a great pre-amp, but did not play well at all with our MC452.  I ended up using the C2500 with the MC452 to very ... 
power for mc452 and c2600
We have owned the C2500/MC452 combo for two years, and I drive that amp pretty hard  --  sustained cranking at 275+ watts for entire live recordings (what's that you say?  speak up, I can't hear you).  I join the group that says the answer to the ... 
Mcintosh C2600 preamp tube upgrade
I recently replaced the stock Mac tubes with Telefunken in the C2500.  Huge improvement  --  should have done it two years ago.   
Most Beautiful Receiver / Integrated - Ever was... ?
Best looking receiver?  Pioneer SX1980.  Hands down.   
Pioneer House Sound from the 70s
Here's another vote to go out and find an original and enjoy the real thing; they're out there, often in very nice condition.  In the office for the past five years I've been listening to an SX1980 driving Joseph Audio Pulsars with a Velodyne SP... 
Best way to Crossover JL Audio F110 into system
Not sure either of these helps with your budget question, but I have used them both with the JLA F110 to great results, and I offer for your consideration.  Pass Labs makes a great external crossover, the XVR1, which although a bit complicated to ... 
Need Help: What In My Home Electric System Killed the Sound?
Yes, all is finally right with the system.  After extended checking and rechecking with the electrician about the home's electric system, I then did a component by component process of elimination  --  saving the amp for last because of size/weigh... 
Conrad Johnson--Best used Model
Watch out for impedance mismatch when pairing a CJ tube preamp with Pass.   The CJ Act 2.2 did not do well at all with the Pass X250.5.  I later inserted the Pass external cross-over (XVR-1), and it fixed the impedance issue (as well as split the ... 
Unravelling the CJ preamps
I can vouch for the Act 2.2 as terrific, with the added bonus of its high WAF; the thing is serious eye candy that your friends will ooh and ahh.  Just be mindful of proper impedance matching to the amp when dealing with CJ tube preamps.