Best Preamp New or Used up to $3,000 ??

Okay I am listening. The models I am looking at are:
Audible Illusions L3 .$2,000+
Aesthetic Calypso.$2,000+.
Prima Luna Dialogue $2,200
EAR 834L.$1,700.
Benchmark LA4 (New) $2,600.
McIntosh 2500.$4,000 (Over budget but has tone controls and Phono stage)
Other Equipment: Cary MK 120-s, Oppo 205, Older Tannoys FSMs-very efficient.
Music I enjoy: Vocals, 70 db, Near field position.
So if you have owned any of the above, please share your experience.
I am attracted to these brands as they seem to place value on things related to musicality.
Separate quality Power supply, Dual Mono setup, Quality components. Remotes (except EAR)
So what am I not valuing that I should be?
Thanks in advance.

firstnot OP
As I do not have a preamp now I am running the Oppo direct to the Cary
which leads me to another question: Will a good preamp improve or detract from the sound?

If you like the sound you are getting then leave it be, as it will be the most transparent/dynamic you can get.

But should you feel the need to "color" eg: distort the sound, you can do it by adding a preamp, but they all sound different coloration distortions, so you’ll be on a bit of a merry go-round to find the right one that suits your needs.
As the fabled "perfect" preamp "sound like a piece of wire" adding or detracting nothing which is what your doing now by going direct.

Cheers George
+1 on Georgehifi counsel.

 Perhaps rather than a traditional separate preamp, consider an alternate solution. I do not like my OPPO 105 direct to amps for audio. Besides it doesn't have analog input. SO, I use a bel canto design DAC3.7.(which is a DAC/PREAMP w external PSU, analog input,  balance and volume control and full function remote)  My phono preamp is plugged into the bel canto 3.7's analog input and OPPO in to it via coax. Extremely satisfying in all ways audiophile and most of all sounds and feels like real people playing music on real instruments in real spaces. Every preamp (active and passive) introduced (up to $12k) detracted from the fidelity. Hearing your listing musical first and my experience with OPPOs leads me to wonder if the OPPO with it's Sabre dacs and output stage might not be your ideal musical sound. Don't think you'll that dac and output stage sound signature to your liking by inserting a conventional preamp into the signal chain - regardless of brand or tweak. My sense you will be happier with a more musical DAC/PRE than with a conventional preamp. And later when you can a better transport. Best wishes.  
Hi there,
Just to clarify some things mentioned here,
- Our preamps have a very low output impedance of 75 ohms, meaning we can drive any power amplifier nicely
- All of our current models’ XLR inputs and outputs are fully differential balanced (dealers have told us that our Rhumba 1.3 at $3.5K is the only balanced tube preamp on the market under $5K, we haven’t checked to confirm) ... this leads to noise reduction over long cable runs. Personally I hear no benefit or detriment vs single-ended over normal/usual cable lengths
- To George’s point, our gain is a reasonable 8 dB ... we can adjust down to 3 dB
- Our customers who used Oppo or other sources direct to their amps have loved the improvement a Backert Labs provides. Our sound is very pure and clean to my ears [this is Andy writing, I’m a pianist, vocalist and drummer working in live bands for 35+ years]. Lively, uncolored, not “tubey” or “solid state” sounding.
If you’re within driving distance from Delaware/PA/NJ/MD/VA let me know, I’ll bring one over and we can hear it in action.
-Andy Tebbe
Many good pre amps in that list.  For me, the synergy between the pre amp and amp is critical.  I spent a number of years swapping out equipment before finding the right match.

I started with a decent AR tube pre amp, but needed more power for my Maggie’s as the really like a strong amp.  I ended up with a Mac C220 about 9 years ago that has the same value today if I decided to sell, something to remember.

we all have our own experiences and ear for the music we love, there is no magic bullet, but rather many good choices.  What works for me may not be the same as what you eat prefers, enjoy the ride!
PS Audio BHK tube/solid state hybrid preamp. Rock solid build and fluid musicality. List price is $6000, but go online to The Music Room in Broomfield, Co. and work a deal on a new or very clean used. Under $3K is very doable. They WILL deal, they just can’t post prices online per PS Audio marketing rules. They’ll also buy your current equipment a very reasonable prices.