Budget preamp recommendation...besides Schiit.

What are some other budget friendly preamps besides Schiit, the king of budget electronics? With similar quality of build and sound, both solid state or tube options would be welcome. 




Since we are excluding Shitt I will add that I got the new 


preamp/headphone amp. It has to mostly work as a preamp to my Schitt Aegir amp and then into my headphones. The integrated headphone output will be used with a second headphone I have.

I was thinking of getting the Benchmark HPA4 which has similar functionality (and more) to replace my Benchmark LA4 preamp. However, I decided to get 2 preamps and save my self the chance of accidently messing up my system using 1 preamp with 2 amps.

I have 15-days to decide if this Schitt can make me happy given my expectations from using the amazing LA4 preamp. The Schitt Freya+ was not as good for me as the LA4.


Consider used Ayre....I have a K5xemp,,,,,love it...nothing ever went wrong. Great open 3D sound.

The ARC LS series, used, could work well ( LS 26 was 2300 in 2018).

It has for me.

I purchased a like new Threshold T3i for $1200 that knocks the socks off much more expensive preamps!


I also purchased an Inspire LP3.1 tube preamp for $1250 that’s as silent as I’ve heard, which allows you to swap all kinds of tubes. There are all kinds of very good preamps if one chooses to buy used!


Currently there’s a tube BAT VK3Xi available for $1500. That’s a steal, and a modern preamp.