Need a Preamp Recommendation

Newbie here, please bear with me. 2 channel system:

PSB Image T45 speakers and a Onkyo M-282 200 watt amp. I am currently using an old pioneer receiver for the preamp. Looking to upgrade on a budget. Would this change the sound drastically? If so, what are some recommendations?

Thanks in advance.
Check a passive preamp if possible (Axiom, Monolithic, etc..), otherwise a used Adcom or Rotel will do,considering you are not into vinyl..... yet!.

If you're on a budget, a passive preamp is a serious option if you run shortish interconnects and your source and poweramp match. Passives, if made right, are transparent. So, they may change your previous sound, depending on whether and how your previous preamp colors the sound. If your previous preamp is hiding some flaws in your other components, the change may be for worse. But don't blame the passive for that!

Look into Odyssey's new passive preamp (ca. $350, but it's not on their US website yet; Google "Odyssey Etesian" and call Odyssey) or a used FT Audio Little Wonder (hard to come by used, though). Demos of Creek OBH-12 can be had cheap (ca. $250); the new OBH-22 is a bit more expensive (ca. $450).

Also search the AudiogoN amp/preamp forum; I remember reading older threads recommending good preamps, passive and active, of older vintage that can be had cheap used.
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Can you use a soldering iron? Check out the Raleigh Audio Line Stage at This unit has been the subject of a series of articles in AudioXpress magazine; the last in the Nov. 2004 issue. This preamp kit (also available built) uses an innovative bridged differential parallel feed circuit and is transformer coupled on both the input and output using the excellent Lundahl transformers; insuring complete galvanic isolation of components (no ground loop problems). The power supply is a unique "low reactance" design that uses two CCS (constant current sources) to reject AC ripple and set the B+ voltage. It includes a fixed volume cinema input for home theatre fans, a remote volume and mute, one XLR and five RCA inputs and both a RCA and XLR output. I finished mine the other week and even though it hasn't had the time to fully break-in, the sound is incredible. More detail, clearer and sharper transients, more solid imaging and more sense of the "space" around the performers. If $1.8K is in your budget, you should look into this.