seeking recommendations for a preamp

I've been lurking a while, but this is my first post. I will appreciate any advice given, and thank you for reading this.

My Kenwood C2 bit the dust. I have lost the right channel, and the input selector is also going out. I'm looking to replace it, and upgrade quite a bit. The wife has given me a $2500 budget, new or used is ok. I listen to Vinyl a lot, as well as my echo dot which is also plugged into my preamp with a headphone to RCA adapter. I'll list my other equipment now.

Completely rebuilt Altec A7-500 with all new parts from GPA
JBL L200s
Kenwood M1D amplifier
Homebrew rebuilt Monoblocks from Zenith consoles with EL84/6BQ5
Yamaha EQ
Thorens TD 318 with an Ortofon cart. Unsure which one as I am at work
SVS PB16 ultra

The room is 16 wide by 20 deep. I primarily listen to the Altecs and tube amps with the SVS sub taking up the slack in the bass from the A7s. Sometimes I listen to the JBLs driven by the Kenwood M1D. I notice that the echo dot sounds a lot better than my turntable, so I know I must be needing a better phono stage. I've tried swapping out turntables with a couple of Dual 1229s with Shure M97XE carts that Bill at fixmydual has gone through thoroughly so It's not isolated to my Thorens. I guess I' surprised that the $30 Echo Dot sounds so much better.  

I admit I don't have the best cables, and will upgrade those as I can. I feel like the preamp is the heart of the system so I want to make a good choice. I love Macintosh, based purely off emotion, but don't know if it's the best choice for my situation. I do not have a local shop to audition, and none of my friends are into audio. What preamps should I be looking at ??
I should have mentioned that I literally listen to all types of music but mainly Pink Floyd and tons of acoustic and live stuff. Sometimes hip hop, you name it. 
Way back, when this was new, I owned most of the kenwood gear. Had L07 series and all of the Basic Series that you own. I’ve modded and had a few pieces through the years.... For your budget. I would recommend that you sell of your Basic M1D and take a look at a good inexpensive Integrated. There are Several under $2000 used that would be terrific.
Take a look at Belles Aria, Rotel RA1592, maybe a Musical Fidelity or  a Parasound, you could find an Hegel at that price.... The Belles has a phono section and is a steal going used for around $1400. I have also rebuilt A-7’s in the past. All of these will out perform your Kenwood. Good luck, Tim
Seek a preamp the uses 6SN7s in the line section- that is the best tube for that job. You can find such that include a phono section within your budget.

Dynaco made a preamp called the PAS-3; if you find one of those used it will likely have to be refurbished. But you can get that done and have it substantially upgraded to be a giant killer, also well within your budget.
Basic preamp that sound warm and musical - Prima Luna Prologue - used around $1700

Counterpoint SA-2000 or SA-3000 if you want a phono section - send to me for complete upgrades about $850.

6SN7 DeHavilland - send to me for upgrades - about the same $850.

Happy Listening.

 to expand on Atmasphere’s suggestion on the Dynaco. 
Look at Tubes4hifi they have an updated new version of the Dynaco pass preamps for very reasonable pricing. If your handy and can solder you could save more and build it your self.  They offer kits and preassembled. 

Those look great but I’m not up to building one myself. I’m able to solder but not test or diagnose. I would not know if it was unsafe until my house caught fire !! I’d definitely want it built for me 
If buying new:
Benchmark LA 4
Schiit Freya S
Schiit Freya +
If buying used:
The above plus:
Pass Labs
possibly Bryston
Perhps PrimaLuna as mentioned above. 
Dynaco made good stuff.  I have a rebuilt and upgraded Stereo 120, and I like it a lot.  My preamp is a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC... pretty decent DAC too.
Used parasound jc2bp. Check out Atkinson’s review in Stereophile. He usually does not gush.
Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a phono section but an Aesthetix Calypso is in your budget and stands right up there in sound quality. 
Any Conrad Johnson older tube pre. Fantastic sounding and built to last. Pv 10 or 11. Audio research pre as well though not as well built as the cj. 
There’s a refurbished Audible Illusions M3b on US Audiomart for $2400. I currently have one and it’s hard to beat especially at that price. It also has a phonostage.
my my biggest surprise was a used Onkyo P-308 preamp.

 Absolutely amazing. Warm, features, and a very relaxed sound.  
  Can be had for 3-400$
sent mine in for a upgrade/recap about 8 months ago, completely defined the sound, warmer, more relaxed, just all around an amazing preamp.
will compete with preamps 4X the price.

listen and believe! just a great preamp!!

conrad Johnson 
B&K pro 10
many choices.

 That onkyo is a helluva bargain!
Yes, I am seeing there are TOO many choices although I suppose that is a good thing. I do see though, that a lot of the "better" preamps may not have a phone stage. Im thinking maby I don't want a built in phone stage afterall…….I was just thinking about a simple setup, but that's never the case is it ?
Audio by Van Alstine refurbished Dynaco PAS-3. Hard to find a better phono preamp than that for under three grand!  Or perhaps their Transcendence or Vision models. 
Hi Adrian - Check out the new Primaluna Evo 200. If you are interested I have one that has about 30 hours on it. I am getting a divorce in the near future and I need to sell it. It is in 9.9 condition. The only reason it is a 10 is that it has been hooked up and played. Looks brand new. No scratches, nicks or any cosmetic issues and barely broken in. It will be in your price range. Contact me if your are interested. Good luck with your search!   
If you’re ok with solid state, the Anthem STR preamp often sells used for ~2500. It’s 100% transparent and has room correction and bass management built in. No component upgrade has come close to the improvement in sound quality that room correction and proper subwoofer integration gave me.
The Anthem looks interesting. I bet the room correction would short out trying to fix my room LOL.  Ill do some more reading on that one for sure. The PrimaLuna is very interesting as well....Thank you all so much for the direction
I agree with Sidog on the Audible Illusions 3A, 3B or even a fine conditioned 2D. All of them have great sounding phono sections along with excellent CD inputs. For about $400-500 extra you can get a low output MC phono section made by John Curl for AI. I had a 2D for about 17 years, a 3A for an additional 6 years with the MC phono section. The sound is very transparent, more live sounding than most tube preamps, with excellent soundstage and quiet. If you stay with the tubes AI recommends, the tubes last a long time. Combined with a good solid state amp gives a good combination. I now have a system that is much better in all ways than I had with the Audible Illusions preamps, but they would still be very competitive in sound and not be embarrassed in any way. The AI stuff is THE best deal in all of audio for sound at a somewhat reasonable price.
It took a TRL DUDE at $6500 and a Whest 3.0 RDT SE phono unit at $6000 to have significantly better sounding combo than the AI stuff. I also had to buy power cords, a better IC, to get this bigger improvement.
The AI preamps sound really good all by themselves with no extra things to have to buy. The newest 3B would be a step up over what I had. At your $2500 max budget, I don’t know of any other preamp/phono combo that could compete in sound or long life use. They are good enough that you could upgrade around them and not get outclassed.

I have an Anthem 710 home theater receiver with the room correction.  It did sound better than my previous Yamaha I had before, but the Anthem is not in the same league as any of the AI preamps in sound.  The rest of the home theater is all Paradigm speakers including the Studio 20 v2 Reference.  

Do yourself a favor and read up on all the Audible Illusion preamp reviews.  
I see a 3a on Fleabay for 1700. What tubes do AI recommend. I’m seeing Sovtek in this particular unit
Call Don Sachs. It’s just at your price range and if you work with him, you can just have the features that you need for a little less than your budget. But you will actually own a preamp that will murder anything below $6-7k. They are that good. Because I didn’t want balanced inputs, I was able to get one with an older case that was left behind at the woodshop...but it was stuffed with all the latest improvements and it saved me a couple hundred dollars.

The used AI 3A’s should go for $1200-1500. AI has refurbished units that they go over, clean and replace the tubes on for about $1600. Those units are very close to looking new. $1700 on Ebay is probably not a great deal. The double volume controls allow you to fine tune the balance if needed. Nice if you have a slight channel imbalance. It can happen sometimes in many different areas of your system. Adjusting 2 volume pots is pretty easy after a couple tries.   Call AI and talk to Art Ferris doubt the tubes they recommend.  They will be matched sets and will last a long time.  In the 23 years of owning the 2 AI preamps,  I only replaced tubes twice in the 2D and when I first bought a used 3A, right when I got it.  The previous owner said they could use a replacement.  For 6 years, there was NO loss of performance.  

Hope this helps.

Question   I have a pair of rca splitters plugged into my current preamp with one set of RCAs going to the Kenwood M1D and another set going to my tube amplifiers. This way I just run whichever amplifier I want and leave the other one turned off. For example I may leave the Kenwood on and listen to my JBL’s or I may not turn it on at all and listen to my Altecs with the tube amps. The left Channel is split again so that I have an output for my sub. Am I messing with the output impedance that the preamp sees in a way that could be harmful ??
I just got to thinking that which ever preamplifier I choose, I want to make sure that I don’t damage it. The Kenwood C2 was $150 so I guess it didn’t really matter but it may now.  
@dorkwad the sound of an Anthem home theater receiver can’t really be compared to their dedicated two channel preamp. Those are meant for entirely different functions. There’s a lot more room for elegant design when not cramming in a bunch of circuitry for video and multichannel processing/amplification.

fwiw, Gene at Audioholics, who is a no-BS reviewer, liked it enough to purchase his review sample:

Assuming you can get one used at the 2500 mark I would put it up against anything solid state in that range. If you prefer tube sound you should go tubes of course - especially if you have room treatment. I used to have tube gear that I thought sounded fantastic, but my room produced too many issues for my setup to really shine. After applying room correction and bass management all my issues with fuzzy imaging and distorted bass were gone. I doubt I’ll go back to tubes until I can get a dedicated treated listening room.

I love tubes. Love them. The Altecs midrange is amazing with them.  Room correction is something I’ve always been curious about though. I feel like I should have tighter bass with the SVS. It can be a little loose and muddy at times. Mids are great, highs are slightly rolled off, but at 50 years old, I can’t hear above 14k anyway.....but I’m sure there could be more sparkle and air up there. The 511 horns are known to fall short but I do at least have 802-8g drivers and new diaphragms as well as fresh crossovers with upgraded caps.   
As atmasphere said, get a 6sn7 line preamp. I had a 12au7 based line preamp for several years. The 6sn7 sounded much better. I would also get a separate phono pre as it will give you more flexibility on price, features, and upgradeability, etc. For example if you don’t need MC capability, don’t pay for it. Have a general, longer range plan for your budget also. Don’t try to solve everything at once. Evolve and upgrade over time. That is the fun part of the hobby!!
AVA, Parasound, or Bel Canto 2.1. Several fine tube preamps at your price point as well. 
Whatever you consider, audition it if possible.  Pre-amps are in my opinion a very weak link in the audio chain.  Specifications in most cases are worthless.  
Happy hunting!
Room correction is something I’ve always been curious about though. I feel like I should have tighter bass with the SVS. It can be a little loose and muddy at times.
Rather than room correction (which can’t fix a standing wave in the room) consider something called a Distributed Bass Array. The idea is simple- by having multiple subs operating **below** 80Hz you can break up any standing waves in the room and thus get good bass.

If a standing wave is killing bass at the listening position(s) all room correction will do is try to put more power into that frequency. But a standing wave causes cancellation (IOW is a null point) so any amount of power you put into that frequency won’t change things.

The best DBA I know of (and one of the best subs around as a result) is the Swarm made by Audiokinesis.
I don't see that anyone has mentioned Modwright yet.  I have a LS 100 in my main system and love it.  It's 6SN7 based.  If you keep an eye out you should be able to find a used one under your budget.
The best buy is a Croft  made in England , GREAT sound with tubes .After that a Rogue .
If you mean how do you locate it, one way is with a constant test tone and SPL meter. The other way is to walking around the room holding a medium-size box with some small holes drilled into it and when the box is in a standing wave you can feel it vibrate.
u need to focus on the preamp, fix your bass issues later....

ARC SP-15 also fits the bill is hyper reliable, has phono and a remote !

but you have been given a ton of great advice on excellent sounding preamps!
+ 1 on Audible Illusions preamps.

There are currently three listings for the 3A model on the website of The Music Room ( They are priced from $1474 - 1615.
Most of the time they will post their listings here on Audiogon.
Check out Aric Audio. Aric is a great guy to work with , and will build a completely bespoke preamp to your exact specifications, should you desire. Many would also suggest Don Sachs, and his gear is great, but Aric's attention to customer service won me out.
++ Don Sachs Audio. Don is a great guy to deal with and will work with you to make it the way you need it to be.
The Don Sachs preamps are just gussied up VTA SP14 preamps.  The straight VTA preamp is pretty plain Jane in appearance, but is very affordable.  You can save a fair amount and get enormous satisfaction if you build it as a kit.  They provide excellent support.  They also offer it assembled and tested.

If  you buy their top line SP14 line stage preamp and PH16 phono preamp, assembled and tested, it'll come in at around $2500.  Build them as kits (and they're easy to do), it will run you around $1640 plus shipping.   

In terms of quality, they'll stand up against any of the under $10,000 things you can find on Audiogon.
Now my brain is truly in overload. It will take a lot of research now that I have such great recommendations. I’m seeing now that I thought I had a somewhat easy question, and it’s not easy at all !!  
Not many people know this, but this is an exceptional analog only preamp from Douglas self himself.  It even includes an MM/MC phono stage.  For the price, there is no way anyone can beat this device:
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How does one diagnose a standing wave ?
@adrianleewelch  If there is bass in other places in the room or the house but not at the listening chair then you have a standing wave causing cancellation at the listening chair.

Ok well I definitely have that.  Bass is ok in 
u chair but at the other end of the house it’s like an earthquake