I wonder what speakers the OP is referring to above? The ones that don't sound too good.
Also would be good to know where you heard them to form the conclusion. Why not warn us about them by giving some details? Thanks.
To keep this specific to the 22k preamp that the OP brought up, I have a Luxman C900u (one can buy it new in the US for between 15 to 20k) and a Yamaha C5000 (10k new). I was able to get the Luxman for half the cost (couldn't pass that up) and was lucky enough to snag the Yamaha for less than msrp. I would put either one of them up against any SS preamp at any price.
You open either unit and it is a work of art, i.e. if a guy understands anything about analog circuit design. It is has always been its own type of black art, that a considerable number of electrical engineers should be able to tackle (no problem there). The catch is....the sonics of circuitry which no electrical engineering coursework would ever talk about. This is empirical information w.r.t iterative design acquired over decades of dedicated listening by engineers who are also "sound experts". Am i willing to pay that guy in Yamaha and Luxman that much, a guy who is willing to slash his wrists if he did a poor job at work? Sure...that level of competence and work ethic needs to be rewarded.
But, there are certain "elusive" brands in the "high end" who get it designed/fab'd completely in China. Am i willing to pay that poor Chinese engineer that much for his pain? Sure.....But, am i willing to pay the deadbeat dude who brought it over here for pennies on the dollar, put his brand name on it and suddenly managed to charge 50k? I sure as flip have no intention of paying that deadbeat anywhere close to that amount.
On a similar note, brands like Luxman, Accuphase, etc need to go manufacturer direct and cut the middleman unscrupulous dealer completely out. The product sold itself, sells itself and will continue to sell itself on its own!! I am willing to pay that class of manufacturer for his hard work and expertise. Am i willing to pay that dealer who sent an email, answered a phone call here in God's own land and claimed 50% of msrp (He sits there and sucks on that 50% like a leach while doing a whole lotta nothing)....lol, not only no, but, hell no!
Pay the guy who's worth your hard earned cash. Don't pay the scoundrels and deadbeats.
@soix by all means allow me to recommend a preamp and speaker to you so you can go out and buy them (Stop by your bank first).... however if they were on sale for $100 I still wouldn't have bought them... don't need paper weights.
Update on user end agreement
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2. You understand that your opinions are yours and not necessarily others.