Tube preamp match with Solid Stare amp

I'm looking for recommendations for a balanced TUBE  pre amplifier..preferably one that also has a phono input.. with a low output impedance.  I'm currently using an Coda No.8..which was designed with balanced in mind.. but it has a pretty low balanced  input impedance of just 10k ohms. Price.. I wouldn't like to spend more than 6k. 

Thank you all :)


FWIW, I run a McIntosh C220 (discontinued) into an Arion Audio S500 switching amp. Love this combo. The C220, which you can find used without too much difficulty, has the features you want and more. It’s very good tube phono stage is MM only. Moving up to a used C2300 or C2500 will get you a MC/MM phono stage, but might bust your budget. I think my C220 has balanced ins and outs for everything except the phono stage, which is unbalanced. Also not sure if the C220 is internally balanced or not. Also, I have about a 14 foot run of interconnect to the amp with no issues. My amp is neutral and very clean. The C220 is just a bit on the warm side of neutral.

Buy a BAT. They’re truly balanced design’s, and they have many different preamps available in your price range. Research Balanced Audio Technologies. They’ve been around since the early 90’s and have an excellent reputation with fantastic customer service if you ever have a problem. 

I’ve used BAT preamp’s with nary a problem and each was a joy to listen to. For up to $6k you can acquire a VK51 with the Russian Super Tubes and still save some money. 

I thought I would chime in. I also own a Coda #8 amp and coincidently am also looking at tube preamps. I have no phono so that's not an issue and have no plans of ever buying a turntable again. Either way you could always buy an external phono box. I'm currently using a Holo Audio Serene KTE preamp. I am looking at the Prima Luna EVO 400 preamp as it checks most of the boxes for me. Also was looking at the Audio Research REF6 (Used) but that may be more than what I want to spend. If you find something with excellent synergy, please post about it.

Save yourself money. Sell the Cary and buy the Rouge Audio Pharaoh II Integrated. $5,000.00 buys you an ENGINEERED SS Amp with a Tube Preamp that, according to Stereophile's Herb Reichart's Dec 9, 2022 review;

"Forgive me if I am overworking the Pharaoh's phono stage. I can't help myself. And I just hit major paydirt: As I type these words, I am listening to "33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli" (Op.120) from volume 5 of Artur Schnabel's Beethoven Piano Music (EMI 3LP, HLM 7338), and it is sounding super solid, with just the right tone. I can't imagine Pharaoh II users wishing for a better phono stage."

Herb continues about the Pharaoh's power with, "The extraordinary scale of presentation of the Pharaoh II and Magnepan .7 reminded me of the Maggies powered by LKV's Veros PWR+ class-D amplifier, which I reviewed in September 2020. Both amps played the Maggies with class-A tone and texture. Rogue Audio's Pharaoh II integrated amplifier delivered enough quiet, clear, clean, effortless class-D power to drive the hard-to-drive (under 4 ohm EPDR) GoldenEar BRX and the current-sucking Magnepan .7 panel speakers. It also excavated some of that extra data; class-A atmospherics and barely discernible nano-energies to make me forget it was class-D. But it did more: It showed me the best phono stage I've ever found in an integrated amp. No question, I got more than what I asked for."

Designed to be this good, deliver what you're seeking, and save money? What more could you ask for? BTW, yes I own the Pharaoh II and could not be happier!