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 :)


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!

TMAC, I also have a Coda 8. Previously had a Don Sachs Model 2 preamp and they mated well but I could never eliminate the tube noise even with help from Don and using balanced cables (even though his xlr connectors were not balanced).

I then purchased an Aric Audio Motherlode 2. This eliminated the tube noise but the soundstage still wasn’t being delivered. It was rather blasé and uninviting no matter the tubes I rolled.

While the Aric was extremely well built, it didn’t make any magic for me.

I sold it at quite a loss and replaced it with an ARC Ref 5SE and whalla!, that was magic. Now I am focused on eking out additional soundstage through cabling. The match between the ARC and the Coda with xlr cables is about as near dead quiet that I have ever experienced. Music comes out of a black background. You can check my system page for me info.

Best of luck in finding the match that delivers the goods. Happy new year.

I had been using a VAC Renaissance II for many years with my Pass Labs X250.5, it was a very pleasing combination.  Recently got the upgrade bug, VAC is one of the few high end manufacturers here in Florida and I really wanted to stick with them but each step up in their lineup is another 10 grand (new).  So I'd read about Backert Labs on these forums.   When a Backert Rhythm 1.3 came on the used market I jumped on it.  I sent it off to Backert to upgrade it with the new circuits from the 1.4.  I also installed some Amperex Bugle Boys.  It has surpassed my expectations.  Bass goes deeper, twangs sound twangier, soundstage is wider, placement of individual instruments is more precise.  I had multiple conversations with Andy of Backert labs as I initially had an annoying and very loud hum when trying to use it in cinema bypass mode.  Finally with Andy's help it was found that I needed to run the pre and my pre/pro from the same outlet and no hum, who knew?   I don't need a phono section so can't advise about that issue.   Both VAC and Backert are great sounding and pair with my solid state, Backert is better value IMHO.