Upgrading preamp. Best for under $1K

I am planning on upgrading my preamp and was wondering what would be the best preamp for under $1K. Currently have the Rotel RC-995 with a B&K ST2140 amp and Vandersteen 2ci speakers. I like to stay with SS unless their is tube pre in that price range.

Ag insider logo xs@2xhighend64

im familiar with tube gear, and there are plenty of tube preamps for a grand, especially on USAM, and its a quick look thru what they got. theres some good new stuff, too. here are some suggestions:


its 1200 new but under a grand used of course

used VTA SP-14

quicksilver line stage...im not too familiar with it but its pretty damn popular



Line 2CRM Line Preamplifier


tomcat audio 


VTA sp-13


"I really thought that for under $1k today you can only downgrade no matter what you trying to upgrade!" 


@czarivey at a grand, for quiality hifi preamps, theres a lot of options. if you can solder, u got a lot more. if u add used. u have an immense amount of work ahead of you narrowing down your choices. 


It’s my level of irony to the general quality of items being made today :)

Just replaced my near-new 6mo old dishwasher with one found at curbside with trivial rotary switches approximately 20+ years old. The replaced one has just been warranty repaired and put aside for sale so it will be soon OPJ -- other people’s junk -- not mine!

I guarantee that in about 6 months the owners of the new units will dream about  good old days when they had good working dishwasher I found at their curbside.

got my idea -- I’ve just replaced near $1k unit by the free one from curbside -- what an upgrade!!

I’d give the Parasound New Class 200 Pre a try (not the integrated option).

It has tones of flexibility and sounds real good,,, and is within your stated price or less if used (alot of mentioned options are beyond your stated price). 

PS: and the remote is arguably the best, well thought out, full function remote any manufacturer makes.




Thanks for the responses! It seems tubes is the way to go for preamp but will it match well with the B&K amp?

It depends completely on what improvements and sound characteristics you’re looking for.  If you share that info you’ll get much more targeted recommendations here.  The other thing to consider is you want the input impedance of the amp to be  at least 10 times (and preferably much higher) the output impedance of the preamp.  This tends to be more a potential issue with tube preamps than solid state BTW.