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


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.

Rogue RP-1 over on USAudiomart now for $1.1K. Highly regarded phono stage in there for entry level tube pre. Then save your coin and put a couple NOS tubes in and you have a huge bang for buck preamp.


Rogue support is also highly regarded.

Again thanks for all the recommendations.

@soix i had the RC-980BX preamp and to my current RC-995, there was a huge difference in sound quality, especially in the bass region. It has a much better, tighter bass with better definition. The mid and highs also improved. I really want an upgrade where the sound in the upper region to be more dynamic and realistic without losing bass detail and definition. As far as impedance mismatch between pre and amp in my system, i am pretty close to ideal.