Valve pre sounds interesting, myself has not really experienced one. Do they turns hot like the usual class A Valve amps? And more importantly able to do HT Bypass?
A fair few valve pre's get little more than warm at the top plate if in a fully enclosed case .
Small signal valve kit doesn't tend to run nearly as hot as kit that runs beefy Power valves. I have a few bits of small signal valve kit & none of mine runs hot to the touch at the casework. Obviously the valves themselves do run fairly hot, but nothing like the temps that valve power amps reach.
Unfortunately neither of the valve pre's I suggested have H/T bypass.
They're just a couple that I would always consider if spending around £600 & upwards. There are valve pre's that are more fully featured to allow this. I'm sure others could advise here/offer some suggestions.
I have similar requirements, having my AV setup fully integrated into my main 2ch system. My MF A1fbp allows this & sounds excellent. :stereo: Funnily enough at the time I bought it the Valve Pre that wuz in my sights at the time was the latest version of the Icon LA4 I mentioned. At the time I'd been using my MF x-can v8 as a simple valve pre* for around a year & a half. It did sound v good too.
*Although it's lack of inputs meant feeding it from the tape-outs of my Audiolab 8000AV processor & using that as an analogue switchbox.
It was a little mad-cap but did sound v good & even allowed for AV use, albeit with two Vol. knobs to adjust. I did have the convenience of remote switching of inputs, so muting if needed by switching inputs was possible, but I lost remote control of volume.
Could you please include any bits of AV kit you are using/needing to integrate, as this will be a great help re giving you the most appropriate advice.