greetings all from the show me state

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morning all,
finally getting back into enjoying tunes after being away for over 30 years, need a little help finding and selecting my new equip, have sold arc, maggies, koss, and other hi end equip in past. was shocked to find that most of the gear i had at one time is still held in strong regard. due to austerity (not rich) looking to put together 150-250 watt amp and decent pre that i could modify if necessary to power some dq 10s i am planning to eventually find. any ideas or enlightenment would be appreciated.
Bargain buys

The no-smoking in bars has decimated the bar band business here, and probably there too. Lots of bargain PA amps. Peavey CS800X and CS800S in 400,600,and 800 watt versions (first digit) (at 4 ohm) sound way better than the older CS units without suffix. I got mine for $200, needing two $.25 resistors on the mike inputs. Keyboard player on say nice things about the sound of crown and QSC units also. Some Crowns and the Peaveys (models shown) have extensive protections circuits to keep from blowing your speakers up. Look at powered speakers with a horn and 15" woofer also- some of them sound pretty good. I'm very happy with my SP2-XT's, the 98 version, and the later versions sound even better. I took a CD player, a piano CD, and a mini-phone to 1/4 phone cord out with me when i tested the used stuff.
DIY repair

I'm doing DIY repair, which in the current market is a lot cheaper than new parts kits. Look at flea markets (from the bus, don't drive to save money) charity resale shops, and craigslist. For a preamp I found a Herald disco-mixer for $15, and upgraded the op amps to low noise, replaced the filter caps. It is not quite as quiet as the upgraded Dynaco PAS2 preamp (repaired and upgraded with new plastic and electrolytic caps, metal film resistors) but uses a whole lot less power, and the tubes would be $12 apiece for the Dynaco. Dynaco preamp-amp sets needing restoring are going about $400 now on craigslist. There are better deals in used PA equipment.
If you don't need magnetic phono input, use any used band mixer, upgrading the op amps from 4558's to ST33078's or JRC4560's. I use converter jacks from RCA to 1/4" phone plug. Some mixers come with a power amp built in of about 200 watts, and can sometimes be had for $150 with bad slider pots or something. Peavey mixers & amps have online schematics, Beheringer and Numark's don't, is what I know. I repaired the Herald RA88a mixer without a schematic. Of course a CD player will run a power amp like the CS800S without a mixer, and it has volume knobs.
I found a 60 w sony receiver at the charity resale shop for $15, is my winter project to replace electrolytic caps and see if it works on FM without special alignment equipment. I'm now using a mono table radio with new caps for FM. It has better reception than my Dynaco FM3 tube tuner (which needs alignment or something), but stereo would be nice. I won't be using the split supply power Sony output section on speakers, only as a tuner.
If you really want a kit, triodeelectronics is selling imitation dynakit ST70 tube amps for less than $500. The advantage of tubes is 1. they don't burn out your speaker if faulted, without an expensive protection circuit like the CS800S has 2. They take lightning strikes pretty well (dampened by the refrigerator, possibly) with no damage, or only a blown turn off capacitor ($.75) across the power switch. Of course, do a search on Magura's AX150 to see what it is. I don't like unprotected split supply transistor amps because if you make one mistake like grounding a speaker wire , they burn the output transistors and your speakers next before you figure out the problem.
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