Never heard of Sarno before, but looks very cool. Sounds like you need an Alembic! They do come up in your price range. I've seen the Fender TBP-1 also in your range. There was an Alembic F-1x sold for $425 about 5 months ago on here. Brad Sarno gives some great info in that thread, especially about how his tone stack (the fender tone stack) works. The fender tone stack is not really loved around these parts, but I think it's much misunderstood. Brad puts it really well... "Sure it doesn't offer the surgical quasi-parametric corrective type EQ that many modern circuits offer, but for some people, the minimalism of the simple passive tonestack covers plenty of ground. The tonal benefits of that minimalism can be significant, especially when mated with a cabinet that doesn't really need "corrective" EQ." My experience exactly.