hello all, i'm currently using a rotel rsp976 processor with a rmb985 amp for my 2-channel set up with energy cr30 speakers. will a rotel solid state preamp sound better? also considering getting the emotiva usp-1 preamp. or just keep the rsp-976? smooth jazz is what i listen to.
I owned the same processor awhile ago and really like Rotel gear. Unfortunately, the processor is very much the "weak link". A used 1070 Rotel or NAD C162 are both excellent budget pre-amps and would be a big step up. You may also want to consider the Jolida tube pre for about $450..
Change the speakers for sound improvement or your source equipment, switching the pre-amp will yield subtle improvements if any.