Amp for Benchmark DAC1 Pre?

Hi i'm a newbie who just purchased a pair of Usher Be 718's and looking for an amp.

I was looking at the Musical Fidelity A5, and then though about getting a DAC. But fellow Audiogoners have recommended the Benchmark DAC1 Pre.

Anyone familiar with the Dac1 Pre? Is it about as good as the MF A5 or a level or two lower?

I'm still trying to decide whether to get the MF A5 and a DAC or the Dac1 Pre with an Amp.

BTW, which imparts more to the sound-- the amp or preamp?

For the AMP:
1. Ushers are hard to drive, need at least 150 watts
2. Benchmark pre has no added effects, such an amp that would add a tube like quality would be very welcome.
3. Something that would give me something similar in sound to the MF A5
4. Budget conscious: preferably no more than $800 here on audiogon
5. Want great musicality, tube like sound, great bang for he buck sound that nearly equals a 7-10K setup.
6. If possible one that may be a little more forgiving to bad recordings (not a first priority, but if possible).

Rest of my system:
will buy the new oppo blu ray player to use as a CD player along with a DAC
cables are "budget audiophile"
intend to do a lot of squeezebox listening (rhapsody, internet radio, pandora)

I have previosly used the Vincent Sp-331 with great results (driving Revel F32's, 86 sensitivity). It is a hybrid so you will get a lot of the benefits from both SS and tube sound. You can find it brand new from Upscale Audio for $999, I think. It has 150 watts that doubles into 300 watts at 4 ohms. There are some favorable reviews out there (Absolute Sound). Good luck
A Musical Fidelity A3CR amp like the one in my system is a fantastic piece and can be had used for under $800. It can drive almost anything it seems.

I almost jumped for the DAC1 pre also, but decided to try a tube DAC and pre-instead.

I would still like to hear a DAC1 or the DAC1 pre or equivalent in my system someday .
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