Any experience with Thrax as a preamp?

I am considering replacing my beloved VAC Phi Beta preamp. Possible contenders include the Thrax dionycious, Constellation Audio entry level, Jeff Rowland Corus, or upgrading the VAC for an used Renaisance iia. I will have a chance to audition the Thrax, but several of the online reviews have not been kind to is quirky volume pot, and comment on lack of full, robust sound stage and warmth. I know that Thrax is still highly regarded, but have not seen any specific folks on the forums with Thrax who provided insight into its sonic character strenghts, and flaws. I am looking for a pre with a pair of outputs in rca, as I use one set to output into my powered JL Fathom sub, other to amp input. Helpful comments would be welcome, and appreciated.
Happy New Years!
Forget to mention that this will be running into a Hegel H-30, with a RCA input impedance of 10k ohms. I will be using High Fidelity Ultimate IC's. I also need a blend of both balanced, and RCA inputs, and HT bypass. I will also be evaluating the Hegel P-30, the matching pre for the amp. I know its hard when I am undecided on either staying with tubes for the pre, or migrating over to solid state...which is why I am seeking opinions of folks who have had this gear, as I start my audition journey.
I realize this thread is a bit old, but came across while perusing discussions on Thrax Dionysios.  Also very interested, and curious if you ever had the opportunity to audition?  If so, what were your impressions?  


I did audition the Thrax at a local dealer running with matching Thrax amp and Venture was a nice pairing, but in my opinion at that price point there are other combos I liked better. Specifically I liked the dCS Rossini with the Constellation Virgo preamp, loved the dartZeel tubed pre, but ended up purchasing a used Veloce Lithio series II battery powered pre. Still have a sweet spot for VAC as well. Wish I could be more helpful. How are you intending on using a new preamp; what is rest of rig? I like tubed preamps paired with solid state amps...



Hello Bob,
Thanks very much for your response.  You can find our system here:  (  The pics haven't been updated, but the component list is current.  With the recent acquisition of Merrill's Veritas (class D) monoblocks, we're looking for a tube pre to compliment, and that runs balanced.  Very happy with the Zesto, so not particularly interested in an internal phono stage.  Single chassis line stage would be ideal (as you can see, a 2-chassis pre would be difficult to arrange in our current rack situation).  Can you describe some specific aspects of the Dionysos that you did not care for (price point aside)?  We're trying to enhance/expound on the transient speed, clarity, and above all holographic stage/imaging that the Veritas brought, yet keep the presentation rooted in timbral authenticity to the instrumental/vocal sources.  Seems like a tube pre is the way to go, but I'm certain there are ss exceptions.    

wow, outstanding system...well thought out and great synergy. I loved the cables you have, but was not able to afford them. Beautiful room also.

Let us know what preamp you finally place in your rig.


loved the dartZeel tubed pre

What dartZeel TUBED pre are you talking about?? I thought dartZeels are all SS.
Had an opportunity recently to listen to the Thrax Dionysos in our system for a couple wks.  Brought beautiful crystalline clarity in upper frequencies, very fast transient responses throughout.  Nice boost/balance to mid-bass frequencies.  Definitely hearing subtleties that I've not yet heard in reference recordings I've used for yrs. However, don't feel it has particularly great holographic imaging, in say comparison to the Atma-Sphere MP1/MK3.3 that we also auditioned recently, although the Dionysos is certainly quieter w/ blacker backgrounds.  Dionysos also comes across a bit more forward presentation.  Biggest issue I dealt with was attenuation. Volume control is not subtle - in fact 0-1 is a quantum leap, and realistically could not bring it past 3 w/o bringing pictures down from the wall.  Not sure what's up with this, but perhaps others w/ Thrax experience could enlighten me?