Are Preamps necessary?

I love classical music, and I have a simple system: a pair of Klipsch (RF-5) floorstanders, and Yamaha components (CDP, Tuner, and Amp). What I want from my system is to be able to close my eyes and feel like I'm there at the symphony, live.

I want to know if a preamp will help me achieve my goal. When are they necessary, or beneficial?

This question has been kicked around quite a few times recently. I would suggest doing a search on Audiogon for these players: Resolution Audio Opus 21, Wadia 861, or Audio Aero Capitole MKII. Each player has been discussed in the various preamp or no preamp posts. Good luck!
With the Yamaha equipment, you will never be at the symphony.

A lot of thought and reading results in success when building a system. You first need a plan...your plan must include everything you would like to achieve with the end result.

You will also need to include your room this system will be placed in along with any (wife acceptance factor) that may alter your plan.

A financial breakdown from the total that you plan to spend will give a more clear picture and starting point. This may also alter your plan short-term...or even long-term depending on YOU.

Remember, our goals are not all the same. Take advice and opinion for what it is and use it as just another tool among many. I wish the internet had been around when I was building my first systems back in the 60's...use it to your advantage as another tool.

I don't usually ramble on like this, but I see that this is your first post.

JW94055 is right; you will need a volume control somewhere, I would try a passive, in my case once you've tried a passive you will not want an active preamp. The active preamp will always be adding another step of separation from the music, IMHO.
Agreed with Xiekitchen... also with JW94055. You dont need to invest huge ammounts of cash to arrange a nice system, even at the price you paid for your current and respectable Yamaha gear, assuming it is a classical Natural SOund series and not something extravagant from the Far East.

My humble advise is for you to try to sell or locate your current system somewhere else and go for a HiEnd setup, many options are available at this forum, particulary if you are into Classical Music listening, just adding a preamp to your current setup will not bring any additional benefit.

I'm just taking a guess here but if you're able to listen to music right now that Yamaha amp is probably an integrated, in which case you wouldn't need a preamp because you basically already have one. That's just a guess, am I right. All a preamp constitutes, is a volume control, a source selector, and some minor amplification and buffering. An integrated amp is a preamp and an amp combined. I hope that helps and I apologise if you already know this stuff. I'm just guessing due to the fact that you're a new member, have entry level components, and the way your phrased your question.
Preamps provide gain and current drive, both of which are usually necessary with most amps to get the maximum dynamics out of them and ability to control volume adequately. Some DAC's, such as the Benchmark DAC-1 have active volume controls built-in.
With a high quality preamp the sound is fuller with a bigger soundstage. Driving a power amp directly from a CDP gives you a more transparent and detailed sound, but you will sacrifice some bloom and soundstage becomes more shallow. This appears to be a consistent finding to me.
Dazzdax is right on. Even though it may add another component in the chain, the preamp does something to the sound that actually helps it. Don't ask me why, but I've found the same thing.

Have you listened to a system that blew you away? Find one
and then take it from there.