Best DAC to also use as a preamp


I'm thinking of selling my Cary tube pre and investing the extra money in a higher quality DAC that I could direct connect with my solid state amp. I'd say below $5K new or used. Thanks!
larrybou
The preamp version of the Mytek stereo 192 DSD Dac
Alan
Benchmark Pre1
Used around $900.
That's a risky move. I wouldn't make any changes without having a really good demo for whatever you are looking to buy.
http://www.audiostream.com/content/empirical-audio-overdrive-se-usb-dacpre

steve N.
Empirical Audio
My vote is for the Easter Electic MiniMax DAC that has been fully modified. In the stock form I find it to be enjoyable but others have stated if you swap opamps and roll various tubes you can get improved sonic performance.
The preamp version of the Mytek stereo 192 DSD Dac
Alan
It's not within your budget, but I am loving my Esoteric D-02 used as a
DA/Preamp direct to the Ayre MXR mono amps!
I am leaning towards trying BEnchmark. Bel Canto is another strong contender. I would also have interest in the usual high value Japanese lines for this these days, like Yamaha for example.

I am particularly interested to hear what others might think about this topic and what some of the pricier and more esoteric options out there might bring to the table, Empirical Audio being one example in particular.

I do think for high end digital in particular that integrated preamp/DAC products in particular can offer a lot of quality and value, as well as products that integrate amp and even speakers in some cases, like Dynaudio Xeo, beyond. I think this (quality/value/integration) is the future direction of high end audio for the most part.
The PS Audio PWD, is a good option.
You can also consider the Direct Stream, little over your budget tho..
Benchmark Dac2.
Audioengr,

Larrybou said below $5K new or used.

Plus,I'm sure he'd like to have a remote control.
I happen to have a demo Overdrive SE I'm willing to sell.

I used remote control at Newport froman iPad. All player software has digital volume and you only need about 9dB with an Overdrive to adjust for all tracks.

Steve N.
EAR DAcute 192 is superb as DAC and preamp. Has two tubes that can be rolled for change of sound. A very musical, Non-digital sounding DAC.
"I happen to have a demo Overdrive SE I'm willing to sell."

How convenient.;-)

"I used remote control at Newport froman iPad. All player software has digital volume and you only need about 9dB with an Overdrive to adjust for all tracks."

Maybe he doesn't have an iPad or maybe he does want Wi-Fi
polluting his listening room.

I don't know anyone who would pay $6399. for a DAC/Pre
without a remote.
I would if if sounded as good as the unit in question!
Me too.
Grannyring & Zd542,

I suggest you contact Steve, I'm sure he'll cut you a great deal as soon as he gets done patting himself on the back.;-)
"06-03-14: Kana813
Grannyring & Zd542,

I suggest you contact Steve, I'm sure he'll cut you a great deal as soon as he gets done patting himself on the back.;-)"

I don't see what the big deal is. I think the list price on Steve's unit isn't out of line for what he's giving you. (Not taking into account the whole remote issue). A few years back when I bought my Wadia, one of the things I was pretty happy with, asside from the remote, was how close it sounded to other products that were a lot more money. When I get one of Steve's dac's, even at full price, I expect it to sound quite a bit better than my Wadia; and it costs thousands less. I'm really saving money here. I'll probably get an extra one for my bedroom.
Has anyone tried the new wyred4sound SE's in preamp mode? The Aurelic Vega?
The answer depends on whether you need analog inputs. If not, the PS PWD II is a great sounding unit. As has been noted, it's very musical. Because PS has come out with a new model, they are available cheaply used (including from me, so maybe I'm not objective -- but who is?). The Auralic also sounds great. The Berkeley is $5k and has received great reviews, but I haven't heard it.
AMR DP-777 might be the best fit; also uses tubes. Long
thread on it where member audiofun rates the preamp section
highly.

The Naim DAC-V1, the new NAD M12, and the ATC CDA2 are all
also candidates for demo. Ditto the Resolution Audio
Cantata.