I own a cinema 6 pre and use a sony 999es DVD player so I hope this helps a little. The Cary seems to be a fine value in stereo mode with no up-sampling but the 2xf button softens the sound and lowers the output by about 3db so direct comparisons are difficult. the 999es will equal the Cary's DAC but has more precived low bass and a slightly cleaner soundstage (using cables that cost almost as much as the player). I think your line drive may not be the right preamp for you. The little Belcanto DAC1 sounds great but it can't possibly drive the passive linestage and an amplifier off of it's tiny output stage. All in all, the Cary is a great preamp for the money and the Adcom 850 is the only one I know that sounds as good for the money but it looks like an Adcom (plastic).
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