DAC plus Preamp or DAC-Preamp or DAC-Volume Control ?


I recently purchased a 2A3 amplifier. Preamplifier and Speakers have not been chosen.

This will be a ’learning / experiential’ system. My intentions and goals are that this ’JOURNEY’ to a new system be radically different than how I went about putting my current ’primary’ system together.

I will be leaving my front end (computer audio) system the same.

The ’secondary’ system will bifurcate post DAC at the preamp OR with a new DAC/Preamplifier combo component.

The purpose of this thread is to ask for your recommendations and suggestions for:

- Preamplifiers

OR

- DAC + Full Preamplifier // DAC + Volume Control Combo Components

to pair with Scott Sheaffer’s Found Music 2A3 monoblock amplifier. Scott advises that this amp is unfussy with respect to preamp pairings, solid state or tube, or digital volume controls.


Current system (general components): Small Green Computer Server > Sonore Signature Rendu SE > Denafrips Terminator DAC > T+A PA 3100 HV Integrated Amplifier > Tekton Design Double Impact SE Speakers.


Any additional thoughts and advice related to the topic are welcome.

Thank You!
Ag insider logo xs@2xdavid_ten
@david_ten
Your Plan A (Post above) is superior to > Plan B (Input transformer) Both of which are superior to > What I am doing with the cable approach (Keeping Pin 3 'Open/Not connected')?
I've listened all three ways. The transformer has to be pretty good to keep up- it tends to have less bandwidth and detail and this is measurable (at least its bandwidth and distortion is). I prefer to use the signal that is presented by the balanced source- it tends to be more accurate than if you only use one phase as in an adapter. This is probably because the single-ended connection is more susceptible to noise and the like.

I've been running this sort of connection for about 10 years in one of my prototype amps and have modified many amps with this connection since. I first read about it when researching some of the works of George Philbrick, who is often credited (inaccurately, but he was certainly an early pioneer) with building the first opamps, which were vacuum-tube.
Ralph, I will follow through on this. Your guidance is appreciated. Thank you.
Mine just arrived.  I put it in my second system and was stunned at the tonal purity, visceral impact, clarity and soundstage.  I typically listen to tube preamps.  This unit does not sound hardly anything like solid state.  Sounds a bit like a well done contemporary tube rig.  I have owned and listened to north of 15 preamps over the years. I have 4 right now with another tube preamp being built as we speak.  The Truth preamp is top of the heap.