DAC / Preamp recommendation for McIntosh MC202


After many years of storage and child rearing I have the sickness again...

My current set up

Pioneer DVD player (bought to watch Disney movies)
Apple TV - used to stream music
FiiO DAC - with a tiny, annoying coax / optical toggle
Cary SLP 30 tube pre amp
McIntosh MC202 amp
home made pure silver interconnects and commodity 8 gauge speaker wire. (to be upgraded to Blue Jean cables probably)
Paradigm Studio 60 v2 (no tweeter dome in 1...child rearing...grrr.)

I listen to mostly jazz, and I like a dash of "tubiness", but would like to simplify and, hopefuly increase the quality of the sound.

The DAC showed a major improvement to my ears as my last addition - greater clarity, more dimension. Then I started listening to CDs of same records I would stream from Amazon Music. Another amazing bump! I started re-listening to my CDs.

While I consider CD players (used as transports) disposable, I would like to buy a piece that can work as a DAC / Preamp.

Some says that McIntosh amps have a softer / tubey sound. I remember my Carvers and Adcoms...sold and sold....

But if paired with a SS front, will I see much of a difference between my current set up? My ultimate goal is to bi-amp my speakers (which will be upgraded once my youngest is past the poking stage)

I am looking at Grace M920 vs Benchmark DAC2 L vs McIntosh D100.... Or should I get an Integrated with a DAC that I can then use to biamp my speakers. If no noticeable difference, I can move the integrated to the living room.

McIntoch 2500 tube pre amp has a DAC, but probably costs $7000 and too new to find used any time soon. Do I need McIntosh tubes driving McIntosh solid state?

Jolida makes a DAC / Preamp with a tube pre section. Other than touch and feel, would I hear the difference between it and the 2500?

Any thoughts, especially backed by experience, would be greatly appreciated.
Seems like you have a very nice system already. I also have the MC202, its a rare and wonderful power amp.
If you're wanting to maintain a 'tube' sound, I don't think you'll get it at all if you run a DAC preamp directly to your power amp. It will be very fast and detailed but likely missing any tube-like warmth. If the C2500 is too pricey, you might consider the SS C48 which has a DAC. The C48 is an excellent built and sounding pre; I don't know if you're open to using tone controls but its been my experience when using the 5 band EQ on the C48, you can dial in pretty much any type of sound you want, from very forward and detailed resolution, to fat and full-bodied warmth.
I have a C48 and its the only piece in my system I'll never sell, and used prices are very reasonable for this full featured preamp.
By the way, how do you pllan to bi-amp?
Hi Alext75,

I too am deciding between the m920 and Mc D100. Have you made your purchase? I'm also considering the NAD M51 also....