I'm not sure about the Exogal Comet Plus as a preamp, but the SoundStage! review of the Hegel HD30 did specifically try it as a preamp and found that it was better as a DAC/preamp than running it through his $9,500 USD Simaudio Moon Evolution 740P preamp.
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Thanks! I know the review at Soundstage and it's a very impressive one. In the Soulution 711 review (http://www.soundstageultra.com/index.php/equipment-menu/583-soulution-711-stereo-amplifier) Jeff Fritz raves the Comet, which he used directly with the 711 (droping the preamp). I guess I will not go wrong with either and if I'm going to use the Soundstage product of the year award, the conclusion may be that the Hegel is the top pick: it was awarded and the comet was not.
Anyway, I still haven't seen a direct comparison between both ... that's why I'm so curious since I'm in the market for a DAC in this price point :)