High end stereo preamps? Worth it?


So we know the higher end preamps don’t include dacs and phono stages.  Highly desirable noise free devices.  I hear wonderful things about these preamps, Luxman, Accuphase, Audio Research, etc.

Are they as good as represented? 


emergingsoul
In my experience, a good preamp took my system to the next level (adding EAR 868L to Pass xa30.8). The vibrancy that it brought to the music the first time I turned it on I won’t soon forget.  I had been running DAC direct but correctly realized something was missing. 
There isn't a preamp that's built into a dac that's even close to a good high-end preamp. I have a SIM audio p8 and I haven't heard any preamp built into a dac that comes close. But then how can you compare the preamp inside the dac to a $15,000 preamp, that's a pretty unfair comparison.
There isn't a preamp that's built into a dac that's even close to a good high-end preamp.
That's because they're far more transparent and dynamic, because there is no preamp, and all the volume controlling is done in the digital domain, just have to watch out for "bit stripping" using it at or above 75%.

Cheers George
In a blind test no preamp can improve upon no preamp.