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To refine the question, and take it in a little different direction:
I guess the JC 2 does NOT have an onboard DAC. You'd either plug the CD player in direct or run it to an outboard DAC through a line stage, I suppose. . .
So what would be the pluses and minuses there? In one sense, seems like you're paying more for less with the JC2 versus some other preamps. OTOH, You wouldn't be stuck with an onboard DAC if the technology got better over time? And I understand some of the expense is designing the circuit/signal path, not adding bells and whistles.
I'm asking, but guessing that might be one way to look at it.
And, I'd put this out there.
Some of the Luxman Integrated amps which get pretty good reviews generally, and certainly on this forum, would be within the same price range. Some options would actually be a few thousand less.
It would duplicate a phono stage that I already have, but I could run the JC3 through a line stage.
Anybody had experience going from Luxman to Parasound, or vice versa?
I have had one Luxman component, but it was a lower end CD player.
I liked it.
I understand Luxman has gone through a change of ownership since then. Back then, they were affiliated with Alpine.