Looking for a preamp with XLR connections

Looking for a reference preamp with XLR inputs and outputs. Looking to spend less than 10k, no tubes. Any suggestion? Thought about the schitt Freya+, but audio science review just review it, and the measurements were aweful. 
Thank you for your recommendations. 


I have 4 preamps a MicroZOTL MZ2, Cary SLP 98, Coincident Statement Line Stage Mk1, and a Supratek Sauvignon. The Latter 2 have XLR connections. If you've never heard of Supratek, you should look into them. The Coincident is very good but, uses the 101D tube which has more limited choices and can be expensive. The Supratek is based on the 6sn7 tube which has more choices. There is a Supratek thread on here called "Preamp Deal of the Century" with 78 pages. It is full of praise for the Australian Supratek models. My Supratek is broken (my fault) and is need of me getting off my ass and sent out for repair. I am currently using the Cary SLP-98 but if you could afford it, the Cary SLP-05 would be a "last preamp you'd ever need" purchase. Between the Coincident and Supratek; if you need tone and texture get the Supratek, if you're bag is transparency I'd find a used Coincident Statement. Both units have separate power supplies and are built like a tank. (M1 Abrams of course)



I recommend looking for a used Audio Research, Conrad Johnson or VAC preamps… maybe Cary. These companies produce components at the next level. The sonic rewards are amazing… musical and detailed. These components can amaze you for decades.

The Benchmark LA4 is closest to a “straight wire with gain” that I’ve heard.

No need to spend more if your goal is ultimate transparency and neutrality.

I owned the Freya+ for a time. I tried rolling many NOS tubes in an attempt to hear what all the fuss was about, but alas, it always sounded best in passive mode.

The Freya+ was quite transparent in passive form but the LA4 takes it to another level that I didn’t really think was possible. Remarkably, it doesn’t sound cold or clinical in the process.




Consider an Holo Audio Serene KTE for around $3200. Outstanding measurements to satisfy ASR and extremely neutral. Parts and build quality are top notch! 

Hard to go wrong with a Benchmark LA4 if looking for a silent transparent balanced solid state preamp.