Moving on from Parasound P5 Dac or Preamp

I have a parasound P5 driving my new Nad 298, which replaced a hypex nc400 amp that died.

this drives a pair of aperion vs grande towers and an SVS sub.

I chose the P5 as it had a good home theatre bypass a knob to adjust the sub output and a dac / phono stage.

lately I’m starting to think I want a better Dac.

currently it’s fed by a node 2i.

Any suggestions for preamp or Dacs?

I was looking at a benchmark la4 preamp and rme dac 

Suggestions welcome.

looking to spend no more than 5k all in.

Also on a separate note I have a hegel bugle2 phonostage which is really great but I can’t seem to get rid of rf Humm despite being well grounded, is this common?







I’m unclear on your goals and I will share what my goals were and how I solved it - during my upgrade path I explored upgrading my DAC- Moon 280D. 

I replaced it with a Moon 390 - it’s a preamp, streamer/DAC with a phono stage. Great piece and new is above your budget but a used one might be a fit. 

It was an upgrade (at least to me) a McIntosh C2600 and Moon 280D. 

My goals are to increase the soundstage and musicality of my system. Right now it sounds mostly good and occasionally great. I’m aiming for more often than not excellent.


the P5 was useful as it provides high and low pass filters for 2.1 listening, however I don’t enjoy the phono stage or dac much



The dac on the p5 could definitely be improved upon, I found even my oppo 203 dac sounds way more open than my p5 dac, I found that my p5 dac sounded veiled and lacked details.  You may want to see if just adding a better stand alone dac gives you more do the sound you want, rather than swapping two components.

















For separate DACS Have a look at:

Bryston BDA 3

Benchmark Dac 3 over on tmraudio

wyred4sound v2v


The benchmark is fine. It is more of a clean clear sound than expansive soundstage type of DAC. It has noticeably strong bass impact. I would say this is entry level highend… they have a 30 day trial so no risk.

I like bench mark better than Wyred4sound. I have owned both. The bench mark is as good in all aspects and better at others. The volume on it really sucks though in use. Hard to control with a remote (motorized) and I think their pre amp would be needed just for that along.

mu favorite I have heard is the chord Hugo TT. Really great unit but $6k. Maybe used. I feel that it betters the benchmark in all aspects but not by a huge margin but better to my ear. Sounds bigger and less “digital” sheen in the highs.