can do the same thing over at usaudiomart
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@robelvick - Teac UD-301, no remote.
If you are okay with a remote-controlled preamp, here are a couple options, but they are not silver:
Parasound Zpre 2 - $200 used on ebay
Audio-GD C-2 - $450 plus shipping, which is over your budget, but this is likely going to be the best sound quality preamp you can buy in this price range.
@auxinput. MH dac sounds beautiful but does not have Vol control nor the remote but I keep it in my 2ch listening room now The Cambridge Dac has all except for the remote.
@willamj, the TV's smart remote can able to learn other remote to minimal the extra remote but can not adjust its own volume for digital output. I will dig in and play around more. Good point though
Thank you all for some suggestions. I really appreciated but I'd like to stick with the MUST list for now. I already spent (not regret) $350+$350 on those 2 DACs
The Peachtree NovaPre arrived and I'm loving it to death. First, I almost gave it a bad review because after 8 hrs of listening it still sounds muddy, boomy and congested but gladly the problem was from the Samsung TV's sound set up. I turned off TV's "Sound Feed Back" and Voila- bingo. Nice but not perfect until I gave it a nice treat, replaced stock power cord with Harmonic Tech AC-11. And remove VanDenHul RCA with Cardas. This combo just took the Peachtree NovaPre up another level. More clarity, more air on top end and nicely tighting up the mid and bass. To my supprise, Peachtree has Prat and high end sound. I highly recommed.