Preamp Advice


Hi all, this is my first post, so here it goes.

I am looking to upgrade my preamp and need some advice. My current setup:
- Rogue 99 Super Magnum Pre
- Parasound A21 Amp
- Tekton Impact floorstanding speakers
- VN TD-160 Super turntable
- Parks Puffin Phono pre, Lounge LCR tube Phono pre
- Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC

While I like the sound of the Rogue, I would like to move up to something more modern. Something less noisy and has a balance and tone controls, a quality DAC is a plus too. I recently have caught on to Tidal, and the Bifrost is a bit underwhelming (compared to the DAC on my Outlaw RR2150 on my second system). I would also like to have balanced outputs as the A21 does sound better utilizing it’s balanced connectors. Budget wise, I would like to stay under 2k. I am not stuck on tubes only, and am open to SS. I have been looking at the Parasound P7 as it checks all the boxes and has bass management (looking at adding subs), I would have enough left over to get a decent DAC. I’ve also checked out the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC/Pre, and the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+. 

Any suggestions are appreciated.
gguy
P7 should work great with your A21. Synergy...
Assuming you have some sort of budget in mind. Okay. So here's what you do. Take that budget, add to it whatever you think you can get for your amp, and the power cord attached to the amp, and the interconnect running to it, and add all that to your budget. Then you go out and listen to what that amount of money will get you in a good integrated. If its not a helluva lot better than what you can get with a better preamp, then get the better preamp.

But I will be shocked if that is the case.
millercarbon

If that's the case, I would be at 3k all in.  I haven't heard of any integrated amps out there in that range that would be out separates.  I don't have any shops local to me.

Not surprised. If you found even one review where they compared an integrated to the same amount of money in separates (with interconnect and power cord included as they should be) I would be even more shocked. They don't do this because all the money is in selling people more stuff.

When I first tried this I had a McCormack DNA-1 that I loved and had zero interest in replacing, just wanted a better preamp. So a dealer said here try this preamp but why not try this integrated? And the integrated, well honestly it was only a little bit better but it was a whole lot cheaper! Less than a preamp, way less than a preamp plus power cord, plus interconnect, plus Cones. So really not even close. Been like that every case I have seen since.

So you can't go by what you "have heard of" but instead need to go with what you have actually heard for yourself. Which sounds not too easy in your situation. But oh well. Keep in mind. Never know when it might come in handy.
gguy, sounds like you have a great system and I guess I disagree with millercarbon.  If you buy an integrated you are locked into the preamp and amp, without the flexibility of updating one or the other to suit your taste.  I like your A21 and hope someone will chime in on a great preamp for you.  I wish my tube preamp had tone controls, however it is dead quiet and wonder if yours has correctable issues.  I also like having a separate DAC, which in my case is a modded old Ed Meitner design. 
gguy, sounds like you have a great system and I guess I disagree with millercarbon. If you buy an integrated you are locked into the preamp and amp, without the flexibility of updating one or the other to suit your taste. I like your A21 and hope someone will chime in on a great preamp for you. I wish my tube preamp had tone controls, however it is dead quiet and wonder if yours has correctable issues. I also like having a separate DAC, which in my case is a modded old Ed Meitner design.
I spoke with Rogue and have also read other reviews, it is normal for this premp to have noise at idle.  It doesn't increase with volume, so it is not a grounding issue.  Overall, I am just looking to add some more flexibility without sacrificing much sound quality.  I am leaning toward the PS audio due to their trade in program, and the opinions of a few other who use it with and A21.  I can sell the Rogue and use an old clunker to trade-in at almost no cost.
OP: I see you want balance and tone controls. Why tone controls? Less noisy—have you checked the tubes of the Rogue? The review of the piece said it was quiet. 

I have not heard of the preamp that checks all of your boxes. Seems like you want group validation to dump the Rogue to get the Parasound item.
OP: I see you want balance and tone controls. Why tone controls? Less noisy—have you checked the tubes of the Rogue?

I have not heard of the preamp that checks all of your boxes. Seems like you want group validation to dump the Rogue to get the Parasound item.
I have allergy issues where one of my ears is partly plugged throughout the year. While it’s not horrible, being able to slightly adjust the balance from a remote or front panel would be nice and would make a difference. I can do it on the A21 but it’s not fun reaching behind the amp to make adjustments occasionally. I do like having tone controls and making small adjustments depending on the source, I know its blasphemy on here but I don’t really care. Getting the Parks Puffin recently really opened my eyes to this.

I have tried tube rolling the Rogue, and the noise is still constant. I don’t want spend $300 in shipping and bench time for them to tell me nothing is wrong.


Well, the next owner of the Rogue will want it addressed. PS Audio does offer a trade-in program. Good luck with that. 
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