This is a hard one to call.
Would a 2k DAC + 2K preamp sound better than a 4K DAC with variable volume?
Thanks for the reply. Yes, since 90% of my listening now consists of streaming high res files I have considered going DAC direct to power amp. It seems like there have been mixed results going direct and many have indicated "improved" performance with a high quality preamp inserted. That said, direct would certainly simplify things and I am certainly open to recommendations from folks who have had positive experiences. I realize there are also some DAC-preamp units out there but worry they would not live up to the Gamut's potential.