PS Audio S300 amplifier- tube preamplifier recommendation

So I've decided to explore Class D and based on some positive write-ups of the PS Audio S300, I've acquired a trial version. I'm currently using it with a Quad 99 pre preamp and it's currently working pretty well but I want to explore.

I'm hoping to hear experiences from users of this amplifier and a matching preamp. I'm not interested in the dac/pre from PS Audio or the Schiit Freya. Nothing against the Freya  (and Saga), I've just had some experience with this pre and know it's not for me. My preferences are tube but a strong match with a class A pre would also be ok. Only real requirement is a remote control and one that is well implemented. Budget is up to $2k. My source is an Rega CD Apollo-R and Blusound Node streamer with various DACs.

Any input is appreciated.


Have the same amp and I’m also looking at tube preamps. Also have an Orchard Audio Starkrimson that has balanced inputs only. I’m torn between the Freya+ and Supratek Chardonnay. Haven’t heard either. I’m interested in knowing what bothers you about the Schiit? What are you looking for in a remote?

Good luck and thanks,



@aldborab.. nothing bothers me about Freya+, it just doesn't pull me into the music. I think it's something about the mid-range. To be fair, it could be a great match for the S300. I wouldn't know as when I had it, I didn't have the S300 and was rather using the Aegir. Concerning the remote. It's seemed wacky to me...up two clicks sometimes, 1 click others, etc. But I would say it got the job done.

@lmartinez_02170  I am to the point where if the remote isn't great I move on to other products. There are way too many products with perfect remote function. I really should be able to get the volume perfect, not just close. Good luck in your search. The PrimaLuna pre gets universal praise.


“nothing bothers me about Freya+, it just doesn't pull me into the music.” You put your finger on a key attribute of sound quality that is generally missing from budget gear. It is a real key to high end audio. It is really easy to get distracted on other stuff and loose this. 

@bubba12 and @ghdprentice thanks for the notes. Bubba, I was thinking about one of the primaluna pre's. I'm just not sure which one but I'm researching now.

I have posted this on here many times.  I ran a Rogue RP-1 with Mullards and the S300 for years with happiness.  Only reason I sold it was I got a good deal on a QUAD Artera amplifier and wanted to try that.   I just contacted Rogue a couple weeks back about a non function remote and a volume control that was acting up. I sent the RP-1 back and they went through it and turned it around in a matter of days for a tolerable cost and threw in a new remote for free.  I just fired it up today and it sounds as good as ever. 

@jbuhl thanks for the Rogue input. I might check this one out too. I see a few of these for sale on sites right now.

Check out Aric Audio. He makes a TUBE preamp whicH costs `$1700. I own one of his  preamps and amplifiers. Both products I  am very happy with.

@imartinez_2170 ..."I wouldn’t know as when I had it, I didn’t have the S300 and was rather using the Aegir.".


Referring to the type of sound you’ve shared, I’ve read pretty much the same comment by people about running ONE Aegir amp in stereo vs. two Aegir amps in mono. How do you know it was not the sound of the single Aegir amp being used vs. the Schiit Freya preamp results you were hearing. Did you happen to try the Schiit Freya with other amps later on or plan to?

@decooney thanks for the note. I did try the freya with an arcam sa10 (pass through used). It sounded very good too. Like I said, the "freya could be a great match for the s300". Maybe someday but for now I want to explore other.



lmartinez_02170 OP @decooney thanks for the note. I did try the freya with an arcam sa10 (pass through used). It sounded very good too. Like I said, the "freya could be a great match for the s300". Maybe someday but for now I want to explore other.

Sure. I was merely trying to understand if there was something about the sound of the Freya S you did not like in your test. If so, that’s okay too, no worries. Or, if it was for other reasons you did not prefer this preamp. Maybe aesthetic or other non-sound functional reasons. Would like to capture this detail since you did try it with a SA10. Checking for a colleague before he decided to order one or go a different path with a vintage unit. I still kinda think this one might be worth him trying, just for grins. I did see one comment it was "2D" and not "3D", whatever that’s all system dependent anyhow. If it was "flat" or "dull" to you in some way, please share more! that’s okay :) Heck, might even test one myself if there is a compelling reason to.


Was it a Freya with tube or Freya S w/out tube you tried?  

@decooney, I'll share my complete thoughts on the Freya+ in a separate connection with you. I'd like to keep this thread on other preamp options for the PS audio s300.

For all others thanks for your comments. I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on the Rogue RP-1 as suggested by @jbuhl but will also look around a little more. I want at least 1 other option.

The other thing you might consider is , if you go for the Rogue, is getting the serial number from seller and asking rogue if the number has the upgraded front PCB. Early models like mine had the volume control issues and they upgraded the board in later builds.

Also the RP-1 does not have balanced out. The RH-5 does but does not have a phono stage like the RP. RHs are harder to find and more expensive. Sounds like all you need is line in from your DAC so the RH-5 would be an option.

Would be most helpful if you’d share what improvements and sound characteristics you’re looking for. 

@soix. Right now I'm trying to get a baseline for listening and maybe potentially adopting a class D amp in one of my 2 systems. So right now I'm listening to the S300 see if their are any major omissions. With the Quad 99 pre and Dynaudio Emit 30 speakers, the PS audio s300 seems to have 2 omissions for me.

One is that layered instruments and vocals are not always fully audible and flushed out. For example, on artists/music that I know well such as Alison Krauss, you'll completely lose something like a brush drum stick or vocal backgrounds. When I say completely, this is mostly barely audible especially when you know the instrument/vocal is there.

The second issue and it could just be me getting used to Class D is that a lot of familiar songs are less interesting or somewhat dull to what I know they can be. When I'm listening to a song that has no instrument or vocals emission, I do note that it sounds good but also somewhat dull.

Nonetheless, I'm enjoying my time with the s300. Before trying a Rogue preamp, I'm going to try an experiment this weekend with the LTA MZ2 which can function as a preamp.

@jbuhl thanks for the additional notes on the, RP-1 and RH-5. Just yesterday a RH-5 came up on the TMR.

That’s very helpful info.  I was going to suggest the MZ2 but you beat me to it.  I actually bought the MZ2 myself to function as both a preamp and headphone amp, but unfortunately I’ve been away so it’s still in the box.  Best of luck and would love to hear your impressions of the MZ2. 

I used to have an MZ2 then moved on to a Rogue RP1.I like both.I wanted a touch warmer sound and the Rogue has that without sacrificing detail even with the stock JJ tubes.I settled on RCA cleartops though for a bit more roundness. They're both fine pres.

Yet another note: As other peeps on here have said and I concur The IcePower units (S300) sound much better after being on for about 48 hours. 

@lmartinez_02170 what did you think about the LTA MZ2 + S300 combo? I'm curious to hear about your experience as I've been contemplating a similar setup of MZ2/3 + Class D. Cheers!