Raysonic CD168 connects directly to Power Amp

I have a Raysonic CD168 that connects directly to Sonic Frontiers Power 2 via XLR. I also have a SF SFL-2 pre-amp. Since the SFL-2 has no remote control, I opt to use the volume control of the CD168. I am not sure if that is a digital or analog volume control. Sonically, the CD player-to-Amp direct connection appears to be more transparent without loss of dynamics.

Anyone uses the Raysonic CD168 or CD228 to direct connect to power amp? What are the sonic differences in comparison with traditional connection via pre-amp?

Also, what's the best XLR cable for Raysonic CD? Thanks!
Only you can tell whether the Raysonic sounds better direct or via your SF
preamp. It should be pretty easy to tell, if my Raysonic 128 (no volume
control) is representative of the breed. Mine sounds distinctly worse used
into a passive preamp than into an active (Aesthetix Calypso in my case). The
"direct" sound is transparent enough but lacks the body,
authority, and musicality I hear through the Calypso. I've not heard the 168.

I'm using 6DJ8 "Bugle Boy" tubes in the outer pair that feeds the XLR outputs
(the inner pair of tubes serves the RCA outputs, at least in the 128). I'm using
Morrow Audio XLRs and find them excellent, but YMMV -- there are plenty of
options out there. Good luck, Dave
I liked my 168 better through a Calypso pre also for basically the reason Dopogue did.
I preferred the tighter sound of the Amperex US 7308 PQ or US 6922 PQ besides the 168 didn't like the higher heater current of the 6DJ8 and became slightly hotter than normal.

Heater current:
Dave and Samhar - Thanks for sharing.

My initial impression with direct connection to the amp was very positive. To confirm my impression, I should switch back to connecting the CD168 via the SFL-2.

I did not care for the original EH 6922. The 6DJ8 Bugle boy is very musical but the dynamic and focus is not as sharp as the Amperex Orange A frame. The next is to get the Amperex 6922 white label to try out.

The 6922 should run cooler than 6DJ8. In comparing the EH6922 with Amperex 6DJ8, they both are luke warm as I touch the aluminum surface. I can't tell much difference.
I have those Amperex A Frames and like the Bugle Boys better, for what THAT'S worth :-)

In fact, I liked the poor pitiful JAN Philips 6922s better in the Raysonic than anything else I had tried until the Bugle Boys.

I've used a Raysonic 128 thru a passive line stage in an integrated amp and thru a couple of different active line stages to the same amp. The latter sounded better to my ears.

FWIW, so far I've used Amperex 7308, EI 6DJ8's (Telefunkin wantabe's), Sovteks, Bugleboys, NOS Tesla's and new JJ's, as well as the stock EH's. NOS Tesla seem to be most synergistic to the rest of my system and combine just the right amount of warmth and clarity accross the bandwidth for me.