Replacement for Benchmark DAC Preamp

Hello. I just acquired both a McIntosh CD player and Benchmark DAC with preamp function. I am extremely impressed with both pieces of equipment, though the McIntosh's internal DAC edges out that of the Benchmark. So I am using the Benchmark's preamp function to control volume, with a great old McIntosh MC2105 providing amplification. This combo sounds great.

So here is my question. The Benchmark is a waste if being used just to control volume, obviously, because the DAC is not being used. Can someone recommend a solid state preamp that will provide functionality and sound quality similar to the Benchmark preamp, or better? I am also thinking of selling the Benchmark and the McIntosh amplifier and buying a modern McIntosh integrated unit, which should be an improvement over the fabulous but dated MC2105. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Yes....Try a Lightspeed attenuator! Very reasonable price, and sonically transparent. One of the best sounding passive attenuators you will find.
in addition to the very good lightspeed attenuator, i'd also suggest you look into the placette rvc. call the company to speak with the designer about the other components in your system - he'll give you an honest opinion on suitability.

i can't speak for the lightspeed, but i have the placette in my system and am VERY impressed with it.
The Placette has the added benefit of remote control, which the Lightspeed does not offer.
Make sure that when comparing the DAC in the Mac with the DAC in the Benchmark that levels are matched...and that you use the 0 dB jumper setting in the Benchmark and a good digital cable of sufficient length.
I just got my light speed attenuator two days ago and I absolutely love it. A very, very nice pre amp and for $500, it's a no brainer. I was curious if I'd be disappointed about not having a remote but it hasn't been that big of a deal. I think if it would work in your system, you'd be impressed :-)