Schiit Freya+ vs. high end (e.g., Mcintosh) ?


Hi all, 

I just got an mc275 power amp and need a pre. Don't want to spend a ton so was considering a Mcintosh c220 but its so pricy. Considering the Schiit Freya+ but will I regret it? I know they have a great trial period but I can't really do the same for the c220. Any comments?

I am sure the c220 will be better, but HOW much better is my question, I guess....? Thanks for the thoughts.
opticdraft
As for myself, I’ve got Revel f206s (pretty analytical and neutral) and a listening room that is moderate in size (~14x16). Listen to a lot of LPs on a Rega P3 and have the Schiit Gungnir DAC for Tidal. I currently/previously used a Dared VP-80 integrated tube amp (45 wpc) that still sounds surprisingly very good. I am sure with the right pre, the mc275 will blow it out of the water; well expecting that anyway.

I do notice, using the Gungnir direct into the mc275 (not ideal, I know, just to test), its quite a bit brighter/sharper than I like. This is probably because of the KT88s and obviously no good pre amplification.

Hickamore...yeah the input stage, but I decided to use 4 matched GEs of the same vintage as they’re pretty cheap really. Maybe I got lucky but my original version Freya has never been noisy at all...tried various tubes and settled on NOS GEs...I have horn loaded speakers and you can put your ear right on the horn and no hum or buzz exists (my SEP tube amp is also very quiet). It’s absolutely a high end product, and an open mind can keep you from being influenced by the relatively low cost...I did a shoot out with an ARC tube preamp and a CJ, and all there (well, all 4 people anyway) thought the Freya sounded better (had the GEs in the thing), and two of these friends bought a Freya. By the way, I don’t think tubes take long at all to reveal their qualities...heat ’em up and go. Note that I don't think my Freya sounds "euphonic" or whatever people blame tubes for being, other than what seems to be more revealing of detail and somewhat more musically accurate...again, instantly noted when switching to one of the non tube modes, a thing that you simply can't do with any other preamp I know of. 
@ hickamore

One person claimed that using 300$ Melz 1578 at gain stage and 600$ TS bgrp at buffer stage in Freya+, he got the utmost sound out of it.

My Melz 1578 is staying in Line Magnetic 508, but I may try to duplicate his method.

It is best to rely on your ear after testing different combination yourself.

All I can say is most Nos 6sn7 tube made in 1950’ are pretty good and almost all Vt231ss made in 1940’s are excellent.


But King of 6sn7 is Melz 1578 one notch above all vt 231s including TS bgrp.
Wolf, shkong, thanks for the detailed info, which will certainly inform my rolling experiments. All systems & ears differ, but there are areas of wide consensus so there is a great value in sharing experience in a forum like this. Apologies to OP for the interjection. Didn't want to start yet another new string on this popular product.