You echo my sentiments exactly. I love my RP-5.
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Congrats on the preamp glad your enjoying it so much! And just listened to Zu at Cap Audio Fest I really like their sound. And at 101db a slight hiss with your ear to the speaker is pretty darn quiet. I assume your next step is a tube amp or low power SS? Those speakers were really made for it, they were using a pair of First Watt monos to great effect at the show and I am a diehard tube guy. Have fun and happy listening!
I've now made the decision to sell my wonderful Rogue RP-5 (listed here at AG). I'm now looking at either a Benchmark LA4 or PS Audio BHK preamp. I will need balanced connections for a future amp purchase. I was considering hooking a mytek dac as a preamp, however, after much research, I think a dedicated active pre is still what I want.
The LA4 looks interesting from a quietness point of view. The BHK looks interesting from still having tubes at input stage, however, a world class volume control. Plus the tubes in the BHK are really easy to access for tube rolling (that is main reason I am not going to move up to an RP-7).
At this price I'd also consider a used ARC Reference 5SE. Here's a nice one for $5500, which seems like a nice bargain for a unit that retailed for $13k.
Two issues when new at delivery. I had an overly amount of tube hiss. Much more than normal, even with my high gain amp. One channel was worse than others. I switched channels for tubes, never went away. Plus, the LCD would do this "blinking" thing every now and then. I called Rogue, they said just send it in. They returned the amp working perfect (hiss was now normal for my set up). I’m not certain they replaced the tubes or not. They said they replaced some op amps and the LCD display. No issues at all since. When I say built like a tank, I am referring to the "fit and finish" of the actual component, however, not one "electronic" or performance issue since.
I have since decided to go with a BHK preamp. I was looking for a while going RP-7, Direct Dac (Mytek) or Benchmark LA4. I am wanting balanced connections for a future amp purchase. I really like the fact that the BHK has a "standby" mode where you leave the unit on all the time, however, only the solid state side of things stay on when you press the button. The tube section goes to sleep (to preserve tube life). I had a PM from somebody familiar with both the Rogue and the BHK, the BHK is a major upgrade in sound and smoothness.