Used SS preamp between $1000-$2000 to work with Ay

I was also thinking about getting a Benchmark DAC1USB/DAC1PRE/elCanto DAC3/Transporter to drive direct,
but come to think of the 10k ohm load with the V3, which even my dedicated Tube pre can't handle,
I think I can't get away without a SS preamp.

Current source: Denon DCD3000 (S10 in Asia) use as a CD player and DAC (Toslink from my PC)

Please comment:


Anyone compared K3X and K5XE? K3X seems to be more heavy duty.

Plinius M8 or M16

Passlabs X2.5

Anything with true Balanced out .. may be a Bryston Pre/DAC, not sure.

The 3X has a higher quality attenuator, which is so expensive they had to discontinue the unit, and plus you get a separate power supply. The K5XE is newer technology. I was not overly impressed with the K5XE when I owned one, although it was ok for the money and I was comparing it with more expensive units. One guy at Ayre that I spoke with (not Charles) said he liked the 3X, and if I were going to buy one of those two, that is what I would try this time around. There is one on A'gon for $1,850 now.
I definitely think that it costs way more to build the K3x than the K5Xe. But K3x is old, so I wonder if the "new" technology has made any leap in sound quality. most of the new preamp these days use the digital vol control. Hardcore resistor based attenuator is becoming rare.

out of the preamps I listed above, K3x is the oldest, but I think is the most heavy duty one.

There was a K3X on auction with phono at a lower $ just a week ago. too bad I missed it.