Backert Labs Rhumba preamp

I am thinking of going to an active line stage for sometime now. I have a separate thread for that and people have suggested some good choices. The reason for this thread if that, while I have all along said that  don't want tubes in the system, a few have convinced me that I should try tubes in the system, especially with ProAcs.
With that said, I researched a few tube preamps, that have XLR out and the Backert Labs Rhumba is the one that has only 2 tubes, which makes me comfortable to "deal in tubes".

I would like to hear from Backert Labs Rhumba owners who moved from Solid State preamplification to this preamp. What are the differences you heard? Any improvements?

I read a review on the Stevehoffman forum and the user mentioned that there is a "hum" in this preamp. This bothers me and hence I decided to check on this forum, if anyone has experienced this with the Rhumba in their system. One poster on this forum also confirmed the "hiss":

So I was wondering, if there are any users who have recently purchased this preamp and what is their experience with the hum/hiss issue.

BTW, I blame Ralph of Atma-Sphere, Almarg  and my dealer for making me consider tube amps :-) Can't believe I am creating this thread.


Tim de Paravacini uses transformers to provide the two pair of balanced/XLR outputs on his EAR-Yoshino 868L line stage (two pair of unbalanced/RCA outputs as well). Only two 7DJ8 tubes in the pre amp. Tim does lots of work in the pro sector (Pink Floyd’s studio in London, the tube electronics in the recorder and mics Kavi Alexander uses to make his Water Lily recordings, amongst the highest fidelity in the history of recording. Ry Cooder’s favorite label!), and is well aware of and adheres to the standard to which Atmasphere refers, unlike many designers of consumer gear (excluding Ralph, of course ;-).

@bdp24 ,Thank You for letting me know about EAR. I will research a bit and find more information. Yes, who does not know Tim de Paravicino. I do have a few Water Lily SACDs.
as a Backert Labs Rhythm user myself, i can highly recommend their fantastic linestage. i upgraded from Rhumba to Rhythm . From experience, the simpler the design the less problem you encounter from it, and the more easier to solve if any. It also doesn't necessarily mean a balanced connection or a fully balanced design circuit (i.e MP-3) will give you lower noise or have any advantage over single ended design. Fully balance design circuit will also susceptible to hum problems too.
 i'm being a BL user for 2.5 years and quite familiar with their pre. so if you need any advice about Backert Labs pre, feel free to ask .
@philipwu   How would you characterize the sonic difference between the two Backert line stages?