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.


What tube maintenance are you worried about.  In a preamp like the Rhumba you are looking at a lifespan of five years or more on a single pair of tubes and changing them is from the top and simple.  Another option with the Pass amps is the PS Audio BHK preamp.

Can’t help you with recommending a SS preamp, haven’t used one in many, many years! I can tell you the Backert Rhumba is a great match with my Pass XA-25, and @jackd is right, the tube maintenance is nil for the Backert; it’s easy on it’s pair of 12au7 tubes, and very easy to replace. It also gives you the opp to tune your system based on tube choice for the Backert. 
I have never had tubes in my system. Last year was the first time I went with tubes. The Rhumba runs the tubes gently. So the tube life is pretty good. I believe it is a few years. And replacing tubes is not that difficult. I used to think that tubes have thin glass. That changed when I replaced the Mullards in the Rhumba with a pair of Gold Lions. This is a very musical preamp and I hope you get to try one in your system. If it does not work, you can always return it. Which I doubt you will.

have anyone upgrade from a Rhythm 1.2 to Rhythm 1.3 ? may i ask what are the main difference you heard? Thanks, 
@philipwu, Not sure if it is helpful but I upgraded from the 1.2 to the 1.3 Extreme.