DAC as pre amp

This post is just a brief for posterity sake in regards to the the significance of a good pre.  As I have stated in other threads over the last few years , when the subject arise,  I occasionally remove my pre from the chain and run my Wadia 321 as the pre.  I always find my way back to my dedicated pre.  I got some Quad Z-4s awhile back and after a recent post regarding the DAC direct question I decided to try again.  This round the improvement was even more dramatic with the dedicated pre and the Quads. My modest system is good enough for my level of listening sophistication.  but If I ever decided to upgrade a component in the future , the pre would be the unit I would explore.   Another member stated that a good pre will ad a "richness" to the sound.  I think that is exactly what I hear.  


My DAC has at least twice the signal boost of the preamp and I have tried using the DAC to biamp directly to the speakers with acceptable results.

Uh.  What?  You use your DAC to bi-amp speakers directly?  What DAC/amp exactly are you using?

There are exceptions to the rule for example the Excellent T+A 200 dac- preamp 

is a true dedicated pure class A preamp with a discreet output stage and galvanic isolated ,and that’s built into this fabulous dac ,I have heard this running a nice 

Custom SET Tube amp, as well as a Pass labs amp and sounded excellent 

vs several $5-7k preamps that is saying a lot. 

Why would you need a second input ?

if using the dac , -preamp just go straight out to the amp , you should check out 

on back .

I resisted buying a preamp for a long time. 

Me too. My Matrix Element X provides pretty good source-switching and volume control (as well as a very good DAC). However, it does not supply the same signal boost (4.5 vrms, XLR out) as my Benchmark LA4 preamp.  The Element X does have a 10 dB output boost, and my Benchmarlk AHB2 power amp has an input sensitivity switch. Together, these 2 controls help with gain-matching.  For low level listening, here may be a subtle SQ improvement from inserting the LA4 between the DAC and power amp. In my system, for my ears, this alone would not be enough to easily justify the added expense and clutter. But you do get other benefits from it (including an extra set of analog inputs, 2-way 12v trigger, and balance adjustment).