EMM DCC2 vs Hi End Preamps

I own the EMM CDSD/6e rig and a couple of nice preamps such as the HP100 and VTL7.5. Lately I have been wondering if changing the DAC to the DCC2 would allow me to maybe upgrade the EMM gear sound and importantly get rid of the many boxes in my system by using it as a pre-amp.

Does it comapre to the VTL7.5 and similar hi end preamps? Note that this comes from a tube enthusiast with no solid state pre or amp.

Many thanks.
I think the pre section of the DCC2 compares VERY favorably to most high-end preamps out there. I've heard it against a bunch, including VTL, Hovland, Krell, and several others. That said, I had a chance to compare it against the upcoming DarTZeel preamp out at CES, and, in that case, it was no contest. The DartZeel was clearly the better preamp. But you're talking about an $18,000+ preamp versus a ~$10,000 combo DAC/pre. Against any other preamp, I'd personally take the DCC2; it's that good. Against, the Dart, though, it hits a brick wall. Guess that's why I'm buying the Dart. :)
I have listened extensively to CDSD/DCC2 combo. IMO the DCC2 lacks body compared to the latest dCS Elgar Plus / Verdi La Scala combo, and using the inbuild preamp only makes things worse. I greately prefered a Nagra PL-L tube preamp to DCC2 preamp.

I would go with a HQ preamp by all means.
In my system, I have consistently preferred the sound of my Audionote tubed preamp to the preamp of the DCC2, although the DCC2 is excellent. The soundstage seems to flatten and seems very slightly brighter with the DCC2. Again as someone else has mentioned, it is not a completely fair comparison since the Audionote preamp costs considerably more. I think that the EMMLAB CDSD/ DCC2 sound remarkable.
I'm using the Messenger preamp. A tube preamp is essential to put flesh on the notes. I felt the DCC2 preamp lacks body, but it is neutral, quiet, and smooth. Nothing to sneeze at.
I should be comparing the DCC2 versus the VAC Phi 2.0 later this week (if my Phi 2.0 ever ships).