Have you upgraded from a Freya?

I have had a Freya+ for a few years and like it a lot, but still get to thinking what another notch up the ladder might bring. Looking for feedback and impressions from folks who have upgraded from the Freya.  I mainly use the solid state buffered mode, my listening sessions tend to be shorter and I don't turn on the tubes very often. The rest of the chain past the preamp is Coda #8 -> LS50's.


@chenry Agreed the ergonomics are not so great on the Freya. I have "enhanced" the volume knob so that I can see the setting from more than a couple feet away. I tend to have mine on all day and use the buffered mode for that reason. The temperature of the case in tube mode is scary, enough so I would not leave it unattended. For occasional use the tubes do sound good though.

@zlone I have owned the CODA 07x (for 1 year), the Benchmark HPA4+LA4, Schitt Freya+, Topping pre90, and the Holo Serene. I have decided to keep only the LA4 and Serene.

The 07x is warm, fairly detailed, and slightly noisy. In the end that noise was bugging me to no end, so I sold it. I only really heard it on very quiet passages but once I knew it was there it was always on my mind.

The Freya+ was good (especially for the price) but not as good as the 07x and not as detailed as the LA4. So sold that.

Both the Holo and LA4 are 2 of the quietest preamps around (along with the pre90). Being quiet leads to amazing low volume listening. That was the main reason I bought the HPA4 about 8 years ago. I had to listen late at night at low levels as the baby was sleeping. It was great when I added the HPA4, compared to going DAC direct to amp. Direct to amp at low levels tends to be the weakness of digital volume controls in DACs. At low volume the sound is all there with the LA4 and Holo. It is just lower in dB. With other noiser preamps you can lose some of the sound like bass at low volume.

I am using the LA4 with a CODA #16 and I think CODA amps and Benchmark preamps are a perfect match for my tastes. I moved the CODA #16 to my office this morning to keep it safe from visitors (next 4 weeks) and listening to it with the Holo is another pleasure. Just amazing.

My preamp shopping days are done. I think the Holo and LA4 are perfect for what I want in my system.



@yyzsantabarbara Thanks, it sounds like the LA4 is what I am looking for and I will take the next step.

I sold mine. I like the matching pre amps that are made for the amp. The synergy is the best imo.