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.


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

Following up as promised. I am really enjoying the Benchmark LA4, it is quiet, exceedingly neutral, offers great detail and is good for low volume listening. But of course I want more! "Exceedingly neutral" might be the highest compliment for preamplifier purists, but I remain curious about the sound of other preamps. The other preamp I have on my list is the Holo Serene and I would be interested to hear from others that have had this preamp in their stack, and ideally from those that have compared it to the LA4. ( @yyzsantabarbara  🙂)

The Serene is also know to be dead silent and very neutral, but I have seen hints that it might add a little tinge of flavor or musicality. The latter term is hard to define, but one of those things that you know it when your hear or feel it. I am also interested in other options in the solid state space, I am not interested in tubes at this time. Any Schiit Kara owners yet? I am very curious about that one as well.


I tried an LA4 and I didn't keep it long. It wasn't so much as neutral as it was forward and fatiguing. I'm sure someone will chime in with the old adage that it was just showing me the true nature of my system. But a Hattor Audio "The Big" preamp, which is what I currently use, is much more enjoyable. And since it's purely passive, there is nothing to color the sound or "enhance" it. It just sounds better to me. 

So if you like the LA4, you are probably in the majority. It just didn't work for me.



@ozzy62 what was the package that you selected for your Hattor. I have been thinking of getting one of these to play with.