LTA microZOTL or Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme 1.3?

Hi everyone,

It’s that time..where I got the baaad itch to upgrade. Currently using EAR Yoshino 868PL into Pass Labs XA30.8 amp.

I love the EAR preamp..absolutely nothing wrong with it. Just wondering about the LTA or the Backert Labs preamp and how they are, if anyone has experience with both (long shot, thought I’ll ask)?

Should I somehow let go of the itch and stick with my EAR preamp? Not looking to change my Pass Labs amp.


Thanks in advance.


I agree with @jasonbourne52.  The EAR 868 is well regarded.  The preamps you listed are likely a lateral move. 

No, they’re absolutely not a lateral move.  They’re a “different” move, but whether that’s better or worse depends on what the OP is looking for sonically.  That’s the absolute key. 

+1  @lancelock 


I do prefer the LTA Pre over the Rhumba but the Rhythm crushes them both. The LTA is very good, but if you've got the coin go for the Rhythm.


You can do the two week trial with the Microzotl. I did and found it was not a good match with my power amp.

I don’t have an apples to apples comparison but I was able to borrow the rhumba extreme 1.3 for a week driving schiit aegir monoblocks. I was really impressed by the increased micro dynamics. It also threw a taller and wider stage than my Pass integrated. On the downside, I could not live with the volume control. Just not enough useful range and I was never able to get past 10 o’clock on the dial. 

I went with MicroZOTL L2 Pre. I am keeping it. Never tried Backert but I am sure it won't disappoint either. I did a quick review on MicroZOTL in another thread.