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 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.


Tons of gain with the MicoZOTL even on low mode. Could never  get past 10:30 with any amps I had. Sounded real good but real tough to just get the right volume. 
Lot of fun tweaking though with different tube and fuse combos,umbilical cords etc. 

Rogue RP 7 was quite a step up though. 

@benzman - not sure which version of the microzotl pre you had, but mine has - 15db and - 30db gain adjustments. Sweet spot for me is the 15db gain setting. With that I can bring the volume up o 50 out of 99 no problem. I sit about 7 ft away from the speakers and listen at about 55 to 65 db.