Preamp vs DAC vs Streamer

I am looking for advice on upgrading the 2.1 portion of my system. My budget is approximately $2,000, but would go 2-3x higher for the right preamp. 

My current system:

Marantz 7015 (using pre out)

LSA Warp 1 amp

KEF R11’s

Rythmic F12SE

Pro-ject 1Xpression carbon classic with Hana ML

Rega Aria 

Bluesound Node (Qobuz)

Schiit Modi Multibit 2

Marantz CD6007 

I am relatively happy with my analog side, but vinyl is my primary listening and further improvement from a quality preamp would be good.

On the digital side, streaming is OK (i use Qobuz), but not as dynamic or clear as vinyl. CD's sound dull and lifeless. The node is connected to my MM2 DAC via USB, CD player to MM2 via Core Power digital coax.

Preamp: Must have subwoofer management, HT bypass & be less than 4.3” tall and 15.5” deep. A quality DAC, don’t need phono stage, don't want ADA conversion for analog.
Subwoofer mgt is key as my amp is a little underpowered for my KEF’s and requiring it to drive the KEF’s full range would be problematic.

Parasound P6 seems to be the only one I can find (at any price) that checks the boxes. Any others, regardless of price?

DAC: Chord Qutest or Schiit YGGDRASIL
Streamer: Open, but quality streamer/DAC combo

i feel like the best next investment is the preamp, but my local shop (Audio Advice) advises against Parasound… new management… going in wrong direction.. warranty service, etc. They have discontinued carrying the brand, and have no preamp solution that meet my requirements. They recommend the Chord Qutest over the Parasound P6 as my next investment.

Thoughts and/or recommendations. Thank you 


If you’re using the preamp section of a mass market AVR then a good stereo preamp should be your first move.  That cheap-ass preamp section in the AVR is killing your sound more than anything else.  You don’t need bass management in the preamp either as there are products from DSpeaker, etc. that can do that very effectively and can therefore greatly expand your stereo preamp options.  The fact that you seem to have an underpowered amp would argue to just get a good stereo integrated amp and solve both pre and power issues with one product.  FWIW.

OP, it does seem that your digital front end might need some help relative to the vinyl.  You have nice power and speakers.  Not too knowledgeable about pre-amp separates but nonetheless, the DAC is prob holding the digital back.  As you seem to prefer vinyl so, I could suggest an R2R DAC like the MHDT  Orchid.   Also has a tube for buffer.  Upgrade it to a decent one (under $50) and in my system with a ProJect and Ortofon Orange its hard to pick the better source. A very natural and vinyl sounding DAC.  Benefit your streaming too.  Many used under $850.  

I would go for a PS Audio Directstream (good deals on the music room) - get one with bridge ii card and sell the bluesound node to fund it.  Buy a higher end streamer later.


Another excellent option is the new Yggy More is Best, don’t choose Less is more as it is quite a dark sounding DAC (only chose it if you have a bright system that needs taming).



My experience with the PS Audio's Bridge II card was negative. I complained to PS Audio about it dropping connections and sounding lousy and they talked me into an Air Lens which was night and day different than the Bridge II card.  I love their DAC and it plays perfectly with the AirLens streamer. 

If the Parasound checks all the boxes, why not listen to IT first. I used to have one of their pre-amps. It had an excellent phono pre-amp section and overall was not dull and lifeless.