Wadia S7i direct to amp

Looking at simplifying my system, wondering if anyone has heard the new Wadia S7i direct into an amp, and if so, how did the pre section fare? My experience w/ an 860x years ago was that the pre wasn't good enough for me to get rid of my pre at the time (a Cary SLP98).
This may help. I recently auditioned a Boulder 865 integrated amp as well as the Boulder 850 monoblocks with my Wadia 381i CD player (not quite as good as the s7i but a great player nevertheless). I preferred by a slight margin the Wadia direct into the monoblocks as opposed to going through the integrated amp, but both were very good. Now the 850 is a better amp than the 865, but not overwhelmingly so. I thought the Wadia direct was purer, more transparent, perhaps lacking a little of the immediacy that the 865 brought to the table with its preamp. I think the new Wadias are just great minus the preamp, but I also think you can't go wrong using the Wadia with a really good, transparent preamp. The differences are just not that great and you'll get great sound both ways.
I have a Wadia S7i at home and play with the Pass XP20 and XA160.5 but I prefer the preamp. Without the preamp I miss some body and dynamics. For me the preamp adds something. But if you want to save money it works finr without a preamp.

If you have your internal switches controlling max output set in such a way that you can listen to a cd at the 100 setting without being unlistenably loud, compare the 100 setting on the volune control to 99. In my system with the 861SE, the 99 setting sounded compressed, flat, mechanical and "broken" by comparison to the 100 setting.i think the processing that takes place to control volume has a big impact on quality. You will not likely realice this unless you can compare it to 100.

I use my 861 into a preamp with it set to 100. While I may negate some of the sonic benefits of direct connection, I suspect that the negatives are not as bad as the negatives associated with using the volume control below 100.

The Wadia's are excellent units and should still be considered seriously even without the use of their digital volume control.

Wadia direct to amp makes an impressive sound. As such, it is fine.

Add a great preamp, and it will make impressive music.

If you are budgeting money, I would probably first get the S7i with GNSC mods, running direct. Get the preamp later.