Whats the ultimate goal with your pre amp ?

I have a great pre amp its a Pass labs XP-22. Its a great compliment to the rest of my gear-Pass 250.8-Pass XP-17 phono pre-VPI Prime Signature TT-Auralic Aries 2.1 Streamer- PS Audio Directstream MK2--Harbeth 40.2 Anniversaries.

My question is- At what point is a pre amp overkill ? Example- In terms of performance- How close does a Parasound JC-2 get to a Pass XP-22 ?

In my mind I want the Pre to be uncolored..silent...and have flexibility/with XLR's in and out. Does or should it cost 10K to achieve this ?

The point of this post is to gather opinions on what other audiophile thoughts are .

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions.


+1 on the Benchmark LA4, I just recently got one before the Holidays and it's the best preamp I've used in the last 40 years.

The preamp is overkill when your source components are of lesser quality.

Well the TT is working nice.
But the old CD player, TV, and DAC running into it are all together maybe 1/4 of the price of the preamp.
But I can switch between the 4 sources, and a radio tuner (so 5 sources).

If one only has a DAC or some other single source, then they could remove the preamp if the volume can be controlled reliably.



Roger Sanders “The Preamp” is the most, colorless preamp I’ve ever used, it is the proverbial straightwire with gain I’ve ever purchased. 

Or straight wire with attenuation. 😎


Don’t listen to some of these snobby itchbays. 

prices of individual components don’t mean ickday!


oh no,a 2K speaker pair driven by a 10K monoblocks, it’s too good for the speakers?  Who thinks of hitsay?

 Prices don’t,matter n audio, if the music sounds good, then it sounds good.

regardless I f the cost of gear. 

have the highest level of kismet by odyssey upgrades, driving a pair of mid 90’s BIC venturi V830 towers. Sanders preamp, and 2 low cost spinners, Rotel rdv 1040,,a sherwood 5:cd carousel, pioneer elite dv79avi does get called up from time to time. 


Years ago, I had altec Lansing 510 towers powered by 2 Carvin dcm 2500 pro guitar amps in mono, feeding 2500W rms to each speaker,…the headroom and open airy sound was huge and wide, Acurus acd-11 spinner,  b and k pro10-mc preamp, older Parasound tuner.

sounded great to me. Don’t be so quick to put peoples equipment down, or the owners. Not cool.



I put high priority on the preamp.   It is the heart of a great system.  I had a Zesto Leto,  it transformed my system it is such a great preamp.   I am using my back up preamp while waiting for a DHT preamp I'm having built.   It's a huge step backward in performance going from something like the Leto to my 30 year old SFL 1 .

Lot's of systems where the preamp is the bottleneck and you'll never know unless you try a few different ones.   I was using a CJ Classic 2se , a very good preamp and that Zesto walked all over it.  The difference was profound.