The BHK pre is the end goal. In the meantime i’ll try rca versus xlr and consider a lower $$ value pre as a last resort. The hiss is a bit irritating but the sound quality is top notch!
Ok, trying these rca attenuators at -10db:
Substantially less hiss I just need to do some serious listening to check and see if the awesome sound remains😈
OP here, chiming in late. I eventually did buy the BHK pre and have not regretted it in the least. In addition to eliminating any and all noise issues, it just sounds great. Save your pennies.
The other thing I would report is that I had a much better result using the DS straight into the M700’s after I changed my speakers from the KEF LS-50’s to some Alta Audio Rhea’s, which have a slightly softer sound profile The LS-50’s seem to accentuate just those frequencies that make the hiss audible. Maybe your speakers do the same.