Modern DAC into Vintage Preamp

Greetings and Happy Holidays!

My new to me Gustard R26 will be arriving this Thursday. Needless to say, I am excited about this upgrade from a Schiit Modi 3.

UTurn Orbit Turntable
Marantz CD6006 CD Player (Transport Only)
McIntosh C27 Preamplifier
Odyssey Khartago Amplifier
Kef 104/2 Speakers

Curious as to what others think: Will I be losing a lot of the magic of the new DAC by pushing it through a 1970’s McIntosh Pre? The Gustard has a preamp function so I could bypass the Mac, but then I would have to physically switch cables when moving from vinyl to digital or vice versa. Any thoughts or experience with systems that have a modern, albeit R2R DAC, that runs into a vintage preamp or receiver?


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Not at all if the Preamp had been serviced correctly. I’m running a 23 year old (not quite Vintage yet) BAT VK50-SE from the PS Audio DirectStream Sr. DAC, Stellar Phono Preamp, my STAX Hybrid Headphone Amps, and the front L & R outputs of my Onyko A/V Preamp.

Out from BAT my into a pair of Orchard Audio Ultra Amplifier modules.


Agreed. I used to run a DS Jr. into a Bel Canto integrated from the early 2000s. Not exactly antique, but point is I don’t think you don’t have to match vintage to achieve a great sound.


Just as the others have said, keep using your vintage preamp. My Conrad Johnson PV10AL tube preamp is now 24 years old, and according to CJ’s website is a vintage product, lol. I have a new player with a 32 bit DAC that decodes DSD256 feeding the old preamp that feeds the newish M1200 monoblocks that feed relatively new speakers, and couldn’t be happier (unless you have read about my interest in the FR20) :wink:

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I used to run my first cd player into the aux input of my former Fisher 800c mid
60’s all tube receiver with really wonderful results…and no mods fir the cd player
needed at all!!

As others have posted in a word go for it!!! Enjoy.

Best wishes


Most of the replies here would indicate that I would still retain most of the benefit from the DAC while retaining the convenience of the preamps multiple input and switching features. Of course I will test this for myself when the new piece arrives.

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