I am curious to know WHY there’s so few pre-amp/DAC combo units are out there? Something with both input selection, AND, volume control? I am finding the need, space, requirement for a pre-amp as unnecessary when you consider, a box for DAC, plus a box for network streaming, plus amp, plus transport, etc…
Why can’t we have one box to do both? Maybe with two PSUs, one feeding the DAC part, the other for volume control and pre-amp analog part?
This is quite common in Home Theatre setups, and I think should be considered for next version of Direct Stream Jr. Get rid of the network bridge that’s problematic, most are using dedicated network streamers, or servers feeding the digital audio to DAC, then focus on high quality pre-amp, DAC! I’d buy one 100%, and I think it’s a unique and very suitable product for Audiophile, HiFi market of today. BHK level would still have separate boxes, but somewhere between Stellar/DS Jr, one could use a combo box.
Streamer --> DAC/Pre-amp --> Amp --> Speaker