Don't get me wrong, I love my Grant Fidelity W30 tube integrated amp. It has a tubed phono section, 24/192 DAC section, multiple analog inputs, headphone section, pre-in/out, volume control secondary output, remote control, and can run EL34, 6L6, or KT88 as output tubes. I currently have it being fed by my Squeezebox Touch through digital coax, Blu-ray player through Toslink, TV through analog in, and the W30 is powering the mid/high horns on my 3-way corner horns, while it's running out to a SS amp that is powering the woofers. Again, don't get me wrong as it's a great sounding set-up, but it does limit my flexibility a little in trying different amps. Even through the W30 does have an exterior in/out loop which means the unit can be used as a preamp, the output tubes are always on if the unit is on, thus you are reducing the life on your output tubes as well as needing a load on the amp to save the output transformers. It sound great as a preamp and I've used it many times for the role, but it is a hassle.
Ideally, I would be keeping my bi-amp set-up with tubes on the horns and SS on the woofers (thank you onebadchad as I'll be trying the EL84 amp in this roll), so I'm thinking it would benefit me to invest in a preamp with at least two outputs to continue my amplifier set-up, but the preamp would also need a 24/96 DAC section as I do not prefer the DAC in the Squeezebox Touch. I think I would also prefer a SS preamp that I can leave on all the time, although there are a few tubed units out there with long life design which may be an option; remote control would be a must. Can anyone recommend a good, but probably not over $2K (new or used) preamp with these features? I've seen tons of great preamp, but very few with DAC sections. DACs with volume control could also be an option, but I don't think most of the are designed to be used with the volume control (AKA sound quality degradation).
What can you suggest? I think a solid preamp with DAC section would allow me to swap amps in and out without changing the overall functionality and interface of the system; AKA WAUF.