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Gary.D.Olson posted a topic in General ForumHobby (short for "The Audiophile Hobby") keeps telling me the stereo system I once considered "great sounding" is actually pathetic and in dire need of upgrades. True or false? HA! Irrelevant, of course. Hobby NEVER lets up on the snobbish whispering. "OKAY, OKAY!" I say. "I'll upgrade already! NOW will you shut up?" Satisfied with himself, Hobby ignores me and comfortably settles in to the "wait-and-see" position. The torment continues. In defense of Hobby (could he exist if we didn't defend him?), my rig has been powered by the same component for a quarter of a century. What's worse is that it's a stereo receiver. ANATHEMA! So I've been searching the various secondary markets for a replacement to the aforementioned unholy component and believe I may have found it, but I have to buy three components to get it. This weekend I'll be replacing my late 1980's TOTL Denon 125wpc Class-A receiver with a vintage Yamaha M-70 200wpc power amplifier bundled with the matching C-70 preamplifier and T-70 tuner - all for a paltry $250.00. (Here's where my question comes in) Should I use the preamp, or should I plug my Schiit Modi DAC directly into the power amp? As the title indicates, I have no turntable and won't be using the bundled tuner, my computer AND the power amplifier can provide volume control, and I never use tone controls or loudness buttons. And yet I can't shake the thought that a good preamp does something more... to stabilize or even improve sound quality. If not, it would seem those who spend multiple thousands on high-end preamps are being duped. Is Hobby that evil?