I was fortunate to find and purchase a preowned Mola Mola Makua with newly updated DAC card. I already had a DHT preamp with a installed DAC module and also a Lumin X1. I had previously run the X1 through the preamp, but changed to active crossover and amp direct with the Leedh processing option of the X1. Leedh surprised me with the dynamics and great sound quality experience, which I found better to my liking. My DHT preamp did not have a home theater bypass for integration with my HT processor. I employed a passive switch box with XLR inputs/output, which seemed to work well, but was an inelegant solution, but still thought better sound quality. The Makua, for me, proved to be a highly transparent preamp that simplified use of my DACs while providing excellent sound quality. As much as I liked Leedh, I found I preferred using the Makua volume control. The Makua can set of optional inputs to Direct, using the device volume control and performing as a HT bypass. I compared both Direct with Leedh and using preamp volume control without Leedh, and at that time preferred Makua volume control. Admittedly, I have not revisited comparing these at this time. The Makua has ended up being an excellent piece in my system. I still have the X1 and play it as well as ethernet Roon Ready of the Makua, as well as USB and AES/EBU to the Makua DAC module (Tambaqui). The stand alone Tambaqui does have I2S input, while the Makua DAC module does not.
I appreciate the pleasurable sound quality tube preamps can provide. I have had Cary SLP-05, Vinnie Rossi DHT LIO, and Vinnie Rossi DHT L2 Signature preamps in my system. I rolled a variety of tubes, and enjoyed the results. In earlier years, I pursued tube preamps for midrange magic and to mellow bright edge of some of my other equipment at the time. I find the Makua very transparent and not at all bright or edgy. I have found cabling does influence the presentation with the Mola Mola DAC and preamp, and have somewhat tuned what I find right in my music choices using cabling, but did that as well with earlier equipment choices. My choices now, including the Mola Mola and X1 already are in the camp of what sounds right to me, and do not require compensation with other equipment pieces to emphasize more detail for my tubed gear or more warmth to take away perceived irritating brightness and etched detail. This is where I am now in my audio travels, and does not preclude further changes down line. I was far from unhappy with my previous preamp, but was looking for more elegant solution to fit my needs of my system, and the Makua has been superior for me in that regard. If possible, suggest you work with your dealer to explore auditioning the Makua or Mola Mola integrated, if it fits. All the various parts of our audio systems contribute to the perceived sound we get. Best of luck to you on your audio travels.