Since you are a Motu owner I figure it'd be good to ask you. There's an auction going on for KEF LS50 Metas right now that ends in 15 hours. My choice to buy better looking speakers like the Metas vs say Neumann KH80 rests in part on price. That price will go up if I need a pre-amp.Let me start off by saying I have an Ultralite Mk5 and multiple NC252MPs and I love them, so personally I think you have good taste in gear. The Mk5 in particular is an incredible deal and nothing comes close for the price. I also think you are unlikely to have noise issues with most conventional speakers.
I can just use the volume control knob on the dac apparently. The problem is the subs (Rythmic f12) are powered and the speakers are not. If I turn down the volume knob on the dac, then speakers are no longer too loud but the subwoofer will now be too quiet, right? Is there a way on the Motu to get the sub and speakers to the same volume without buying a pre-amp?
edit: Friend looked at the manual and seems it's possible.