I was reading some forums where people record music and was seeing posts saying that audio recorders never have as good preamps in them than an outbound preamp you can add like the Grace Design M101.
Only for recording dialogue is this the case? So for example if I am using a Schoeps 641 with Sound Devices 702, how will adding the Grace Design m101 change the sound? If the Grace Design is a better preamp and takes the place of the SD 702 preamp, could you just use any very small recorder with the right connections to connect to the Grace Design m101?
It is true that most pro-sumer recorders and camcorders have mic preamps which are not notable for their good performance. And outboard mic preamps and/or mixers are the popular remedy.
However there are some products like the premium Sound Devices gear which have mic preamps of legendary performance. They cannot be "improved" by using an external mic preamp. Indeed, the Sound Devices mic preamps are often used as the outboard mic preamp to improve the performance of recorders of modest quality.
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.