AES3 any thoughts

i have 306/200 cdp
2 bel canto 200.2 amps
vandersteen 2ce sig
virtual dynamic nite cables
and interconnects
looking for preamp
AES3 has only one problem: very small gain(2...3db).
But in reality this can be a great advantage over the high gain preamp designs and might kill a giant for a fraction of its price. It is very well engineered preamp. It is very simple and it doesn't have any tape loops and very small number of inputs(2 or 3).

I listened to this preamp with Rogue M120 magnum and Audiable Illusions M3 was no match to it.

You can buy it new for trial in your setup from Speak to John Rutan and he'll arrange with you some trial time(it only needs to break-in arround 30hrs). He's an authorized dealer of many many manufacturers and can give you an expert advice.
The DJH signature version is a big step up, especially with NOS tubes. The stock version doesn't match the quality of your existing gear. Talk to someone at Cary about the 88 or 2002 preamp.
There are new SLP 88s on preamp classifieds here for around $1000-1200. That's half price.
The AES3 is very hard to beat. I disagree with the guy who said it is not up to your equipment. I think that it is a wonderful preamp. I used it with a pair of Cary CAD-805C monoblocks that have 50W output power and never felt that I didn't have enough gain. My issue with them was the number of inputs. I bought an SLP-2002 and love it. I agree with the first guy. Go talk with John Rutan at Audio Connection. He can lend you one to play with. It's hard to give back, especially for $500 or so. Never did hear the DJH version. Would love to. Good luck.
I've been using an AES AE3 for about 9 months now and am very happy with it. Be sure and get some decent NOS tubes. I've ended up eith a few pair of Sylvanias. The stock tubes were just too microphonic. The stock tubes were ok at very low listening levels, but turn it up just a little and ouch. My setup is MF X-ray CD, AE3 pre, Llano 100 S amp, Hales Rev 3's, ICs are Analisis Plus Silver ovals, and speaker cables are Cardas Cross. Buy or borrow some better tubes and get a loaner to try, my bet is that you will keep it. Happy Listening.