I demo'ed the Rogue RP1 and thought it was just ok. Nothing offensive, just not great. The Quicksilver line stage that I demoed at the same time was more to my liking. I have no experience with the RP 5.
I owned the Anthem STR integrated and same thing, it was just ok. To my ears it sounded kinda of slow and bloated.
I preferred the Belles Aria integrated to either of these choices.
I have no experience with any Benchmark gear.
Well you picked three distinct choices. I think the answer will depend on your personal preferences for sound not that of others.
If uncolored, technically detailed and accurate is your thing, then BEnchmark no doubt.
If a touch of tube flavor is called for, then Rogue. What power amp? For most tube pre-amps (higher output impedance) you want a power amp with at least 4-6 kohm input impedance. I’d definitely avoid a tube pre-amp if amp is <= 1kohm input impedance, which is not uncommon. Chances are distortion will be higher, bass flabby, and detail overall obscured in that case.
Other wise Anthem will be somewhere in the middle, probably closer to the Benchmark based on my recollection.
All 3 are very good.
I owned a RP-5 for almost two years. I replaced the JJ tubes with NOS Mullard and was extremely happy. It was low noise, worked perfectly. I did feel the remote was quite cheesy, but for $3500.00, it was perfect for me. The only reason I sold it was because I decided to go all McIntosh.
The rogue would be the best bet and it is a very neutral tube unit that will work on many pairings also it has a tube phono stage built in and it also allows you to tube roll to fine tune the sound to your system using nos vintage tubes which is the way to go too many positives to ignore.
I have the Benchmark HPA4 which is the LA4 plus a headphone amp. Very uncolored. Very quiet. Excellent specs. This is a reference preamp for some reviewers. I like it a lot. It would be good to know what amp(s) you will be pairing with the preamp.
Resell value = definitely Anthem
Bells and whistles = Anthem
Room correction = Anthem
Everything else? It's a toss up. No one can tell you what sounds better because there are 1000 other factors in each of their systems. They're all excellent products. If someone says one sounds "better" or more natural, that's only their opinion on their system. And the truth is, probably not a single person here has owned two of these in the same system; especially all three.
I know you can't go wrong with the Anthem which is why I own it... But no, I have not compared it to the other two.. Mainly because I change speakers so often.
I've been using the Anthem STR Preamp for a couple of years now. If there's any chance you will want to integrate subs, it does that exceptionally well. The room correction also helps smooth things out, either bass-only or full-range. This product has the most transparent DSP I have used in over 15 yrs of using it. I would rate it on par with the Weiss EQ1 Mk2 mastering equalizer. It is noticeably more transparent than the DSP in the Classé CP-800, my former main preamp. When I use the tone controls, for example, I can't detect *any* side effects.
The outstanding aspect of the Anthem is its DSP features, so if you are going to have a mainly analog system, it might not be the one for you (though you still might enjoy it). The model is in short supply right now, probably because of the AKM fire last October.
I haven't used the others, so can't comment on them.
True the Anthem STR has many modern features to differentiate it in addition to inherent good sound that some will find useful.
I have tested all of these all the way to the RP9. I love the sound and the power. I heard the RH5 is balanced and around the same price plus you get the headphone amp. I was interested due to the RP7 and RP9 are fully balanced. One issue I had is the home theater pass through loses 10db due to the tubes get shut off. Maybe they fixed this. The phono stage was nice and smooth in the RP5 which was a plus for me. It made my $300 TT sound like it was $1000. I am going with Ayre KX-5 preamp due to it is detailed with a warm sound, fully balanced, and the home theater pass through works great. It is twice as much as an Rogue RP-5. So it should be awesome. I also tried the Ayre KX-R preamp. By far the best you will hear if you get the right amps. Like the matching MX-R mono blocks. Too rich for my blood, but still the best of the best I have heard. If you are in the Chicagoland area and want to try these brands for your self. Ayre does have integrated amps that start at around $6k but this is my end game setup:https://holmaudio.com/
they will let you demo before you buy except for TT and insanely heavy speakers. If you don’t need the home theater pass through Rogue is awesome!
Rogue Audio RP 5.
Heard it extensively, owned several Rogue products. very open, smooth unfatiguing sound. Pair it with a nice solid state amp.
It is the only one on your list I could be happy with.
Following up on Stereo5's comment, definitely replace the stock JJ tubes which are okay, with NOS if you can. I did the same thing with my Sphinx V3 (NOS Mullards from Andy at Vintage Tubes), and the improvements were not subtle. It makes a real difference in the performance and musicality!
My story is very similar to stereo5. I have not heard the other two choices, but the Rogue RP5 was my main preamplifier for a couple of years. I have gone from all Rogue to all Mcintosh in that system. I am not sure that it is any better, but it is different. Originally I had the RP 5 feeding the Atlas Magnum KT 120 tube amplifier. I transitioned to the RP 7/Stereo 100 combination. Then to my current McIntosh C 2300/275 Mk VI System. Sonically, the RP 5/atlas magnum gave me everything that I needed. I liked it better than the RP 7/Stereo 100 combination. I found it to be more dynamic and full sounding than the more expensive Rogue pairing. I also used the RP 5 with several other amplifiers during the time that I had it and thought it was a very good preamplifier!
+1 on the RP-1 and Mullards from Andy. It's what I run and been very happy with the setup. I originally had the PS Audio Stellar 300 as the amp (tube class D combo). Got a good deal on a Quad Artera A/B and swapped to that just to try. Quad/RP-1 might be a little warmer for the most critical listener but the S-300 was a good combo as well, especially at low to moderate listening levels.
The RP-1 has very low comparitive gain- (7db)
The RP-5 has 10db.
My personal choice was the Rogue RH-5 headphone amp line stage.
Phono stage optional but XLR in and out and the gain is selectable,
3, 12 or 16 which makes it match with more power amps.