I have had the Calypso for one year, then I went to ARC LS25MKII, big gain on the low notes and soundstage, now I have the REF2 MKII, one of the great preamp ever made
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I have tried more than a few, and preferred the Tom Evans Vibe and Pulse, CAT Ultimate MkII, VTL 5.5, and my current Lamm LL2. I will qualify by saying I used the Calypso with a McCormack DNA500, which is not an ideal amp for the Calypso due to its lowish 10K ohm input impedance which would likely cause a roll-off of the lower bass response because of Calypso's higher output impedance in the low frequencies.
While I still own my Calypso, the preamp I would take over it would be the Ref 3. With the right tubes in the Calypso, I have not found another preamp in the ballpark that I prefer (not having tried them all - obviously), but the one that I have that I would take would be the Ref. 3. Of course it is over twice the price, so I cannot justify this at the moment and am not sure that the additional scratch can really be justified (for me). I still want to hear the Ayre K1xe.
Audio Horizons TP 2.0,even after the first musical passages it was evident that the AH was more musical.There was an extra level of detail,more three dimensional,sensous and textured.Dynamics are faster and richer,timbres deep and more profound.The AH brings an utter sense of poise to to the music and a sense of presence that is seductive.Of course these insights are personal and based solely on comparisons of both pre amps in my system.You may also want to peruse the Audio Horizons thread in this forum for more information.