Tube preamp options

My system from the preamp on consists of a rouge rp-7, rogue m180 monoblocks, and vandersteen quatro wood speakers. My main source is a brinkmann Bardo through a Rogers PA-2 phono pre. It all sounds great. But there's that itch, you know? I get tremendous soundstage but not that much depth. Clarity is great, mids are nice, bass is excellent. But it doesn't quite have that in the room sound that I'm looking for. The RP7 sounded too solid state and analytical for me out of the box with the stock JJ tubes so I've done extensive rolling. Been through all sorts of NOS tubes and landed on amperex as they seem to have the best balance of warmth and clarity. My thought is, maybe I can find a pre that has those attributes out of the gate without all the rolling. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of being able to tailor the sound with trying different tubes but I feel like maybe there's a brand out there who's house sound I like better. I haven't listened to anything more yet but brands that are on the list to check out are Backert labs, maybe a used ARC Ref 6, VTL, VAC. There are a million little boutique brands tho and I'm asking what people have heard in the 10k price range, new or used, that might be a good fit for me and why. 



There is an American brand called Audible Illusions their pre amp is the best pre amp i ever listened after concert fidelity pre amp.

my vote would be for the VTL 6.5. Fully differential and you will get dynamics and imaging like you have not heard before. They are bit pricy new but you can pick up one used for a pretty reasonable sum. 

If that "golden tube glow" is what you are after, the Conrad Johnson tube amps from the '90's are probably your most reliable source.  Similar "softer" tube preamps (and very dimensional) are the Audible Illusions Modulus 3a and 3b preamps (with optional phono stage).. These of course you'd have to buy used, but if you can get one in good shape and maintained (used, not stored, or perhaps carefully refreshed) they will give you what you want.

@harrylavo I've read a bit about audible illusions but why would I have to buy them used? Do are they no longer in production? 

I recently bought a new Bel Canto SEP2(upgraded to SEP1 parts) built by Ace Tomato Audio. It’s a strange arrangement in which Ace builds these older Bel Canto models under license from BC. They are built of all new/unused parts w/NOS tubes and Hovland caps. Ace provides exceptional services along with test measurements of the individual unit. What prompted me to take a gamble on this pre was my previous experience with Bel Canto’s PRe5 solid-state preamp.

Anyhow, the SEP2/SEP1 is without question the best tube preamp I have owned, and I’ve yet to even experiment with tube rolling. It far exceeds the sound I was getting from Van Alstine Fet Valve, the Schiit Freya+ (with countless tube makes), and the Allnic L-1500. It has the dynamics and bass extension of the Allnic, the transparency of the Freya, and the lucid warm midrange of the Fet Valve. It is the only tube preamp I’ve yet heard that contends for permanent residence in my system when compared to ultra transparent SS units like the Benchmark LA4 or Topping Pre90.

FWIW, all the Rogue gear I’ve tried has been mediocre or had one or more glaring weaknesses. Actually, the best Rogue product I’ve tried was the Cronus Magnum II, despite its high noise output. I don’t really know of any seasoned audiophiles who have stuck with the brand over the long haul, unlike with Cary, Jadis, AN, ARC or VTL.