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. 



@soix maybe on to something with your speaker distance from front wall--the further from the wall i brought my speakers the more depth was achieved but i'm listening nearfield now and also depends on how big your room is.

like @bgross i run an Aesthetix Calypso Signature and have never felt the need to roll tubes (thankfully , although i chase other rabbits) and i haven't heard anything better although i'm not so sure it's the preamp that creates depth--more speaker, speaker placement and room IMO.  Good luck if you scratch that itch.

FWIW, when I listened to the Vandersteen 3a at Johnny R’s shop they were at least 6’ and maybe more from the front of the speakers to the back wall.  A product that may not only help in moving your speakers but also may improve sound are these gliders from Herbies…

If you haven’t already, try pulling your speakers further out into the room — it’s free and may give you just what you’re looking for. 

@soix I pulled my speakers out about Another foot. Now about 42 inches from the front wall. I haven't had a chance to recalibrate the subwoofers in them yet but will do it this week. My speakers are on 3" blocks of granite on a thick pile carpet. I'm a fan of Herbie's but unfortunately those gliders aren't going to help me much when it comes to moving them. I'll keep everyone posted




If it was me, I wouldn’t bother recalibrating the subs when moving the Quatros further into the room unless you have to.  When you move the speakers another foot or two into the room you’ll know immediately if it’s an improvement or not, and if anything the subs will just enhance further that result.  I wouldn’t overthink or over complicate it.  Just do it and see what happens.  I think you’ll be very pleased with the result.  And, oh yeah, it’s free!

@rmdmoore What are your room dimensions from front to back ?  Mine is 16' and the front of my speakers (not Vandys but i don't think that's relevant) are 72" from the front wall.  I realize you had some issues moving yours with those granite bases but maybe just take the speakers off the bases so you can move them easily with gliders or not and you should get a sense of whether there is improvement or not.  I still think @soix is on the right track but even if not, as he said, it's free!