What's a contender to an Audio Reference 5 SE?

If you were considering an Audio Reference 5 SE to mate with a Plinius SA-Reference amp, what other preamps might you consider?

The Ref 5se is a truly excellent preamp. At the price it is selling for used right now it would be very hard to beat. At it's retail price it is hard to beat. I own a Ref 5se and it is amazing. I listened to a lot of preamps while thinking about upgrading. I heard the Aesthetix Calypso signature in the same system as the Ref 5se. It was not in the same league. The Pass XP-30 is very nice. I have not had the chance to directly compare the XP-30 to the Ref 5se. But I was very impressed by the Pass system it was in. If I did not own Audio Research gear I would probably own Pass. The D'Agostino Momentum preamp is maybe better, though it is far more expensive. I do love the Captain Nemo styling. I can't think of any preamp I liked as much as the Ref 5se other than the D'Agostino Momentum.
I owned the XP-20 in the past, this one I prefer also.

a client of mine owns a AR Ref 5SE, and we did a shootout
at my house. I was amazed how low the quality was

We used Audioquest Wel Signature XLR 2015 cables, and the
Purist Audio Limited Edition powercables.

We have developed our own roomacoustic system and adapted
it it to a pre amp what is not for sale yet. It
outperformed the 5SE on all parts. The owner could go back
home crying for his mother. We really felt sorry for him.

a new client owns the AR 100SE poweramp, again the same
kind of limitations. We test and compare all the time.
Because we only focus on those products which are the best
for the money. Every brand and tool what is less we never
will sell.

Pass Labs outperforms AR in many parts you judge highend
for. I sold AR for over 6 years of time. When I should
sell it again, it would be time to look for another job.

In our world inferior audio doesn't make sense. For some
it may sound hard. But we use this to protect all our
clients. So they will get the best endresults in sound
quality. The best and most convincing sound always will
win. This is how we compete againt our competitors. We
love the competition a lot. We always want to win. Second
best doesn't count in our world!
A preamp that totally changed the sound of my system to the feel of real music was the Shindo Auriges. This is there entry model and they have a bunch of preamps that our really special
Having glance at previous outpourings I for one am not really that interested Taters, I suspect that he might be a close blood relative to Audiolabyrinth !!!