Decide between ARC Ref 6SE and Aesthetix Calypso Eclipse

Really struggling between these two choices. Running Vandersteen M5-HPA monoblock amps with Kento speakers. I realize the Ref 6SE is $3K more but I’m willing to stretch the budget if it’s worth it. I’ve heard both but not in my system. The Aesthetix seems to be a more modern design and it sounds like the new Eclipse version is quite a step up from the Signature. Any inputs would be appreciated. Listen mostly to jazz, rock and some classical. 

Hopefully this thread is alive as I am in the exact same position with the ARC or Aesthetix question.  I currently have and ARC LS-15 and Rhea Eclipse with Manley Mono's and Maggies.  I'm looking to upgrade my preamp with the 6SE or Calypso Eclipse.  I have no complaints with the current set up but hoping by now that some of the people in this thread have made decisions and can share their experience.


I ended up going with the 6SE and am very happy with the choice.  I have not listened to the Aesthetix so I can't compare.  I did notice Aesthetix introduced a new amp/preamp product at Axpona but I think it's at a lower price point so it may be a new lower cost product line.


The new Aesthetix preamp (though its been available for awhile) is the Pallene.  It's the pre-amplifier that is featured in the Mimas integrated amplifier, and is $6500.  It's also a hybrid design with a tube output stage.