New to Preamp - Preamp suggestion around 10k

Hello all! I am new to this site, and preamp. Thiss might be niche, but I am using a Stax headphone with its amp, which has a bypass function for external preamp. I am trying to add a slight bit of warmth, plus better dynamics and imaging.


Currently I have found some good ones (and available), from what I've seen on this site, as follows:

Rogue Audio RP-9

Cary SLP-05 (around 11k with the "ultimate upgrade")


I've also seen ARC Ref 6 suggested, but there seems to be a lack of sellers in my place. As for SLP-05, the distributor at my place said there was no demo, even for the standard version......which left me with RP-9 for audition. Would much appreciate your opinions on them, and any alternatives!


Thank you in advance!


Thank you @blisshifi @yoby @ervikingo for your great suggestions! Now I remember PS Audio and Backert are occassionally mentioned on here as well.


Considering I live in Asia region, it seems that Audio Mirror and Aric Audio are out of my reach for audition sadly...I might be able to try out PS Audio and Allnic given that there are distributors here.


As for Backert, even though there's not a demo, it's good that you can return the preamp within 14 days in case not satisfied. I will try to contact them and see if they provide shipping service across half the earth haha.


@ervikingo could you share more about your experience with the L-6500? Would love to have some understanding about it before I get the chance to audition!


Thanks again!!​​

I moved from a Rogue RP-07 to a Cary SLP-05 and it added like to my music.  I hear the RP-09 is an all around better SQ than the 07.   One thing that drew to the Cary was the tube rectified power supply.   It is two larger separate units but if you have the space I might give it a try.  It was an end game unit for me.  Very happy.  I know there has been some negative reviews on support but I have not experienced any issues.  I do know there are many very positive reviews and happy owners.  I’m not sure you can wrong.  

If you do not want warmth and want a perfectly silent background, then check out the Holo Serene and Benchmark LA4. I used the HPA4 (same as LA4) with a warm Meze headphones and it was very good. I have not heard the Serene yet but the LA4 is my fav with 2-channel systems, since you do not hear it.