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!


Luxman.  Easily accessible in Asia for demo.  You can choose between SS or tube.

I am trying to add a slight bit of warmth, plus better dynamics and imaging.


Hmm.. I am thinking like this ..

I am NOT a headphones guy at all for me the soundstage is weird when the singer is IN my head and not the normal/natural in front of me.. Another unnatural thing is how ever you turn your body/head the singer and song is unaffected meaning if some sound is has a source from a point in the space. It should still be coming from the same point in space regardless how I turn my head.

But all that is easily getting used to but for me speakers is my preference.

Saying all that my testing has been only with speakers of old research from Dr Floyd Toole on how our hearing more precisely works. He for example come up with "interaural crosstalk cancelation" and the issues that brings us audiophiles (those that sit in the sweet spot and listen).

That has been since then tried to be solved from his findings by Carver and Polk Audio among others.

Those old attempts were done in old HW realms today we have powerful computing powers..

So a modern and much more effective and accurate system is in the market today.

That WILL improve imaging to a point that can't be matched by ANY speaker cost no object (when they can't cancel out the crosstalk to the other ear, just that simple.) Now I can only talk about speakers when I have not tested with headphones.

But there is also a headphone add-on (that i haven't tried) that is fooling people at shows when the listening to headphones and sitting in front of a pair of speakers they thought that the sound were coming from the speakers itself.. and when they took the headphones of their he'd they realize that the speakers were off! (That is what I am calling soundstage!)


So when/if you have that money to burn then instead of swap out a good component to gain something maybe marginal better and just a little bit different..


Instead ADD this filter to your existing gear and GAIN so much more than you will ever be able to get by swapping gear that is doing the same duty and having diminishing returns working against you.


Look into BACCH4Mac that is their most price worthy gear:

Theoretica was founded by Dr. Edgar Choueiri, a Professor of Applied Physics in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University, Associated Faculty of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, and Director of the University's Engineering Physics Program. He is Chief Scientist at the University's Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Lab, a leading research laboratory in the field of advanced spacecraft propulsion. He is also the Director of Princeton University's 3D Audio and Applied Acoustics (3D3A) Lab, where the BACCH 3D Sound technology, which lies at the heart of many Theoretica products, was initially developed.

This is the most bang for your buck you can get in my opinion. And why nobody else is blurring about this on the net i don't know maybe the new product addition is rather new and bringing the pricing down with use if the Mac, considerably (tenfold).

So this technology that is founded on solid and proved science regarding our hearing and how our brain process it. And more or less all of these types of upgrades is wasteful in comparison.


I have been playing around the Interaural Crosstalk Cancellation (ICC) with speakers and the effects is big. The best analogi i can come up with is :

If you are old enough you remember there were on some amplifiers a "Stereo" button there you could engaging and disengaging stereo or not. It were such success that the stereo is now default and the button is gone! When I go back and forth with engage and disengage the ICC i can't imagine who does NOT want to use it.. And should be the new standard and norm!


Today another "silly" analogy:

Imagine when "stereo" were introduced at the 50-ties. And a audiophile is still sitting and investing cost no object mono system and switching components. And thinking that he could get the same effects that the neighbour basic new stereo system has.

And no he has physical not the preconditions to begin able to create stereo with one speaker regardless of if it is THE best speaker in the whole world.. 😜


And that is what I basically is upset about when I see all the (~>97%) YouTube, forums like this place talking about:

Should I buy X or Y ? or The best Y for under $10000. And so on..

And they ALL just get a FRACTION of the experience for their money by swapping out the same gear!

Maybe the technology with tracking head (.. and ears) and system calibration with frequency sweeps with binaural (your) head calibration is just swishing over peoples heads! 🤔


@op - it always helps to provide as much information as possible.


Which Stax Earspeakers and which energiser are you currently using?