What preamps outshine the Aesthetix Calypso?

I am interested in upgrading my preamp from the Calypso. It is a fine preamp, but I am looking for a preamp that is more dynamic and "involving". Ancillary equipment is the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC/Transport, a VAC Phi 200 power amp, and Sehring 703 floorstanders. The VAC preamps seem a bit too expensive for my tastes. The TRL Dude is intriguing but is simply too heavy for my audio rack. So, I am considering linestages from EAR, Shindo, BAT, and possibly Audio Horizons

I know the Calypso is a fine preamp. Can anyone advise me on what preamps really outshine the Calypso? My budget is $5K or so.
Be worth exploring the upgrade to Calypso Signature if you like what the current one does but want some more. Been hearing great things about it.
$5K will buy you a used 2 chassis Modwright 36.5 LS/PS. I am using this preamp with my perfectwave dac and am very happy with it. Without the benefit of in home audition there is no way of knowing how you will like anything in your system compared to what you currently own. Case in point, I bought a Pass XP-10 based on recommendations in a thread similar to yours and did not like it (resold without a loss).

My strategy for components like this is to draw up a shortlist based on reviews, recommendations or may be something you heard in another system (this shortlist should include the Modwright IMO), then wait for a piece on the list to show up cheap used. Then you audition in house, and resell if you don't like. Works very well with speakers, amps and cables - not so much with digital stuff (too much innovation).
Mcondon, have you done the requisite tube rolling in the Calypso to optimize its performance?

If you have not done this yet, then I strongly suggest you do so before selling it.

I have owned and sold the Calypso twice and I love it and miss it.

If you've already done the tube rolling, then proceed with caution and buy the new preamp before getting rid of the Calypso - just my recommendation.

There are many great preamps, but in the end it comes down to personal preferences and system matching. In my opinion, the preamp is an extremely important part for maximum system performance.
I wouldn't change components until I looked at proper setup first

are you using stock power cords? If so they rob a system of dynamics, bass and sound stage.

are you using vibration/isolation products again the right devices add a lot to the dynamic mix.

are you using good power conditioning?

are you using effective room treatments?

if they answers to the above are mostly no then you should take your $5k and look at getting the performance out of what you have first and then and only then would I look at hardware changes.
I agree with Ckoffend.

I had the stock Calypso and loved it, but sold my seperates to try an integrated. The integrated route left me wanting.... so now I'm back to a tube amp with a Calypso Signature.

If you do try another preamp, keep your Calypso until you are certain that your new preamp meets your expectations.