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.
I havevthe calypso and have owned the 868. Comes down to what you like. I prefered the calypso. Maybe you should take a hard look at the Romulus. It's the dac/cd player. Aesthetix is releasing it with an option pre amp volume control. Same setup as the calypso. The local dealer says it's an amazing piece. The first batch is already sold out. The next run will be available aftervthe first if the year. It will run 7 to 8k but it's a dac and has a high quality transport as well.
Batthatman, I had not heard about this, how very interesting.

I would imagine that thisyis going to be a very large and sizeable piece of equipment. The Calypso is well filled out, quite heavy and a solid piece of gear. I can't imagine trying to cram a CD transport mechanism and the digital components into a box the same size as the Calypso.

Do you know who's transport they are using? Same with the digital conversion technology and implementation?

I felt the Calypso had a great power supply, and knowing Jim, I have to imagine that this product will have separate power supplies for the digital side and the analog side. I wonder what, if any corners will be cut with regards to this and getting everything into a single box?
Ckoffend, a single box DAC/CD player will not have a full blown tube preamp build in. It will be a DAC with (tube based) output stage and simple volume control, usually digital. In the case of the romulus the volume control is "Relay-based switched resistor analog/digital design.". This typically is one (small) board, and will easily fit into the single box.

If you are even considering going the volume controlled DAC route, I suggest you look into the Zodiac Gold + Voltikus. This is a DAC/Preamp (only one analog input) with analog volume control that has been getting some very good press.

I will be getting one myself to do a shootout against my perfectwave DAC + Modwright Preamp. I got intruiged by the DAC + Volume control scenario after (reluctantly) comparing the Perfectwave DAC (digital) volume Control directly into my poweramps, with running it through the Modwrigth. Much to my surprise, the difference were very small, and this got me thinking if I get a better DAC with better (analog) volume I should be able to get better sound than what I currently have, and resale of the modwrigt would pay for the project. A huge plus is the fact that the Zodiac has one analog intput, because this is all I need for my HT bypass.

There are some dealers that will get you a 30 day trial so trying this is a risk free proposition.
Edorr ...not to highjack this thread..but how do you get HT bypass using analog input?

Makes this option interesting to me