anyone a/b'd a AR LS 3 against a LS 12 preamp??

Hi, am looking to mate AR solid stat with solid state...amp will be the 100.2...I have a LS3 (unbalanced) questions for anyone with experience in these weight matters...anyone heard this amp mated with either the solid state LS 3, or the LS 12...thats one question, second, is it worth getting an LS 3 snet of an balanced, would it significantly improve performance to go into 100.3 balanced, or not really much difference. I have owned the LS 3 years ago and I liked it wuite a bit, so that is good, I just picked up a mint one...but read superb reveiews of the LS 12, I have no interest in tubes, just was wondering if anyone know the sonic signatures and/or differences of these two preamps, mated against a 100.2 (or any amp for that matter) As I recall, I founfd the LS 3 to almost have a warm sound, but with detail as I recall...last question...for anyone who has owned this amp which is supposed to sound a bit like tubes but with bass extension and the amp conservaitively rated enough to successfully drive a pair of totme mani-2's? Cause that is what it will be driving, but I know those speakers are notorious for presenting a rather difficult load for even a good amp, wsnt sure if the 200 watts , 360 into 3 ohms the AR is rated at, if it will be enough to drive the totmes...deosnt really matter cause i bought all the stuff already and am waiting for it, just thought someon might know thanx
AR=Acoustic Research

I assume you mean ARC (Audio Research Corp)
The ARC LS3 is a detailed natural sounding preamp that passes through its line inputs what ever is fed into it. In other words if the CDP is harsh digital sounding then that is exactly the signal the LS3 will send on out its outputs. Garbage in garbage out.... The LS3 does not colour the sound what so ever. I would not call it a warm sounding preamp......
Do they still offer the balanced upgrade? IIRC the balanced version has an extra circuit board that sits on top of the main board and only ads XLR outputs.I think ARC just provided this so the LS3 could hook to ALL of thier products,as they did make some amps that were XLR only. IMO, you would just be better to buy a balanced version.
Maybe you could find an LS2B which (i think) had XLR ins and outs.

I agree with Jea48's assessment (if you use the input labeled "DIRECT"). Using other inputs will somewhat muffle and degrade the sound. With "Direct", the pre is very nuteral and uncolored, that is why I shutter when people talk about 10,000 preamps sounding better- they just like color!! The LS3 is probably the last line stage you will ever need.
The ARC LS3 is a detailed natural sounding preamp that passes through its line inputs what ever is fed into it.
02-24-10: Jea48

neutral not natural, my bad......