AR-LS2b PH3 vs, Audible Illusions M3a

Would like to solicit opinions on which preamp would work better with Audio Research D400 solid state amplifier.
- Audio Research LS2b series 2 with PH3 phono stage? or
- Audible Illusions M3a?

Or any other suggestions? I'm open to suggestions up to around $2500 to $3000 in cost.

I play vinyl quite a bit and CD's as well.
I have owned the Audible Illusions M3A (w/ high output gold phono board) for about one year. It is mated with Audio Research CL-120s (tube hybrid mono amps). The Audible Illusions balances the very, very slightly white character of these amplifiers making the match overall very nuetral. The phono section (I have an Oracle Delphi MkV/ Graham 2.0 arm) is simply outstanding.
I find the dual volume controls to be a pain in the neck. There are detents so that you can match the volume but I find that when playing cds I need to be in between 2 of the detents- one is too loud and the other is to quiet. I have been told that this can be adjusted at the factory but I really don't want to give the preamp up to send it back to California. Other than that nitpick, I have been very happy with it. IMHO, a lot of preamp for the money.
I demoed a 3a,and returned it the next day because of the coarse volume detents. It was either too loud or too quiet. The one I demoed had telefunken NOS tubes in it. It was quite a bit noisier than my adcom passive gfp-750. I didn't own a record player at the time. I preferred the gfp for both sonics, and it's remote. The NOS tubes were probably the source of the noise.

I currently own the ph-3 and I alternate it with a ref 1 preamp and my pass labs aleph P preamp. It has a beautiful 'euphonic sound' and gorgeous midrange. It's my favorite of the 3-4 phono stages I've heard. It has a lot more life than some excellent solid state phono stages I've heard. I think with vinyl you almost want to have tubes in your phono or preamp. It seems to take the edge off of the surface noise on some records.
I have used the ARC LS2b MKII and the ARC PH2 with an Oracle Delphi MKV SE (granite/aluminium base with turbo supply)
This analog front end makes beautiful music. You can improve the LS2B markedly by using the 6H23 (NOS Sovteck 6922) from Upscale Audio. The PH3 is even sweeter than the PH2.