ARC PH 3 SE vs PH 7

I recently found my way back to analog thanks to some of you here. I have resurected my limited LP collection and am purchasing more new and used LP's as I go. I started out with a Bellari 130, then moved to a ARC PH 3 SE. The difference is night and day. I have a new Clearaudio Emotion TT with a Maestro cart. I'm already looking to possibly upgrade my phono stage preamp, but to what? Love the sound of my PH 3. How does it compare to the PH 7? Or - any other recommendations?
Hi Handymann,
My experiences. I was a longtime owner of an ARC PH 3 SE and enjoyed it very much. At one point rather than upgrade to another phono stage I chose to have it upgraded and modified by the Great Northern Sound Company (a service they no longer offer)and outfitted it with NOS tubes. This decision was partially made by limited audition possibilities of phono stages and the fact that I liked the sound I was hearing. The results were what I hoped for. This then lasted me for almost 9 years. When the PH 5 came out I borrowed it for an audition as a possibility and I just did not prefer over my PH 3. However I did borrow the PH 7 on three different occasion from my dealer when I was considering upgrading my phone stage again and each time I borrowed it, I always preffered it over mine. I felt that it was a definite step up and bettered my phono stage. Take this with a grain of salt as these were my impressions in my system. Only an audition will let you know if it works for you. Just wanted to let you know that if you do like the PH 3 SE and are considering upgrading at some point then the PH 7 is worth an audition in my opinion.
Would agree with Jimf.
If you can find a used Audio Research PH-7. It may take awhile here, as they come up only every few months at best. You would need to watch the ads every day, like several quick peeks and be ready to buy instantly.
Wish you luck.
(I own an ARC PH-2 an underrated gem if used with great power conditioning, and an ARC Sp-15, with phono. My first phono is a Bryston BP 1.5)
Without knowing the rest of your system, my answer to your question, there is no comparison between the ARC PH-3se and the PH-7. The PH-7 is in another league.
The price of the PH-3se $2500 the price of the PH-7 $6000 that alone should tell you something!
I too have had the PH-3se. It is a good phono preamp, I replaced mine with the PH-5 which is better but not by a whole lot. The one thing that makes it better is that you can change cartridge load settings with the push of a button whereas with the PH-3se you have to go inside an change the resistors to switch load settings which can be a hassle particularly if you are not good with a sodering gun.
I would have the PH-7 right now if I had the bucks (and will at some point) it is considerbly better than the PH-5.
If you can afford the PH-7 it is a no brainer if not I would go with the PH-5 but as has already been mentioned, listening for yourself is always the best policy.
Thanks for your replies-the are unanimous. I don't have the bucks to upgrade at this time, but now know what to aspire to.