There is no comparison between the 3 and the 3A, they just look alike. Two different animals. Look up the reviews on the 3A.
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I previously owned a Modulus 3 and purchased it from another Agoner who owned both models.
I asked him the same question and he prefered the older 3 modulus. He thought the 3A was not as musical (tube like) even though the 3A offered more detail. My AI preamp had a fresh quad of National 6922 tubes that only lasted about 200 hours. If you get an AI preamp be sure to use the Russian tubes which can take more abuse.
I owned a Modulus 3 for more than 10 years, then took advantage of the "factory upgrade" to get a new Modulus 3a made for me (took a good long time, too.)
The Modulus 3a does all the audiophile virtues better: much more extended highs, deeper bass, much more detail throughout the frequency spectrum. A lot like switching from a moving magnet cartridge to a moving coil.
That said, over time I think the Modulus 3 was more fun to listen to. About 75% of my listening is vinyl, and I really appreciate having a full-function preamp rather than a line stage with a phono amp too.
If I had to do it over again, I probably would never have done the upgrade, even though the 3A is probably better in most measurable ways.
Just my $.02
What's the rest of your kit? The 3a may be leaving money on the table if the rest of the gear doesn't jive, or depending on how you listen you made opt for the 3...
I've owned them all and currently have a 3b (just back from Art) with his lastest gen caps.
But sorry I don't know the details of the upgrade, but with the right gear it's well worth the extra $$$.