Audio Research LS26 vs. LS17

I really want to buy one but money is an issue. I can wait a few more months and save enough to buy the LS26 but I can do the LS17 soon. What major differences will I hear or functions will I lose/gain between the two. Both dealers in my area only have the Ref3. I love the sound of it but 10K is way out of reach for me. Anyone who has had both or heard both, I could use your input here. Thanks.
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I had the LS25MKII, and can say the LS26 is in another class altogether. It`s a fact the LS26 beats the Ref2. You will be much closer to the Ref3. The LS26 IS NOT an upgraded LS25, the LS25 cannot be converted to an LS26, no parts are interchangeble. I use a PH7 Phono with my LS26 and am VERY satisfied with that combination.
I am not familiar with the LS17. If money is an issue, I am about to list my LS2B MKII, which I purchased new.
I auditioned both before making the leap into ARC gear. Spend the extra bucks and go for the LS-26 as it was easily worth the additional expense, at least IMHO. While it's common knowledge that the Ref 3 is ARC's best and is a great preamp (I've also heard this one) again IMHO it's nowhere the "buy" that the LS-26 is in terms of bang for the buck.

If you have to pay nearly retail (which you shouldn't) for the LS-26 then you possibly should be looking at a used Ref 3 for a few bucks more.

If the Ref 3 is out of your reach then get up on your toes and stretch those arms out and grab the LS-26.

Quit obsessing with this and just buy the know that's the one you want anyway :-)
I agree w/Rgd. I heard both and opted for the LS26...never been happier with my pre.
LS 26 is where you want to be.
Interesting comparison between the LS26 and Ref3
I couldn't link to the comparison can you try again
I would love to read it
This link should work
Thanks ,look forward to reading it.