has anyone heard this newer phono pre? and if so what do you think
I've heard the PH3SE and the PH5. The PH5 has more definition, detail, air, and is more musical. The PH5 also makes comparing cartridge loading easier - you can just click through the settings with the remote. The PH5 is a great piece of equipment.
I have the PH5 along with the Ref 3 linestage. I was thinking about the Ref phono pre but, in a side by side comparison the PH5 was so close I couldn't see spending the considerable extra money. There is a very big difference between the PH5 and the PH3SE, a very big improvement. I don't see much use in the cartridge loading via the remote. Since most people now use MC cartridges the loading is not as important as it was with MM cartridges. I am currently using a Lyra Titan and can discern no differences in switching from one loading option to another.
For the price, I don't think you can do better. I didn't do a side by side comparison to the PH5 and the Aesthitix Rhea, seems like that would be the likely other phono stage to compare it with. And, even the Rhea is much more expensive.
I did the comparison between the PH3SE and the PH5 and I ended up buying the PH5. The PH5 is more dynamic, has more detail, it has more bass, more high frequency information, and more depth. The PH5 is simply much, much better.

Thanks ARC for setting the bar at a new level.
The PH5 is not only a significant step up over the PH3SE, but costs less when new. It is much closer to the Ref phono, as Agaffer reports. I have it because it is an excellent sounding piece for the $. ARC had a goal of improved performance under $2K and they achieved it IMO.

A sizable piece of the cost savings was in the design and manufacturing of the metal case, according to ARC. It is a clamshell design, as opposed to the traditional ARC case with lid design.
The PH5 is better all around then both the PH3 & PH3SE it has more and better bass ,more definition .more dynamic, more hi freq information and the list could go on..
I have to agree with the above, I bought the ph5 and just love it vinyl has never sounded better.
Has anyone compared the PH5 to a PH2? has a review on the ph5. Enjoy, Brian
I've decided to buy an PH5 to replace my PH3. Any advice as to break-in time for the PH5 to sound its best? Also, any thoughts as to the Granite burn-in CD for phono stages?
I have about 40 hours in mine, and I still feel it is getting smoother with more hours. I have been doing a lot of tube rolling, so maybe the tubes are still breaking in.
Has anyone replaced the stock EH tubes? If so, what sounds better to you?