Audio Research Ph8 compared to Reference phono 2

Hi folks!
Been seriously thinking about Ph8 can´t afford Reference phono2. Difference I read is larger gain, less noise, 3 different recording standards, balanced + single ended mode.
But is the sound much different, anybody with experience? I´ll gladly appreciate your thoughts/impression.

Many Thanks!
I second that request. I own an ARC PH-7, which admittedly sounds pretty good. I'm curious though, if I was to consider an upgrade, whether I would realize a major improvement with a PH-8 versus the Ref Phono 2, which, btw, is now the Ref Phono 2 SE.
Clabe ...

I have the PH-8 and love it! It needs the new 6550 power tube to sound its best, so be sure to include it. With this tube upgrade, it gets the PH-8 pretty close to the Ref-2 ... but not the Ref-2SE. Of course, you still won't have all of the features of the Ref2SE ... but you, like I, cannot afford it. :>)
Bifwynne ..

I went from the PH-7 to the PH-8. The PH-8 makes the PH-7 sound broken. No lie. If you go to the PH-8 be sure to get the new 6550 tube that ARC is offering. Major upgrade right there. If you can afford the Ref-2SE ... that's the one to get. My sources at ARC tell me that its really mind blowing. There's a Ref2SE in my future. :>)
and unlike the PH8, all those before it - no stereo/mono switch :(
I used to own a PH3SE, PH5, PH7 and now have the PH8.
I have never heard the Ref 2 SE so I can not compare the two.
The Ref 2 SE is twice the price of the PH8 and you are getting all the features Clabe mentioned: balanced outputs, two inputs and three different recording standards. Gone is the stereo/mono switch.
I love the PH8 - I don't need any of the added features so I am thrilled with what I have.
Does the Ref 2 SE sound better? I have no idea - I've never compared the two and I need my mono switch so I'm not interested. I'd rather spend the thousands of dollars more the Ref 2 SE costs on a cartridge.
Get the PH-8 and put a Synergistic Research Black fuse in it. Once the fuse is broken in ... Nirvana.