Conrad Johnson preamp: ET5, ET7 (series 1 or 2) or ET3SE ??

Have always been a CJ preamp fan, but never an owner.  Taking a serious look at them again.  Of the ET series, I have only heard the ET5, and that was some years ago.  So I started looking for a used ET5, and in the process finding 7, 3, and 3SE, making me expand my thinking.

i wonder if anyone has compared the five models?  As I understand it, the 5 was replaced by the 7, which was then updated to the 7 series 2.  Does it necessarily follow that the 7 is better than the 5, with the 7series 2 even better yet?  And looking at reviews, TAS loves the 3SE, so is it “almost” as good as the 5 or7?  I also know that the 3 is upgradable to the 3SE, and the 7 series 1 to the current 7 series 2, providing a couple additional paths to consider.  i should state that all are within my budget, so that while I don’t mind saving money with the 3SE, I have money for the 7 (used) in my audio budget.

I really wonder if someone has really compared any combination of the above, such that you could help me eliminate one or more of the possibilities, or help me focus on one or two units.

I know that it will be system dependent, so I am running Naim digital and Naim preamp into a Primaluna HP amp, driving Proac monitors in a near field set up.  I listen to mostly female vocalists, acoustic rock and acoustic jazz.  I love soundstage and bass is not important to me.

((not that I want the discussion to go sideways, but this kind of opens up the philosophical question of, given a specific company, are the new models better than the past year models, and the more expensive units better than those less expensive, and is an update/upgrade always an improvement.))

thanks for your thoughts,

They just released a new model, ET6, it replaces the now discontinued ET3.  The ET3 is a great pre and I would imagine you could find a good deal on a new one.
Oddiofyl-  Yes, I heard the ET3 has been replaced by the ET6, but it sounds like (per audiotroy) I’d be better off with the ET5.
I've had both the ET5 and the ET3SE for a number of years.

ET5 is awesome...great holographic soundstage, that famous rich CJ midrange, decent tuneful bass, and lovely detailed treble with no harshness.

ET3SE is a great preamp too...just not as good as the ET5 by a long mile. I would say that the sound is similar, but the ET3SE is not as holographic, the bass is a bit muddier, and it does have some treble least compared to the ET5.

I'd put the ET3SE at 60% of the awesomeness that is the ET5.

If you can do the funds, the ET5 is worth it IME.
Sounds like everyone is confirming the ET5 is much better than the ET3SE, which is kind of what I expected.  So that ends that half of the discussion.

the question now is:

how does the ET5 compare to the ET7?

I have owned many. Take the ET5. You should not be sorry if you get it down to $3200.  If you are inclined to go ET7 series 1 used. The you get a more complete and tighter bass.  The new ET6 or ET7s2. Find the Conrad Johnson Dealer in Tucson Az who is usually o. US Audio Mart. He usually has good pricing in demo models.  CJ sound is similar in all cases and the further up you go the more detail to the same CJ sound you get.  I had them all and at $3200 used the ET5 was a great middle ground of content