Difference between Audio Research PH3 and ref

Whats the difference in sound for phono?
Can you clarify your question a bit? Are you asking for a comparison of the Audio Research PH3 phono stage to the phono stage in the AR Reference preamp (other than the Reference costing 3-4 times as much). You are probably aware that there was also a "SE" version of the PH3, and that both have been replaced by the PH5.
Yes, how they compare to each other?
I've had them all.

1. The PH-3 sounds really good.

2. The PH-3 SE sounds even better.

3. The PH-5 makes the first two sound like transistor radios.

4. The PH-7 Makes the PH-5 sound broken.
I like the above comparrisons. To me the RHea and espcially sig version make the PH7 sound tame.
A friend of mine had borrowed an PH-7 for home audition. He currently uses the ASR Basis Exclusive w/ ARC Ref 3. And had a Rhea before switching over the the ASR. The Rhea was just too sensitive to tube noise, that he dumped it for the ASR.

I brought my PH-3SE (with white label Amperex 7308s) over to do a comparsion. The PH-7 wins in every category, fair and square. But I did not think the differences were night and day, and can justify the $4000 to $5000 that I would have to pluck down (after selling the PH-3 SE). For that money, I would really like to see a higher gain...

There's a review online that has some comparison betwen the PH7 and the Ref Phono: