ARC has better controlled bass and more quiet than EAR. You should be OK with Shelter having in mind sencitive and high-gain preamp like Line3.
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I have owned both pieces and found the PH-3 the better of the two. The built quality of the Audio Research was much better than the EAR, I had to replace the RCAs twice on the EAR. The sound of the PH-3 was more extended both in the midrange and top end compared to the EAR. I think they are both great products at their price points, the PH-3 retails for about 800.00 more than the EAR if I remember correctly.
Which Shelter are you thinking about? I am currently using the 901 with my PH3 SE. Previosly, I have the Benz M2 which has 0.8mV output. I believe ARC recommended cartridges with 05mV or higher. The Shelter 901 has a 0.5mV output, and is adequate if you don't play the music loud. I have to turn the volume on my preamp (LS-2B MkII) to 11 o'clock position for normal listening (on Jazz). But when I feel like jamming and turn it up to 12 o'clock position or higher, the background noise is noticeable. I am thinking about hooking up a step-up transformer to see how it compares.
Contact Leonard in ARC for gain modification for your LS2B.
ARC preamp's gain is usually set at 12dB gain in single ended mode and 18 dB gain in balanced mode. Most of the ARC preamp gains can be changed by 6dB by just adding a pair of resistors(one left and one right channel). This will give you plenty of gain and not having to worry about step up transformer/additional interconnect/additional line noise/loading with transformer/etc.