Pass Labs Xono vs Audio Research Ref 2

I have Pass and ARC gear in my system. Xono phonostage with my VPI reference scoutmaster/Dynavector XV1S cart and X600.5 monoblocks to drive my Magnepan 20.1 speakers. I have an ARC Ref 8 CD player and Ref 3 preamp. Should I trade in my Xono to get the ARC Ref 2 phonostage or keep what I have? I like the clean presentation of the Xono but sometimes feel I miss out on the ARC bloom. Will I lose the bass tightness? Will it be noisier since it is tube (my guess is not really given how quiet the Ref 3 and Ref 8 are)? Any thoughts?
As a former Xono owner and former ARC PH7 owner I'll speculate you are not hearing all that your upstream front end is delivering. There is a comparison of the two in this review. The Ref Phono 2 is a significant step up from both and you're right, it is very quiet.

As a solid state unit, the Xono may have a wee bit more crispness on the low frequency leading edge, but if there is a difference it is slight. The RP2 has better tonal definition and is more micro-dynamically adept in the lower frequencies. Otherwise the Ref Phono 2 is superior to the Xono in every other attribute and not by a small margin - and it should be at ~3x the cost. I have not yet heard the new PH8, but early reports suggest it is closer to the Ref Phono 2 than to the PH7 - so something else to consider. I like the Xono; it is quiet, fast, and flexible, but, imo, either ARC phonostage will be a considerable step up.
I had an Xono as my phono feeding an ARC Ref 3 pre. When the time came to upgrade, I evaluated the Ref 2 phono. And yes it is superior to the Xono in every area except for the gain. The Ref 2 could not support very low output carts.

Subsequently, I went to an ASR Basis Exclusive, and it too beat the Xono in every department and was dead quiet with a refined sound and healthy gain.

After the ASR, I am now on a Whest Ref MC V. Listen to the Whest range. Especially MC V and RDT SE. Way better than ASR, with superior resolution, dynamics and speed.

If your heart is set on ARC, go for it! You wont go wrong. But look at ASR and Whest too as worthy contenders too.
Blue_starfish - with gain for the Xono topping out at 76db (balanced) and 74dB (balanced) for the Ref Phono 2, which low output cartridges did you find the Xono could drive that the RP2 could not?
I was thinking about the ARC ref2 phono and the whest RDTse, heard the whest RDT and it was very good. have not listened to the ARC wondered if you had the chance to compare. Interested as whest costs quite a bit less. I have been using BAT VKP10se.