What a better pre-amp Arc Ls-27 or Ref-3

I recently picked up a Ls-27 but I'm wondering if the Ref-3 would of been a better choice. If you have heard both I would like your opinion.
So far from reading stuff.. Folks are saying the LS27 is 'better' than the Ref3
That seems to be the emerging consensus, but in either case you would own a very fine preamp; no weak link with either of these two.
From everything I have read or heard, the LS27 is the better choice. There have been a few threads here on AG that you may want to have a look at in addition to the responses you will get here. I have an LS26 and am waiting for the fund$ so I can take the step up to the 27. Although I may have to wait for the 28!
What do you feel you are you missing that you are looking to the Ref 3 to improve? Obviously you aren't getting everything you wanted from the LS27 or you wouldn't be asking.
I went from the LS27 to the Ref3, and found the Ref3 had a cleaner, clearer sound, less tube like. Both were excellent but the Ref3 was a step up, and the Tung-sol 6550 NOS tube made it even better.
Tmsorosk - How was the bass response on the LS27 vs. the Ref 3? As I said in a previous thread, I bought an LS26 and was disappointed by the poor bass extension and weight, so don't want to make that mistake again.
tmsorosk, kindly contrast the Ayre KX-R vs the Ref 3 if you would.

I have an LS-15 which has served me well. what might I gain with the 27 or Ref 3?
Before I try to answer the questions above, I would like to say how much I enjoyed my time with both units.
If you require big bass slam, the LS27 or REF3 may not be what your looking for. That being said, I don't recall feeling I was missing anything in the lower frequencies and the REF3 certainly had good bass extension, just not big bass. The 3 had a bit better resolution, detail and neutrality. The 27 had more of the old school Audio Research warmth and what some refer to as tube magic.
Trying to compare the REF3 with the Ayre KX-R would be difficult. The KX-R is nearly impossible to place, like one component has been casted out from the chain, it's beguiling presents emulates being moved from row 20 to row 7.
The Ref3 is very up-datable. I have a customer who may be bringing one in for update.
Gary (Hifigeek), please explain how the Ref 3 can be updated?? Is the update ARC approved? I ask because a friend who bought my Ref 3 might be interested. Thanks.
Bifwynne. Please have your friend email me for details. 8o)
I have a rare REF3 LE that i had it through Steve Huntley when purchased new. The power supply was beefed up with another bank of premium caps (BG's) mounted on an acrylic board. Somewhat similar to what ARC is offering now with their SE upgrades. All resistors in the signal path have been replaced with Caddock's and some Vishay's and other mods i forget about. The only thing i do not have are the teflon coupling caps ARC is now installing with their SE upgrades. Those are proprietary so i would have to go with premium Vcaps.
If only money was no object!!!
I had him do similar mods for my REF2 Phono, DAC7, CL120's, but again, minus the teflon caps.
A sonic marvel.
I'm sure that HifiGeek can do as good a mod job as GNSC whether approved by ARC or not who cares! Personally, I didn't.
Steve has ceased modding ARC products a few months ago.
A shame. RIP GNSC.
Steve is a long time friend and he recommends me. There were very few Ref3's made that were designated Limited Edition.
Very few indeed and half of those were sold in North America. The other half were made for the European and Asian markets. Words on the street say that the last 20 REF3's ever made were "badged" LE.