Audio Research LS/Ref or Primaluna EVO Preamp

Currently I own a LS26 and thinking up upgrading. My amp is a Ref 110 so usually makes sense to stay with the same company. However, after speaking with a few dealers they are saying the Primaluna EVO 400 is kicking the pants off even Ref series of ARC.  I am not talking the higher end of the Ref series.  My shortlist I have been considering is a LS27, LS28 or Ref 3. One thing I like about ARC is they hold their resale value very well. A new EVO 400 xlr is $4699 but one dealer (won't mention) offered for $3900.  I also like the gain function of the LS26 for my phono stage but it isn't a huge issue I don't guess. My phono preamp is a Manley Chinook SE MkII and I am using it on 65db gain for my Dynavector 20x2L.  Has anyone owned or know much about the PL EVO 400 or is it wiser to stay in the ARC family? Thank you in advance  :)
Ag insider logo xs@2xsamzx12
Thanks Greg for your post. I'm thinking the EVO probably has their house sound as they voice their equipment to the warm side. 90% of listeners prefer it that way but like you said changing tubes can change the flavor somewhat.   

I used to own a Dialogue Premium integrated purchased from Kevin. Rolled many tubes in it and definitely liked its overall presentation but ended up going back to separates. BAT and now ARC. The Ref 110 is the best amp I've ever owned.  Needed it to drive my Thiel 2.7.  
If I was Beavis or Butthead, Kevin would be God. Lol

I do get a kick out of some of his video speaker reviews though.
This is a very interesting thread.  I have the LS26 and have been thinking of upgrading.  I was considering the Cary SLP 98 or 05.  And also the PrimaLuna EVO 300.

Is that going to be a substantial upgrade from the ARC LS26?  I want more of the tube magic but still retain details.
Sean I ended up with the EVO 400 and from my understanding it is the same as the 300 only difference is XLR which I wanted. I can tell you it is a upgrade from the LS26.  A dealer was telling me that people were trading ARC Ref series preamps for the EVO 400.  I was wanting a LS28 or Ref 3 possibly but he said the LS28 while an upgrade over the LS26 was not THAT substantial.  So far I am very satisfied with the EVO 400 as it does everything better and the 1st place I noticed was in the bass. If I had a complaint with the LS26, that it was a little weak in deeper bass. Of course that is my opinion. The LS26 is a very good preamp but the Primaluna is without a doubt better.