Arcam C31 Preamp w/ Phono Stage

I am considering a new phono stage for my system. I would like to hear from people who have owned the C31 with built in phono stage and have switched to an external one. Is it really worth spending $1000-$2000 on this upgrade? Would you do it all over again if you could go back? What brand made the" WOW" difference? Thanks in advance to all who take the time to contribute.
I had the C31 for a year or so. Generally speaking Arcam is nice gear, but this preamp (Driving a P35 at the time) had an average phono section. I had to turn the volume way up even when using a 6mv high output moving magnet.

The phono sound while clear did not float images and did not give me the decay on plucked strings.

I went on to a McIntosh C2200. Much, much better. And now have the C2300 with a moving coil cartridge. WOW.

Also, the Arcam C31 headphone amp would not drive AKG701 phones to loud volumes and lacked powerful bass the AKG's are capable of.