attn. CAT SL1-mkIII owners: phono upgrade path?

I'm curious what outboard phono pres SL1 owners bought when they decided to improve the built-in phono. I'm told one needs to spend about $3K to get a serious improvement - true?
I have a Linn LP12/lingo/ekos table with a benz M2 cart.

thanks for your thoughts
When I upgraded my phono stage from the one built into the CAT SL-1 Mk. III preamp, I went with the Lamm LP2. The Lamm phono stage is definitely superior to the CAT as is the Manley Steelhead, which I ran in my reference system for several years subsequent to the Lamm LP2. Both the Lamm and the Manley phono stages retail for prices in the $7k range.

I can't comment personally on how other phono stages at lower price points might compare with the CAT other than to say that the phono stage built into the CAT is excellent. You will definitely have to spend some money to improve on it.
I upgraded to a Joule Electra OPS1, coupled w/a Joule linestage. Later to a Vendetta Research SCP2, which is hard to beat unless spending big $$$. Cheers,