About half the well-informed audio enthusiasts I know say it's hard to do better than an SME 3009 for under a grand; the other half say a Rega RB300 is far superior to the SME. So I'd say you'd do fine with either a new-old 3009 or a RB 250 or 300. Another option is a Rega modified by the U.K. company Origin Live, which product has received high praise in the audio press. A brand new RB 250 with the Origin Live structural mods costs about 160 Sterling, roughly, I think US$250 plus shipping, etc. I use a TD-125 mk II with a Grace 707, but it's a low mass arm which is not ideal for higher-compliance, MC cartridges. Finally, you might call Flat Earth Audio about repairing your 3009; it may or may not be cost effective. Hope this helps. Regards, Joel.
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