Best phono for a Merrill MS2/Triplaner/Ort. AC90 ?

Thanx in advance for any opinions/feedback.

I have a Merrill MS2 table with a TriPlaner 5 arm and an Ortofon AC90 cart. that I have been using back and for between my Lehmann Decade and Fosgate Sig. phonostages,
all through an MBL reference hardware and speaker setup with a Wireworld Plat. Eclipse rca cable to pre.
Both phono's are VERY admirable in their own right with the typical compromises between tube and SS.
I'd like to sell them both and take it to the next level.

Does anyone have any real experience with a table setup similar to this, or how to kick things up to the next level considering the MBL stuff is not always the friendliest gear to team up with other gear?

A friend of mine had allowed me to demo a JENS phono with a system extremely similar to mine and it was truly phenominal- really, but it is a rarely produced product and I am weary of long term issues with it.

Any feedback with phono's in the 8-15k retail range might offer a significant improvement? I'm not weary of a higher end tube phono assuming it can keep the bass somewhat under control.

Sorry to sound like a broken record but "Best" is in the eye/ear of the beholder. There is no definitive "best" anything, it's all subjective. When you ask a question like this, the answers will always be what folks think is "best" to them in their system.
I think when you are up in your level, you can usually get a dealer to supply you with a unit to test out, which frankly I'd require because it's all about synergy and because the room itself comes into play to such large degree, even if I had the same front end as you and even the same electronics, it would still sound different at my house than yours. A lot of time the difference between units at this level is like a hugely expensive tone control. If it were me, I'd probably get a Manley Steelhead to start my listening test and move on to Allnic or Lamm and see where the differences lie in my room and next to the Aestetix IO then end up maybe at the Zanden at the top of your price range. Perhaps a call to one of the wonderful high end retailers is in order?
Why don't u consider the AMR PH77 ? I got it late last year, n it has given me stellar service. While Its has the typical bloom, texture, body, etc characteristics of a tube unit, it does not fare too badly at the bottom end too. Go n find the nearest dealer
Allnic H3000 should be on your list to audition. My A90 works great with it. The Allnic has adjustable loading, plenty of gain, and has a very low noise floor.

I would say the Whest PS.30RDT Special Edition OR MC REF V MK4 depending on budget.

They are both stunningly transparent, musical and highly detailed buit not analytical. They are extremely popular in Europe and Asia but not so in the USA because of their ex-distributor I expect, but things are changing.

I have tried loads including the H3000 which was not a patch on the Special Edition. I found the H3000 was good if you like tubes, sounded a tad tubey to me and that was confirmed when I compared it directly to the Special Edition.

But the question to what is best? If you like the tube sound then go tubes but if you want to hear what vinyl sounds like without the typical hum and hiss you get from many stages, look at Whest
Whest is totally overeaten and overhyped from a few. Every of their units, beginning from the first, was always a 'giant-killer' and even from this out-of-world-Standard it was possible to make 5 more models, every set a new Standard and was always a sonic revolution. So, where are we now? Double mono? What a great idea...doubling average creates something outstanding...great logic...
AMR? The next super-duper-killer-unit...sometimes I ask myself, is it really so difficult to listen to something AND knowing what is going on there?
What did we missed here? Lehmann? Tron? Linn? PS Audio?
I bet my home, most phono designers hate analog...of course, all IMO
Dear Syntax,
James Henriot,Chief designer at Whest does not own a CD player.
When can i collect the keys and Deeds?
PS the special edition is really great !
Anyone actually hear the New Valve Order SPA-II that Jeff Day just gave a glowing review in PP? I'm sure no one in the States has heard it yet but maybe someone is lurking from overseas that has one. Seems there is over a months backorder of this 22 tubed unit!