Bottlehead Foreplay. That would fit your budget, but I don't know how it will fit your system 'cuz you didn't tell us that part. ;-)
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Sorry, I was at work and didn't have time for a more informative post. Like I said, I have the 1210 with a denon 110 cartridge placed in a Sumiko headshell. The table sits on a three inch maple platform, and also has the threaded brass footers from Mapleshade records with an Isoplat mat from Sound Dead Steel. My speakers and receiver are not much. I'm currently using an older Kenwood Receiver that has a phono out, and a copule of Klipsh book shelf speakers. I intend to upgrade my speakers to some entry level PSBs in the near future, and also add the fluid damper from KAB USA. Let me know what would be the best item to add to this setup--Cheers
Are you using the Kenwood receiver as a phono stage only, or as your phono stage, line stage, and amplifier?
I think you'd get a quantum leap in resolution with an Onkyo A-9555 integrated amp. As a preamp/amp, it is stupid fast, linear, neutral, and yet musical for the money, and the built-in phono preamp is pretty good. But if you want to take it a level higher, add a Cambridge Audio 640P phono stage and plug it into one of the A-9555's many line stage inputs.
I have an SL1210M5G with Audio Technica AT150MLX going into this very signal chain (including the Cambridge phono stage), and it's stunning for the money spent. It provides me with a level of high end transparency and speed without sacrificing musicality that I thought I'd never be able to afford.
I also have a Denon DL-160; I could hook it up and see how it sounds into the Onkyo (with or without the Cambridge) and let you know. By almost all accounts, the DL-110 and 160 sound nearly identical and have the same output.
The Onkyo can be had for as little as $400 as B-stock or $450-484 as A-stock, and the Cambridge is $169. Right in your price range and you get a killah power amp in the bargain.
And I mean, this amp is something else at $480!
09-30-08: Jmoog08I've been into home audio for 39 years and bought my own first stereo 36 years ago. I worked in a high end store for awhile in the mid-'70s in SoCal and have always sought to get the best separates (usually used or demos) I could afford. For me the A-9555 has re-defined the price/performance ratio for an amp and preamp, and not in an incremental way. It sounds to me like something I'd have had to pay $1500 and up for just a couple years ago, Its sonic signature, speed, clarity, and transparency have more in common with a $10K stack of high end separates than with other integrated solutions in its price range.
It's difficult not to wax hyperbolic about this integrated.