The $2300 limit is a used price....
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I have an Audio Research SP-8 and I love it! It has a very good phono section which will be good with most moving magnet cartridge but it won't have enough gain for moving coil.
This unit will sell in the 1200$ to 1800$ range depending of it's condition and upgrade.
I found mine to sound extremely rich, airy and natural.
The P75 is great. I had one. If you are going to go tubes, I feel that you need to get something really good; especially if you have a low output phono cartridge. In your price range, you should be able to get the Ayre. You just can't go wrong with it. I'm sure that you will get some other good recommendations, as well, but the Ayre would be my first choice.
I think I would consider keeping the P75 and getting a line stage. It is small enough that it could be tucked away out of sight, and it isn't something you would need to fiddle with. And you get greater isolation of your phonostage from the power supply etc of the preamp
As for a linestage, maybe look into a Rogue 99? There is a Super Magnum version for sale at Audio Circle that is upgraded to Super Magnum status. You can read a recent review of it at Stereo Times.
Hmmm. Not sure how to respond to that! When we moved she was actually the one to encourage me to spend more money on the new system than I had on the old and when I complain about the sound, she's the one that says "Feel free to buy something to make it better." She sits next to me on the couch every night, listening, enjoying. She happily finds a chair and sits and reads a book if I want to stop at a record store. She's actually quite perfect. I'll forgive her for hoping for some continuity in the visual presentation of the equipment that is a huge part of our living room. I feel sad for you that you can't conceive of changing a piece of equipment to make someone you love happy.