best sub 1k phono stage?

I know,,, "best" is relative... but what stages would you suggest for audition?

It's difficult to buy more bang for your buck than a used Graham Slee Era Gold Mark V at $600+. Superb sonics and build quality.

If it doesn't work out, you shouldn't lose any money as they sell quickly.
It would depend on the type of cartridge that you are using. If it is a low voltage MC I use to have a dynavector P75 and was very happy with it. Plenty of gain and very quiet. They have updated it and though I have not heard the newer version I have been told by people that have that it is a bit more musical.
Used EAR 834p.
You can then mod. it with v-caps and NOS tubes.

george wright's unit is the way to go, EAR are over priced and under perform.
Yep, get a used EAR 834p, mod it, upgrade the tubes. Stunning. Sweet, life-like and beautiful. That's what I use, and I never even think about changing it.

As an alternative, if you like a slightly more detailed and neutral sound, grab a Sonic Frontiers Phono One on those rare occasions when they show up used, and upgrade the tubes. Might go for as low as $1000.

I have personally been disappointed in the solid state phono stages under $1000 that I've heard, but I've only heard the inexpensive ones (e.g. the $300 Graham, not be the better models). They don't sound bad at all, just, for me, they lack the life of tubes.

If I wanted a really inexpensive phono stage, I'd try the Bellini - sells for what, $250 new? One tube. MM only though, not MC.

You are just wrong. The 834p is a fantastic phono pre that has built up very large following in it's un-moded state. When mods are done, the results are stunning. The current price of the 834p is off becouse of the dollar. Everything from Europe is.

What about the Plinius Jarrah?
+2 for the Dynavector P75 which even embarasses some more expensive preamps quite well. I image the new revision is better. A really good match with Dynavector carts for a bargain killer. But it is a quiet and unbelieve match with low output MC!
Again, it all depends on cartridge selection. At this price point I'd not recommend a low output MC phono pre at all.
Used Sim Audio LP 5.3. They are found used under $1K. I got mine new for 1400.00 and still think I got a deal.
EAR 834P used. I have two of 'em.