Use a high output cartridge and don't fiddle with the pre..
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Maybe you've already been there, but if you haven't, try the Cartridge Database. It will take in your tonearm data, output requirements, price parameters and come up with loads of suitable cartridges of all types. It's great fun. and you can spend hours playing around with all the calculators. I've discovered several new cartridges this way.
Ninetwofour asked this very same question over on Karma, and one good post here reflects mine, a good MM, that won;t be a mismatch for the pre-amp.
As I mentioned in Karma 9-2-4, there are killer MM's, that will deplete your bank account, such as the Clearaudios, which I understand some are built with Audio-Technica Parts.
One of course in "all" cases wants to get away with the best sound for the least cash outlay. The cash outlay of course is dependent on just how deep one's pockets are? Mine was deep enough, that I bought both a Benz Ruby 3, and then 4 months later on a whim, bought a ZYX Airy 3X SB. I use a Sutherland PhD Phono Stage, which has quite a bit of adjustability, and is adead quiet Battery Powered Stage. Hey you only live once!
I made a suggestion on karma to you, and of course, you must be happy with your decisions, and the cost that comes out of your pocket.
Best advice, do considerable homework, and hopefully, you will come away from this hard reasearch-work a happy person, with a good product that was money well spent. It's tough putting a price on audio-nirvana. Mark
Absolutely Ninetwofour, I agree with your ideas 100%.
For sure, my word, or opinions aren't gospel, and there are others both here, and at Karma who may offer better, usable advice, differing from mine.
The one thing I'm sure none of us want to see you do, is buy a really decent MC Cartridge, and then sadly discover the Cartridge won't work for you.
There's certainly nothing at all wrong with going MC, and I do believe your rig (Tonearm+Arm) could nicely showcase a very nice MC Cartridge, let's say the Benz Glider, Benz Wood, Dyna 20, ZYX Bloom, or Fuji, and Cartridges of other makes in this price range, but without good Phono Stage compatibility, you might very well likely hit a roadblock.
Still, not all is lost, as most of us been down this path at one time, or another, and the answer is, either a Step Up Trasformer, or External Phono Stage.
I myself upgraded about two years ago, right here, with a used purchase from another member, and bought a mint Sutherland PhD Battery Powered Stage at a substantial savings versus new. Previous Stage was the MacCormack Micro Phono Drive, which was very nice as well for the money I spent.
While the MacCormack only had two gain settings of 40db and 60db (I think) it had infinite settings for loading, via end user insertable resistors. I sold this mint phono stage to another a-goner for I believe $300.
Best of luck, and do let us know your outcome. Mark