with all your knowledge / questions that you have asked over the years, you should know if this can be done or not.
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Why such a low budget ?
You can demo him your Technics GR, he could buy mk7 for $900 and later add some nice phono stage and cartridge. Or maybe SL1500c (goes with pre-installed entry level Ortofon MM cart, and with built-in MM phono stage).
Something more exotic:
I could recommend Technics SL-10 if he will be able to find refurbished sample for about $750. There must be P-Mount cartridge (Stanton, Pickering, Audio-Technica... made some nice P-Mount carts). There is a built-in phono preamp. Read more here.