Most of the Decware phono pres are set-up for high output.If you move to a low-output cartridge,you are forced to use a custom Decware transformer to increase the gain.Change again-new transformer.
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I've been an EAR 834p owner for a long time and I think very highly of it. One of its limitations, however, is adjustability. You can do MM or MC cartridge (there is also a MM only model), but you cannot adjust gain, loading, capacitance, etc. If you are planning on doing multiple armwands and different cartridge types, you may find yourself needing that adjustability.
Also, when I saw how many records you have, my first thought was that you might have very old records in your collection with pre-RIAA curves. If so, you might check the Graham Slee phono stages that support multiple equalization curves.
Most of this stuff is pretty much beyond my stretch dollar wise. It's also a good distance away from my comparably modest speakers and power. Is there anything worth auditioning under $2000? That's where the Ear and the Decware came from...bang for the buck.
I pretty much have $2500 in my table and cartridge but maybe $800 in amp and speakers. Obviously I have no idea how much I have in records, but I'd imagine it's not as much as you'd think. Many were bought in collections for next to nothing and of course it stretches over 37 years.
Regardless, I'm fond of my JBL 4311's because I'm very used to them. I had intended on replacing the power however I wanted to do the phono stage first. I think besides my table it's the most significant part of my upward move.
A couple of months ago I would have advised you to look at the George Wright WPP200C - IMHO a great unit for the price, under $900 as I recall. Unfortunately George passed away recently so you can't get a new one, but they (and the older but still very good WPP100C) are available here and sometimes on craigslist.
You certainly couldn't go wrong with a good pre-loved Audio Research PH-3 or better yet an SE model. They're seriously good units (for the price) and if not your cup of tea you can resell it for what you paid for it. Some folks rave about the Jolida JD 9A- it's said to be another very good tube phono stage in it's price range ($450 or so).
Finally, I would suggest that you take a look at the Soundsmith mono cartridges. They are true dual coil mono units, so you can use the mono cartridge with a normal stereo phono stage. According to Peter "Doing so gives added dimensionality, while not detracting in any way from the advantages that mono reproduction has over stereo. This makes switching between VPI arms to go from mono to stereo a breeze. No changes required at the preamp. Swap arms, and youre done." The last comment is assuming that you are also using a Soundsmith stero cartridge.
It's challenging to get gear like this where I live. The high end audio stores have all gone out of business or turned to video surround sound dealers and don't mess with analog.
I usually buy stuff off the Gon here and probably will in this case as well. I guess I just pick something and try it with my stuff and if it's not right sell it on here and get something else. Is that the drill or are there other things I could do to make good guesses?