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Instead of Hanna from an old OEM (Excel Sound) you could try a much better and very special LOMC Fidelity-Research PMC-3 cartridge with Air-Core Coil designed by legendary Ikeda-San. Beautiful cartridge with LineContact nude diamond. Technical data can be translated from this japanese source. It's on the low end of your budget, but this model is rare one.
Ortofon MC2000 is also something very special, but ultra high-end MC phono stage with very high gain required (or SUT). NOS sample is extremely rare and on the edge of your budget, but well worth it.
P.S. and yes, MM like Victor X-1II in mint condition would be a great alternative to any MC at this price range on your SME 309 tonearm.
It is unclear if the OP (which I believe stands for Original Poster) requires the cartridge to be new or if NOS and/or previously 'cherished' would also apply.
For used there are plenty of contenders in this price range, you only have to find them. In addition to the other suggestions you might consider Accuphase AC-3 (also built by the ZYX owner), Ortofon MC-3000 & 5000 and several Shelter models (like 501 and 701). And I can certainly vouch for the Nak MC-1000, but the tired word 'rare' really does apply here. Also quite rare and one of my favorite 'old' cartridges is Audiocraft AC-03. Designed and built by Matsudeira-San, current owner of MY Sonic Lab and also the designer of (some of) the Air Tight cartridges.
If it must be new, my highest recommendation in this price range would be Phasemation PP-300. Official retail is now $1799 I believe, but Japanese sellers occasionally offer them online for less. Its predecessor, the largely identical P-3G, can sometimes be found NOS for $1000 or less.
Sorry to pile on here... open ended questions like this will get you dozens of recommendations. But, I did this same research about a year ago, and I ended up with an AT ART9. There's no looking back! I'm very happy with it, and reviews from others here will agree. It's certainly not the only option, but those who have heard it seem to agree that it punches well above its peers.
Thank you all for some interesting leads to follow.
Btw, I have had Shelter 501 II and Blackbird hi output in this system. Shelter did not track well with my arm. Blackbrd did not have enough “air” in mids. With the Shelter I’m guessing compliance was too low for a light cartridge and low mass arm. That’s the reason I’m looking at EAT Jo No.5 - High mass, mid-high compliance. I heard both the Hana and the EAT at CA dealers, and liked them both - but not my system, so hard to evaluate. Has anyone actually heard these cartridges?
I prefer to buy new from CA dealer. New on-line may be o.k. If a good deal.
When I saw the title of your post I was going to suggest you save yourself a little money and get a Hana SL. I have one and am very pleased with it. It comes really close to the $2,000 Van Den Hul MC Two I have on my main turntable. I love my Hana SL and know a couple of friends with one and have only heard good things about it. If you love the EL, the SL or ML should definitely be on your short list.