MC phono preamp

System now is:
VPI traveler with Dynavector 10x5
Mobile Fidelity StudioPhono (moving to a different system and I’m impressed for the price)
Rega Brio
Dynaudio Excite X18s.

Looking for a new phono preamp in the under $1000 range, used or new, and I’m seeking suggestions. With three kids to eventually put through college, I’m decidedly mid-fi. I’d like as much low-end punch as the X18s and the Brio can provide but the imaging is of utmost importance. I tried a Parks Audio Budgie out with the system, transferred from a different system, as, even though the Budgie is set up for MM, the Dynavector is high output, and the sound just isn’t right for my ears. I like the sound of the MoFi better (may I’m SUPPOSED to like the Budgie better but they are MY ears after all and this is for MY enjoyment). The MoFi is now in the other system and I’m looking to upgrade for the above-mentioned set-up. I’d appreciate suggestions. By the way, the Budgie would be for sale if anyone is interested.
The Budgie was not a good match for the Dynavector. You don’t need a MC preamp for a high output MC cartridge. The 10x5 has an output of 2.5 mv. This Croft has an input sensitivity of 2 mv and will match the 10x5 with no problem. The Budgie has a high input sensitivity of 5 mv. Take a look at the Croft!
Here is a used one for sale at half the price!
Buy the $450 used Croft. You wont regret it. In time, roll in a pair of Telefunkens or Shuguang Custom 12AX7 LS blacks from Grant Fidelity.
Well, you can check this old version of JLTi phono stage:

Then you can find latest version for lower price:

made in Australia
990 AUD = $750 (shipping included). At this price it's amazing phono stage, i just bought mine this year.  
The Croft looks interesting, but I’m reading that the treble such as hi-hats can come across as attenuated / rolled off (granted, this is with different gear from mine and frankly how Mr. Croft seems to like it). Although I’ve had experienced the brightness of some gear and recordings and it can be annoying, I do tend to like for hi-hats to cut through and not seem muffled (forgive me, for I’m a drummer).
You may want to have a look at the iFi Phono2.  I'm using it now and for the money, it's fantastic.
I saw that What HiFi thread. Maybe the guy like things really bright! I’ve used a number of different Crofts since 1987 and can assure you the preamps are very transparent and musical. I do agree somewhat that there is a warmth with the stock JJ tubes. I see the seller has changed them to brighter Sovteks. Per my recommendation, fit Teles or Shuggys LS and you will have no hi-hat issues!

JJ tubes are horrible compared to vintage Telefunken, Sylvania Gold Brand, RCA, Japanese Matsushita pinched tails. The best place for JJ tube is garbage. 
Agreed Chakster. The Croft presents the soundstage with good depth and if the hats are at the back, that’s where they’ll be in the mix in a good live recording.
Any time I recommend the Croft pre/RIAA, it is always with the caveat that you swap the tubes. (You could also try GE triple mica black plate 5751.) To be honest, I think Glenn assumes you’ll do that anyway. It also sounds better with the cover off so rolling is easy.

Noromance - that’s the hard part. I can only trust my own ears. There are some cases where better is better and it’s universal, but musical tastes and sound preferences are so subjective, it’s tough to trust what others write about products. I think it’s the same with price points - as a general rule, you get what you pay for, but even then, you can’t trust that the more expensive component will always sound better to your ears, not to mention in your room with your gear. 

Chakster - duly noted on the tubes. 
That's a given, Mr. Savage. Croft are acclaimed and been in business for many years. You pays your money.