Meridian IA30 phono card versus external phono amp

I wonder how good the moving coil phono card of the Meridian 861v4 preamp/processor is. I have currently an AccousTech Electronics PH1-P phono stage that pre-amps the signal from the Pink Triangle/SMEV/Lyra Clavis turntable and feeds it into a Meridian preamp/processor standard analog input. The phono card in the Meridian preamp would simplify the setup (one box down) and might provide an improvement of the sound. Has any vinyl enthusiast done serious comparisons of the Meridian card versus other high-performance phono stages?
Dear Roger: I wonder the why's on this thread because you own both " sides " of your question.

My question: what do you prefer? what do you think is better?, IMHO the one option that you like it is the one to go and it does not matters what any one else thinks on the subject because you are the one that has to live with and the one that has to be satisfied.

regards and ejoy the music.
Dear Roger: I read in wrong way your thread and maybe you are looking for a new phono stage.

regards and enjoy the music.
I had the phono for the 565. I did not like it, it sounded very much like a CD and thats not what I wanted my records to sound like.
My 565 coverted any analog input to digital. I am not sure but I believe any analog input sent to any digital Meridian Pre/Pro is converted to digital, even your 861v4. If you are using any analog outputs on the Meridian they are converted yet again back to analog. I prefer my analog to stay that way though out. I have the Meridian G68 myself, the left and right balanced outputs from my G68 go to my ARC Ref3 that has balanced HT pass through. Any of my analog sources are sent to my Ref3 and do not go through any digital conversion.
Why have analog if it gets converted to digital?