Phono amplification bang for the buck

I tried asking a similar question over in amps/preamps but I didn’t get anything useful over there. I’m hoping I can here.

I have a Michel Gyrodec II with SME 309 arm, and several different low output MC cartridges(.2-.4 mv output).

My budget is around $4000 give or take. I need mc/mm phono amplification and line level preamplification. I am looking at new or demo. I would consider used only if it has a significant transferable manufacturer’s warranty.

My question is, given my needs, would I get better bang for the buck at this price level by getting a preamp with an integrated phono stage, or going with a line level preamp and a separate phono stage?

Several MC cartridges, two now, future?,

various signal strengths, various coil resistances

you need a versatile phono stage, I saw this recently

there is an option for a square trade 1 yr warranty. 

pro-ject site
now, your question:

To get a preamp for both line level inputs (how many inputs do you need?)

and MM/MC phono stage

and multiple loading options for MC 

is rare.

I decided to get a SUT step up transformer, with PASS for MM, and a few loading options for MC, and 3 inputs for 3 different arms.

That lets you get a preamp with MM Phono and Line Inputs, you send the SUT's output to the MM Phono input. 

lots exist, I chose this one (this one is expensive but shows it well)
If you want a tube preamp with a phono stage the best bang-for-the-buck is an ARC SP6! I have one - paid less than $1K for it! Add a good SUT like a Bellari ($350 - I have one) and you'll have LP playback competitive with upper four-figure gear!
Ok, pushing equipment at this point is premature.  It doesn't really answer my question.

elliotnewcombjr, I've been at this since the 70's.  I have a few SUTs, and SUT's are not without their own issues, no matter how good they are.  You still get distortion, though different from active stages.  I see SUTs as a situation dependent option, but I am looking for an active phono stage that can handle low output MCs and MMs.

I am not looking for ancient vintage stuff (I owned enough of that back in the day), I'm looking for new/demo/still under warranty stuff.

Team up a Parasound JC3 Jr with a solid preamp and you will,be good to go. Adjustments on the fly, will run any of your carts all for around 1200.00. Leaves a nice healthy sum for a killer pre amp. 
Herron VTPH-2A very versatile easy to change load resistors for different cartridges and gain depending on tube configuration has both MM/MC capabilities. I currently use a VTPH-2A and use NOS Telefunkens in lieu of the stock tubes. It is a beautiful sounding phono stage and Keith is a joy to work with.

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