Phono Pre-Amp Questions

Hi all, I've posted a few times recently as I have just returned to the joys of vinyl. I've noticed some talk about phono preamps and am curious and interested.
1. Can they really be that much better than the phono stages of a conventional pre-amp?
2. I'll assume they hook up to your power amp,integrated etc, and of course the TT is hooked up to it. Do they come with RCA and unbalanced inputs? My power amp has both and changing the cables every time I want to listen to the TT sounds like a pain.
3. Which models here on the used market would you guys suggest? I have the Pro-Ject Carbon that goes for 400.00 bucks. I would like to spend up to around 300.00 if one worth having can be had for that.
Assoc equip:
Aragon 8008BB Dual Mono power amp
Muscial Fidelity A3cr dual mono pre
PS-Audio P-300 Power Plant
Wharfdale speakers.
Thanks all and I appreciate the responses.
As with everything else in audio, phono pres come in many different configurations, features, and price tags. For what you're planning on spending, I don't know that you'll find much that betters your current phono stage.

You might look at PS Audio's GCPH, or Jolida. I suggest you subscribe to A'gon's Bluebook, if you don't already. There you can keep an eye on what's available, and current prices. Good luck.

If you could stretch to $500 for a Jasmine LP2.0MKII, you would have a phono pre that you could easily live with as you upgrade. I chose the Jasmine based on threads of audio forums and received direct recommendations from other veteran audio enthusiasts that appreciate value.

You acquire it through Ebay, direct from China, szeastsun (is the member).
The shielding offered in a good separate phono stage makes a noticable improvement vs a phono in an integrated amp.

I have a MF 3.2 integrated which has built in phono, and pretty good to0. But no match for the Jolida. Im getting a Jolida unit next week-looking forward to it.
+2 on the Jolida. IMHO it punches way above even its new price point.
Another thumbs-up for the Jolida JD9.

With its full-size chassis and grown-up power supply, the Jolida starts with a good foundation and adds an immense range of gain, capacitance, and resistance settings. Being able to dial in *just* the right capacitance or resistance goes a long way to getting your cartridge to sing at its best.

I've had mine for 1-1/2 years and have no urge to upgrade. Quiet, smooth, musical, yet detailed and dynamic with a most natural tonal balance.
Zar, A separate phono stage will need to be hooked up to your preamp like any other source. They usually do not have their own volume control. There are exceptions but none in your price range that I know of.

I used to have a MF-308 integrated and it was not hard to better the built in phono stage. At the time the Gram Slee 2SE was better and about $300.00 but that was a while ago. I did not find the Gram Slee 2SE that good either but it was an improvement. I have no experience with any of the newer phono stages in your price range but the Jolida does look interesting.
Guys, thanks for the advice. So on the used market what would the Jolida cost? I will look when I have time. So it is hooked up to the pre-amp oand not directly to the power amp? Interesting. So it would plug in to the AUX? or likewise? Thanks again appreciate the advice and answers to the questions all.
Yes. AUX will work fine. Just make sure you don't hook it up to phono.
Yes, phono preamps will not have any volume control (with very few exceptions like the PS Audio GCPH, but even that is usually plugged into an AUX (or any non-PHONO) input.