The PS Audio GCPH has a volume control.
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Stock PS is $1K ($750 used or new if you look).Then one can step it up to PCX or Cullen mods for another $750.Won't touch EAR 324 (not sure if that has volume).Steelhead is the best at $4k used and you ge one line level input but you gotta pay.You can broaden your choices if you add TVC or Palacette volume controller.But remember you are going to be depending on what might not be best op-amp gain control so not having a pre might not sound as good and passive might not deliver bass or dynamics you might want.But depends on unit of course.
P.S. lower priced king was EAR 834 and still a good choice (can be upgraded by factory tech Mitch Singerman).Can't remember how low it goes but also think if your going to use MC verus MM (they come in all prices).PS without a strong amp and speaker combo could raise problem if you don't have .4mv cart output.My friend uses a .23 with GCPH but he has a strong 40 watt tube into moderate sensitivity speakers.Make sure phono cart and amp will allow for enough power with chosen phono unit.He loves GCPH as it has gainc setting,volumes AND phase and mono switches.
JJ243 Preamp has an excellent phono stage in it, and you can run it with just the phono stage, with the phono stage and volume control, and Phono stage, volume control, and another gain stage, so you can accomodae low output cartridges. I am running mine into my Theta GenVIII analog input section. JJ was all the rage for a bit a number of years ago. They dont get much press anymore, but I have and very much enjoy their243 in my main system as a phono stage and their 828 integrated in my 2d system. They are imported by Eurotubes.
Art Audio Vinyl One (tube) works terrific for me. I had the PS GCPH and wasn't really impressed with it. The A.A.V.O. has room to grow as (if) you upgrade your system in the future. It's less costly than the Steelhead but more than the PS GCPH.
Since you're mentioning the Steelhead I'm guessing your also looking into a finer quality table set up. The Art Audio Reference and the top-of-the-line K&K Audio units offer even finer quality audio reproduction and reportedly perform equal to or even better than much higher priced units.
Big spread between a PS GCPH at $1K (pick 'em up $500 used and a Steelhead (which has single line level).For what it's worth the guy at 10 Audio gave Cullen Modded GCPH better marks than Art Audio.
Wish somebody would make a $2K tube pre (hybrid with Ph. section being SS) with all the adjustments of the GCPH i.e ,gain and load,phase,and mono.Maybe somebody can add a tube buffer in a GCPH?????As long and I am in fantasy land how about something with battery power,tubes and the bells and whistles like and non-simple version of the Dodd?I like to change carts and flexibility is hard to find.If I had three arm Clearaudio Aesthetix Rhea would the choice but right now I just tube swap.