phono preamp advice

recently purchased a used vpi 19-jr on audiogon.
added a lyra darion cartridge also.HAs upgraded platter
included. currently using musical fidelity trio of xpls-v3,
x-10-v3 tube buffer and pwer supply as my phono section.
have been told the next path to upgrade is this combo to a one piece unit such as a bat vk-p5 for example.
my question is, do i need to upgrade and if so due to space constraints (the bat is too big for my rack along with waf factor) what would be an adequate upgrade that would make a reasonable amount of difference.Budget would be around 2000 give or take. also recomended were the ear
834-p and a jolida jd 9a that can be modified. any other suggestions would be appreciated tks.
Sounds like you have pretty well matched set up as is. I've heard both your MuFi setup and the E.A.R. 834P with a cartridge in the performance category with the Lyra Dorian and didn't hear anything earthshakingly different as far as quality of sound. The E.A.R. is perhaps a bit more focused, but does not offer the tube sound.

If you plan on keeping the Dorian for the forseeable future, then my opinion would be to sit tight with the phono stage that you have.
You owe it to yourself to at least check out the Art Vinyl One tube phono preamp. Warm, neutral, lovely sound that is quite capable of bringing life to classical and jazz as well as rock and blues. I find it significantly outperforms the Ear. You get a lot for your investment in the Art Vinyl. Retail with all the bells and whistles is $2900 or so but there are used units to look for. Also can save by not purchasing the polished chrome face plate. Definately check out the version with MM/MC capability and gain/volume control knob. This allows for future growth into many different carts and for choice for gaining "pure" analog sound by enabling you to bypass your preamp and run directly to your amp for pure analog playback (if you choose).
At your budget the K&K Audio phono stage should be considered. Also, a couple other options are Decware ($1400) and the Hagerman Coronet ($1k). All of these are tube designs and except for the Decware, one piece units. The Decware is quite compact for a two piece and should work in your rack. I purchased a Hagerman Trumpet whose size and WAF won't work for you, but had I known about the K&K that would have gotten serious consideration. I use the K&K step-up with my Hagerman and the quality is excellent for the cost. I have had the Decware in-home for a trial and can also vouch for the quality of Steve Decker's work.
To further elaborate on Sit's thread. Check out the K&K Audio preamp for around $1900.00. Kevin designed and builds the Art Audio Vinyl Reference for them, and this is about as close as it gets. Great sounding preamp for less than half the cost.