phono stage advice please

Re-phrasing/clarifying a question I had initially placed on the amp/preamp forum a few days ago:

I recently acquired a Conrad Johnson 2500A amp/PR18LS preamp combo, and now seeking audition advice for a compatible phono stage (my former NAD 1130 preamp of 20 yrs. had a rather nice/versatile phono). I should mention that my table is a Pro-ject Xperience w/ an Ortofon X1-MC cart (high output). The above C-J is ss, and thought a tube phono stage would be good synergy with the C-J pieces. Do any of you own or had any experience with the C-J EF-1 phono preamp? Trying to keep the budget in the $500-900 gently used range, so it would be difficult for me to consider the P15. Any thoughts from those owning sim. pieces to the above would be very welcome. Thank you.
This may not be much help. I tried the Premier 15 but had a low output moving coil cartridge and it just did not cut it. There are many good phono preamps that work well with either moving magnet or high output moving coil and they tend to cost less as well. I tried a number of phono preamps but all at a higher cost.
For a start at a budget price with tubes there is the Bellari VP129(hope I got the letters and numbers right) for $200 might be worth a try. Michael Fremer of Stereophile loves it at that price
Thank you for your thoughts. Interesting - - what type of MC were you using with the P15? Initially, it seemed to me that the EF-1 would be good for C-J system synergy. I have an opportunity to audition/purchase a gently used one in the $800 range. Heard good things about the Bellari as well. I'll have a Pro-ject Tube Box next week to listen for a bit. On another level, however, I am increasingly intrigued by opinions of the EAR 834P, and to a slightly lesser degree the Graham Slee ERA Gold MK V. The EAR particularly interests me, as somehow a tube phono stage seems a nice balance to the C-J voicing (both the 2500A and the PR18 being ss). Still the EF-1.............hmmm.
I also have the Pro-ject Xperience table and really like it. I'm using a Denon 103D MC cartridge and tried several phono stages. I finally purchased the Jolida JD9 tube phono stage. It takes 100+ hours to really break it in, but has a great sound. It works with MC and MM cartridges. It's in the $450 range new, check it out.
in your price range i would head to the top of that range and look for an ear 834p, i think you will find its money well spent and should you ever get tired of it. you will recoup all your investment at resale. not to mention it will outperform most phono stages under 2000.00 and is a tube unit.........a delux version on a-gon right now for the 950.00 (no affiliation with seller)
I've been interested in the Dynavector P-75 recently, but can't seem to find much talk about it.