Einstein works well with your cartridge.
The impedance of the Koetsu is pretty low at 5 Ohm so that it should at least electrically match the Shindo preamps (Monbrison, Massetto) which feature a MC input designed for low impedance cartridges. The best people to talk to are Matt at Pitchperfect Audio, Don at Don Better Audio or Jonathan of Tone Imports.
Of course you can always add an external step-up (e.g. Auditorium 23) to any Shindo preamp to allow for a large variety of cartridges. Even a Shindo Aurieges MM with external Cinemag step-ups would be an excellent combo if you are looking at more affordable full function preamps.
In fact, at this level I would always look at matching a high quality step-up to a cartridge first and then running this into a tube MM phono stage.
Thanks for the help. The Einstein is supposed to be a great unit. I am running single ended also, and the SE version is about 5K, so it would be within my budget. I am sure the TT choice would be worth hearing paired with a good line stage.
The Shindo of course would keep me all in one box, and with one less interconnect in my setup. This is desirable, especially the interconnect part. I think this will lead me to checking out the Shindo first, since it would be great to do this with a full function. I have not done any homework on the external SUP transformers. I would think the built in MC SUP in a Masseto would be very good though. It may be time to talk with a Shindo dealer to shed some light on this subject. The Shindo MC gain seems sufficient, so it may come down to the how the built in MC transformer stacks up against reasonably priced external ones. Then of course I am back to needing an extra set of cables for transformer>preamp. Ahh, never easy but always fun.
I agree with the last suggestion, the Pass XOno should be a excellent match to the Koetsu as well. I have been running the XOno with an Allaerts which has some similar characteristics and it is a perfect balance of lushness, detail, texture and dynamics.
I think the XOno is quite underrated in the Forums here and performs much better than the $2k used prices suggest. I did prefer the Pass over several other phono stages (Sutherland Ph.D., Gram Slee, Rossner & Sohn Canofer S, Audio Research PH3SE, Aesthetics Rhea, EAR 834 Deluxe)
I would agree with the XONO as well. At 2k s/h it is an amazing bargin and has all the gain and loading options you would ever need and competive with anything SS out there.
I lived with it for 6 years until just recently when I bought the TW Phono stage. BTW, that sounds wonderful with my Koetsu Rosewood.
I went to hear the Shindo preamps today. I was very impressed with what I heard, although in a system that was a bit different from mine. The dealer was running a .6mv cartridge, but I have heard of owners running as low as
as a .24mv ZYX Universe through the mc inputs. Goodwins is an excellent dealer, friendly, knowlegable staff, great gear. They were worth my trip last year.