Yes it should be better than your receivers phono input. I also recommend the NAD pp2 which for 30 dollars more gives u bothe mm and mc inputs. They are both bargains. Shay
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I had a NAD PP2 connected to my Onkyo home theater receiver. I used a Benz high-output ACE cartridge and thought it sounded like crap (detailed but thin and bright, not fleshed out at all).
Then I upgraded to the Onkyo TX SR705 with a built-in phono stage and I'm getting much better results.
So my advice is to try your receiver's phono stage and who knows, it may sound fine. If not, there's no guarantee that "upgrading" to an entry level budget phono stage will sound a lot better...