Phono Stage Selection - PH-16 or Hagerman Cornet3

Yes, yet another phono stage thread.

I'm working with the following constraints and could use input:
- tubes - my rig is all SS and has shown to benefit from a tube stage (borrowing one now).
- Sub $700
- maximize performance
- I build Marshall tube amps so kits make sense to help meet the above bullet

- these two kits outperform "big box" equivalents

Any testimonials?

Would like to see the thread stay on point unless there's a serious winner I've missed.

I'm aware that Musical Fidelity is making a stellar SS stage for the same price, etc.
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Three more candidates:

Aural Thrills

Used Jolida JD-9

Used Audio Research PH-3.

Suppose I'm looking for one of the experts here to analyze the design and help decide which best addresses the common downsides of tube stages; I.e noise, lack of or flubby bass. Also running an Ortofon 2M Blue so it should pair well with that cart.

Some have money back guarantees so I may audition a few. Just looking for help shortening the list.

I wanted a tubed linestage, and wanted a kit, so I bought a Transcendent Sounds Grounded Grid pre. I love the thing.

They also have a phono stage, you might want to check out. The linestage is only $499. The phono pre is $699 for the kit.

I don't know if it would meet your needs, as far as working with your cartridges, but it's something to consider.

Tube Box SE
Bottlehead Seduction
Wright WPP 200
Hagermann Cornet II

I had all of these tube stages in my system and loved the Hagerman the best. Good price and great sound.
Not much to add other than i was in the same position that you were a few years ago. Having built my own guitar amps I was comfortable with a soldering iron. I ended up going from a Jolida JD-9 to a Hagermann Bugle2 that I built myself. In hindsight, the Jolida did sound a hair better -- it really had that depth that a good tube amp gives you. However, at ~$100 the bugle 2 really gave it a run (SS even!). I ended up selling the Jolida as the bugle was at the right price / performance spot. I can't say enough good things about it.

I haven't tried the Cornet3, but it launched in a similar way the bugle did - through kickstarter. I plan on going this route soon to hear the difference. I bet the cornet does a better job than the Jolida.

Can't say enough about hagermann stuff. Really good value (esp if you assemble yourself!).
That's great input. I hear a lot of great things about Hagermann kits and I dig the Kickstarter story.

Honestly, i get hung up on the packaging size. Not sure why but I'm leaning toward the PH-16 due to the massive toroidal tranny and overall complexity of the design. similar $. His RIAA curve is a bit more precise as well.

Not a done deal yet but that's where I'm leaning. Roy has been exceptionally responsive as well. Jim was a bit more brief in responses to inquiries, however clearly stands behind his product by offering a year to return if I didnt like it. that speaks volumes.

We'll see...