Phonostage & Cartridge Upgrade For Rega P5

I am planning for an upgrade for my Rega P5 turntable in near future and would appreciate some advice.

I recently purchased a TT PSU and this added a nice subtle improvement to the P5. The difference is not day and night but for the price paid I have no complaints. I currently have a Denon DL103 cartridge on the P5 and the phonostage is a built-in MC in my Rega Elicit integrated amp. The problem is I am not sure how good the built-in MC phonostage is but from what I gather the quality of it is pretty much crap since it's a low-end unit.

I am curious to know how much improvement that can be had at a modest cost of say $1,000 for both cartridge and phonostage, or possibly just the phonostage alone. Given the quality of the Rega P5, I don't think it is worthwhile to spend a lot on upgrades. I am only concerned on whether I can perceive a *significant* improvement in sound quality with a better phonostage and cartridge and not a small sonic improvement with the TT PSU.

Some good outboard phonostages recommended here are the Dynavector P75Mk2 and EAR 834P. The Rega IOS was claimed to be an excellent unit matched with Apheta MC cartridge but the price is too much for what I am willing to fork out.

Any advice would be appreciated.
There are a lot of folks who believe the Denon DL-103 is the most musical cartridge available for under $1000. I own one and love it. Don't be so quick to change it.

I think you may be able to squeeze out significantly more performance with an outboard phono stage. I can't find any specs on the Elicit's phono board, but if it doesn't allow for adjustable gain and loading, you probably aren't hearing the DL-103 at its best.

If it were me, I would keep the DL-103 for now and put $750 or so toward a new phono stage. The Dynavector and Ear are very good, certainly. But I tend to think the Denon goes better with tubes.

You might consider spending $699 on the Pro-Ject Tube Box SE and another $100-$200 on NOS tubes. I also hold the Millett Hybrid Phono Stage from Todd The Vinyl Junkie in high regard. It's $850.

I suspect that, with the Dynavector or Ear, you will get greater detail and finesse. With the Pro-Ject or TTVJ, ou'll get a smoother, silkier sound and a much larger and deeper soundstage.

Either way, yes, I think the investment would be worth it.
The 103, while quite good, and cheap, is not the universal product that some think it is. I think that there are two issues holding you back.

If you are using the stock Rega arm, at around 9 grams effective mass, then you will find that your cartridge sounds better with more mass. One way to do this, for free, is the TWL mod. You can parse these forums for the details. The cartridge does not come into it's own until effective mass hits the 14 gram and above range.

The second issue is that this cartridge has the odd combination of high impedance and low output. IMHO, it really only sounds best loaded with a transformer into a MM phono stage. Nice, fairly inexpensive, transformers that mate well with the 103 are the Denon AU-320 and the Cinemags, but there are plenty of others.

I think that, if you optimize your cartridge in this manner, you will be making a giant jump. Barring that, perhaps another cartridge that is more compatible with the arm as it currently sits like an Ortofon MM, the Black being nice, into a Slee Gold. Or a Dynavector 20 series cartridge into a Phenomena or D-75.
Thanks for all your valuable inputs Ekobesky and Viridian. They were much appreciated and would give me some direction on what to do next to obtain an appreciable sonic difference at a modest cost. I think I'll concentrate more on the phono stage and cartridge optimization. Need to do some reading up on Denon and Cinemags transformers.
Might I suggest today's post on the Asylum as a starting place:

Even if you do not decide to go that route, it is good to make an educated decision when eliminating system structures.
I had a P5/TTPSU/Rega Exact prior to upgrading to my current P7/DV20X-H. I was pleased with the Exact cartridge and have heard the Exact2 is much better. I currently use a Graham Slee Era Gold V phono stage and am quite happy with it too. My preamp (McIntosh C2200)has an onboard tube phono stage but I prefer the sound of my Era Gold V. The GSP is a very simple yet engaging phono stage - sometimes less is better.