Phonostage recommendations under $3K


I am looking to step up from my current Parasound ZPhono XRM (still under 60 days audition trial). To be honest, I am quite pleased with its performance, feature set and flexibility. I mean what else you can expect from a $600 phono. While I enjoyed listening to vinyl through XRM, I feel there is room for improvement and XRM may be the weakest link in my vinyl setup. And since XRM is the only phono I’ve experienced in my setup, I don’t have quite have a reference point. So what else should I be considering under $3K?

I prefer a relaxed and slightly warm sound since I mostly listen to jazz genre.

I started to put together a list list based on sound quality and flexibility with gain and impedance settings.

Parasound JC 3+ Phono Pre
Allnic H-1202
Leben RS30 EQ (requires a SUT for MC Cart)

I hear high praises on Herron VTPH-2A but it’s bit more than I would like to spend at this time.

My current vinyl setup, Thorens TD1601, ZPhono XRM, Hana ML (low output - 0.4mv), Accuphase E-650 and Tannoy Canterbury’s.

I would really appreciate some recommendations based on your personal experiences. Thank you!

I hear you on tube phono’s. I am using one in my system. The SunValley tube phono peaked my interest, that’s a very interesting piece. It’s definitely worth trying :-) 
“Thanks for your recommendation. May I know what cartridge you’re pairing with E1?”

I use Dynavector 20 low output on Amadeus Mk2
I can only recommend Sutherland and Zesto phono stages.  The 20/20 with LPS is well within budget.  If you can scrap together more; I'd recommend the Little Loco for your low-output MC cartridge.  No messing with settings as this unit is transimpedance.  It has taken my rig to another level. 

You could also try to find a used Zesto Andros tube based phono stage, which I owned for a few years and sounded wonderful too.  I just got lazy with turning the thing on and off etc.  

Good luck!