Not sure how reasonable is reasonable to you. It will help if you could give a price range.
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I am looking to spend $200-300 (I have no problem buying used items, prefer it even) on the phono stage and about the same on the tonearm, if only because I have been advised that the Alexandria itself becomes a limiting factor when mated with components priced much past these values. If anyone believes this not to be the case, or has experience to the contrary, do comment. I would be willing to spend twice as much (i.e. $400-600 each for phono stage and tonearm) if I thought it was worth the expense. Indeed, this is the source of my confusion on the issue; not really knowing what price range of components is appropriate for this table. Thanks again.
The intorable limiting factor is more-likely belongs to Bluepoint cartridge.
Replace with new Shure V15vXMR. Than think of phonostage.
Don't go bellow ARC PH3($800 used) otherwise you'll spend much more for upgrades. This phonostage could be used for cartridges down to 1mV output with passive preamp and down to .6mV output for active preamps. You should be able to vary the load by replacing load resistors since that's the only way done in this phonostage.
I have heard a lot of good things about the ARC PH3, but I think I am looking for something a little bit cheaper, and more user friendly as far as switching between MC and MM is concerned. I'm not trying to set up a workshop over this; I'll settle for a switch or button or maybe even a jumper.
Does anyone have experience with the ASL offerings in this area?
I actually really like the performance of Bluepoints for the money.
Hammy, I have been looking at the Dynavector 10x4 and will own one sooner than later.
Any ideas on a good tonearm upgrade for this table? Some previous threads indicate that the Alexandria can be fickle this way.
Your Oracle Alexander/MMT set up is an extremely cost effective combo as it is, assuming that you have it is operating properly and set up well. You really won't get any kind of major improvement by getting a new tone arm. (I have owned this system for the past 10+ years and it competes with my Delphi, but doesn't best it).
Re phono stage, if you are going to get a MC cartridge be sure your phono stage allows you to adjust the load or matching cartridges will be a crap shoot. Personally I like the EAR 834P, but it might be a tad more costly than your budget.
In selecting a cartridge be sure to match the mass of the tone arm to the comnpliance of the cartridge. The MMT is a medium mass arm and your cartridge compliance should not be too high or low. FWIW I use a Micro Benz Glider on my Alexander.
I posted the same question a week or so ago over on audioasylum. I also have an Alexandria/MMT rig. The response I received on Audioasylum is the same as the responses your question received here. Basically, the arm is a good match for the 'table and that the table/arm combo is a very good performance value for the money. Here's a link to my Audioasylum post: