There is a Classe DR 5 with no phono stage for $550 listed currently. I sold them at one time and was very happy with them. Preamp design has not advanced much in some time ,at least not in components in the real world price range so going back to good 90s equipment is a practical way of getting high quality reasonably. I also saw a top line Sim Audio from this period for $1200 that looked interesting. I also find Musical Fidelity to be very good. Find something that looks interesting and check it on Sterophile archives , etc. There is good stuff out there at reasonable prices.
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