Step-Up or Not to Step-Up: This is the Question

A day ago for a first time I plugged new to me Oracle Delphi MK 1 turntable with moving coil cartridge Denon DL-301 into DK Design integrated hybrid amplifier with build-in phono stage to be amazed how clear and vibrant the sound of vinyl is.
But as I described in my previous post because of low output of MC cartridge I have to dial amp's volume knob all the way to 5 o'clock position to get a decent volume. But that is not a main concern... DK Design has some LOUD function which when turned ON adds some substantial bass to the sound. It is very effective on low be functions well with volume knob at position between 8 and 12 o'clock. Anywhere beyond 12 o'clock mark the LOUD function fades out with no effect at 3 o'clock.
Without this LOUD function the bass response is pretty weak. I like it more when it is ON. But since the turntable output is so low I have to use a volume between 12 and 5 o'clock...where the LOUD function stops working.
In order to gain a missing bass I see two possible solutions:
First is to get step-up MC cartridge amp. This will let me use a volume knob between 8 and 12 o'clock where LOUD function works. But this solution will add more circuity and more interconnect cables.
Second solution is to add active sub-woofer and keep using amp at 12-5 o'clock volume knob's position.
I wonder what which solution is more elegant?
Might want to look here.
The MC cartridge phono amp/or step-up is required whether you do anything with a subwoofer or not.

You are not doing justice to your system by using such a low gain on the phono.

Some people prefer electronic phono "head amplifiers" to provide the added gain. Some people prefer using a step-up transformer to do it.

Personally, I prefer the step-up transformer, as I think it provides a better load for the cartridge to drive. In any case you'll need at least a 20db gain increase.

Some options might be:
Bent Audio Mu step-up transformers - ~$800
K&K Lundahl step-up transformers - ~$250-$300
Denon Head amp (used) - perhaps around $100

Of course there are other options, those are just a few.
Get a decent step-up transformer. I got a pretty decent Ortofon T-20 Mk II used here on 'Agon a little while ago for use with my Kontrapunkt B and Audio Research PH-3 and I know have enough gain not to put the volume level way way up and not to have the noise that was present before. How you introduce subs into this issue is one the wackier angles I have seen of late.

Good luck.

And, oh, the single most important part of vinyl is the record itself. Even new, most are noisy and a good number are good for the garbage bin from the get go. Watch the fur fly. The truth hurts, I guess...
I found this step-up module listed in audiogon.
Is anyone familiar with it?
You are lucky to have a "Loudness" control on your amp. It is working properly, as you describe it. This is essential if you ever listen at low volume. However, it does require that the regular volume control be in a normal range, not cranked up all the way.

The easy, and completely satisfactory fix is to get a stepup transformer.
Check out the line of Audio Note transformers. They have excellent products. The used vintage Kondo transformers are simply the best but at 3000 used it should be.

check out the AN trannies at:

The ANS2 looks like a candidate and has useful adjustments for cartridges with different specifications.
Get the step up transformer. The loudness button was designed as a bass boost for very low listening levels.
Thanks for your replies! I've just purchased Music Reference RM-4 Pre Preamplifier. It is going to be delivered tomorrow.
I can't wait to try it. Anyone use it? Any comments?