Thorens TD 160-significant upgrade possible $1500?

My current (budget) system includes a well sorted Thorens TD-160 with a Grade Blue cart. Amp is a Musical Fidelity A3.2 with a built in phono stage, and some Sonus Faber Concertino speakers.

If I had $1500-2000 to spend on a used TT and preamp, could I get a significant improvement in sound? I would be thinking along the lines of a VPI Scout and a $500 phono preamp (Parks Budgie?). For the time being, the MF A3.2 and speakers are likely not up for change.

I listen to mostly classic rock, alt rock, jazz, and folk. I'd like a little more energy and separation, if that makes sense.

thanks in advance
I believe that your idea is a good one. Source first. You might also look at a Rega or even a used Linn table.

The phono stage in your amp is quite capable; I would allot that money to a new phono cartridge instead. Good luck!
You could also consider transforming you 160 by making a few worthwhile mods that will push its performance to the next level. New arm, arm board, plinth and damping. While your at it polishing the platter adds to the visual appeal.

If you enjoy tweaking this is an easy and fun project that pays off better than insider trading.
"I listen to mostly classic rock, alt rock, jazz, and folk. I'd like a little more energy and separation, if that makes sense."

It it were my choice, I would do this: DV-P75 $900, DV-20x2 low output version $950 and a Music Hall Cruise Control 2.0 $300. It should be a big improvement for now, and if you want to upgrade your TT in the future, you can transfer all this over to something like a VPI Scout.
My opinion is that you have a good basic set-up. The weak link seems to be the Grado cartridge. Replacing it with a decent medium or high output moving could cartridge could be just what you're looking for with out breaking the bank.

A Denon DL-110 might be just the ticket. Your preamp has enough gain (might have to turn up the volume a little higher) to work just fine with the Denon. And it would give you plenty of money left over for a few turntable tweaks if you want.
"moving coil" not "moving could" Sary fir thet tyypings airor.
Ok thanks! The view here seems to be to upgrade the cartridge first before going after a new turntable. This sounds good to me- does this mean that my Thorens 160 is a good enough platform to invent a new cartridge in?

You did not mention the tonearm you have on your TD-160. I owned one back in 1982. I was using the original Garrott Brothers P77, one of the great moving magnet cartridges, on an Excel Unipivot arm.

I did replace it with a lightly used Linn Sondek and that was an upgrade, as one would expect - or at least hope. A lot of music in those TD-160s though.

You seem to want "jump" a Rega 3 TT would be ideal for you.
There is also the so called 'super TD-160' modify in UK
with damping and other improvements. This one was preferred
in Europe above other Thorens versions. You can save this way
about $1100 from your budget.
I've had a Thorens TD 160, 2 TD 125's, and 2 TD 150's. Three had original toneams, and 2 had different arms, ie Jelco 750d and SME 3009 II. I've also had a Rega P3, P5, RP6, and RP8 with Rega arms; TTPSU's were on 3 of them. After much interchange of various cartridges and many direct comparisons including Shure M95ed , Ortofon Cadenza red, Rega Exact, Rega Elyses, and Clearaudio Virtuoso, [among many others including V15III MR, HE and Jico SAS styli], I must say the vintage Thorens have been clear victors, and I now own no Regas whasover, only 2 Thorens, both restored; Although many would differ with me, I believe the Thorens are just more involving.