Upgrade Advice cart or phono pre amp

As a general rule if one was going to upgrade their phono preamp or cartridge, which would give the most improvement.

if the budget was 700 what is a good suggestion?

Thank you!
88e01d28 0eb9 4170 809a af5910f1b124thegoldenear
Hi goldenear.

I am curious of the opinions on this myself. If $700 is your budget for an upgrade, is this a small or substantial increase over your present cart and pre?
To a large extent it will depend on the tonearm you're using.

For instance, if the Music Hall MMF-5 shown in your system is in fact the current tonearm, most $700 cartridges would be a waste of money.

That arm is basically entry level and incapable of optimizing most of the cartridges at your price point.

Knowing more about your current phonosatge and cartridge would help.
I'm with Bill. Sell the MMF-5 and buy a turntable and cartridge in the $1000.00 to $1500.00 Range. Marantz TT-15 (Clearaudio made with the Clearaudio cartridge), Rega P25 or P5 with Dynavector 10X5 or AT150MLX, older VPI MKlll with nice arm and cartridge, Technics SL-1200 with mods, there are even Linn LP-12s at this price point if you are handy.
Sell the pa 1.2, replace with Primare R20 (which is in your budget) or something nice with tubes, then start thinking about saving for that better table, arm and cart. You have a very nice system, I just think it deserves a better analog source.