I am a huge fan of my Townshend Rock 7, which I have paired with a Moerch DP-8 arm. Great stuff. Robert Greene's reviews capture the sound of these nicely.
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I would buy a used Basis 2200 with Vector arm or a SME 10 or 20 with SME 5 arm in that price range. Any of those choices would be a big step up, with the Basis or SME 20 being very significant. Be sure to budget enough for a phono preamp suitable for these turntables. I assume you already have something high quality, but it is not mentioned I your post.
The SME will easily play at 78. Not sure about the Basis. It may require a different pulley.