Which phono section to buy: match table or cartridge?


Hi All,
I have a Rega P-25 turntable and a Clearaudio Maestro cartridge.  Both Rega and Clearaudio make phono stages.  Is there an advantage of choosing one over the other?  In other words, would if make a difference if I matched the phono stage to the turntable or to the cartridge?  I want to stay as much under $1000 as possible.  Any other sections I should consider given my gear?

Thanks in advance,Russ
rustler
Buy the best phono stage you can afford.  Matching to the brand of either your turntable or your cartridge is absolutely unnecessary.  However, if I am correct in my belief that the Maestro is a high output MM cartridge, this means you only need a phono stage with enough gain for MM cartridges, assuming you have no near future plans to buy a low output MC cartridge.  If you can afford to spend $1000, then spend it all on the best MM phono stage you can find.  I'll leave the specific suggestions to others, as I am not familiar with products of the type and in the price class that you need.  You can get much more bang for the buck also if you are willing to buy used equipment.
Many thanks, lewm!  Thanks for the clarity, too.
Buy the best phono stage you can afford. Matching to the brand of either your turntable or your cartridge is absolutely unnecessary.

^^^This^^^
Give Keith Herron a call. Most of the improvement made to the VTPH-1 to the -2 were in the section used only for low output cartridges.  Keith occasionally has a traded-in VTPH-1mm that he will sell you for not much more than your $1,000 target (stretching to buy it will be money well spent).
thanks, bdp.  I will try that on Monday, but those prices on his website look way out of reach. 

RR
There are a lot of good MM phono stages in the $1000 and under range. A few that I have tried and really liked:

-Croft RIAA ($995) - uses two 12ax7 tubes, MM only

-Lejonklou Gaio 2 ($895) - solid state, but on the smooth side of things, MM only

-Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL - solid state, lots of a adjustments, MM/MC, refined sound, very cheap wall wart power supply

-Schitt Mani ($129) - yes, a $129 solid state stage.  It's much, much better than its price would suggest.  I still go back to mine frequently and am surprised every time by how good it sounds.  MM/MC.

-iFi iPhono2 ($549) - a very versatile and great sounding solid state MM/MC phono stage.  The wall wart power supply was very noisy in my setup.  An external power supply makes it much better.

Anyway, just a few thoughts based on my experiences.

Good luck and have fun!
Scott

Look at the SoundSmith MM phono stages
Or just buy MM/MC JLTi mk4 or mk5 used