Based on the posts in this forum and the reviews in Stereophile, I put together a system consisting of the Pro-ject Debut III, Onkyo A-9555, and Paradigm Atom Monitors. I am also using a subwoofer from a home theater system. This was designed so I could dip my toe into vinyl playback. I've really enjoyed the experience and I've now amassed quite a few new and used LPs. The question is where to go from here. I want to stick with the basic components I have. Explaining to my wife that I need a new $1,000 turntable when I just bought one for $300 a few months ago is not a conversation I am prepared to have right now. However, I think there are some improvements I can make with my basic setup. I have been thinking about upgrading the stock Ortofon OM5 cartridge on the Debut III to something like the Denon DL-110 or the Ortofon 2M Red. My understanding is that with the Denon I would also have to replace the steel platter with an acrylic one because the steel platter causes problems for a MC cartridge. Another thought is adding an external phone stage such as a Cambridge 640P or the Bellari. I think the Onkyo phone stage is decent, but I really have nothing to compare it to. Or I could do the cartridge and the phono stage together if that makes sense.
In total, I'd like to keep my costs around $500-600. Do you think I can improve this system for that amount? What would you do? All thoughts and comments are welcome.