To S. Andrea Sundaram,
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response [to my question in October].
I am auditioning the [Lehmannaudio] Black Cube SE phono stage, which is not tube, but still sounds better than the Bellari in my opinion: tighter bass, more defined mids and highs. We're trading out the resistor to give it more oomph. Your suggestion to improve the front end is wise.
I'm still surprised that more component makers are not creating DAC/ADC functionality, especially with a headphone amp and a decent phono stage. With more and more powered speakers, this is the one piece missing.
Thanks for all your help and research. I look forward to staying in touch!
Thanks for writing in again. It's always nice to hear when advice has been helpful (and helpful to hear when it hasn't been). . . . S. Andrea Sundaram