New Phono Cart with Character Needed

I want to replace a Rega Ania MC phono cart on a Rega P3 because the current setup is lifeless, flat, and un-engaging. Phono stage is a Pass Labs XP17. The music produced currently is full of detail, very lifelike, instruments all sound very real, good upper end extension, but there is no there there. I can plug my phone into my multibit DAC and stream Jazz Groove and have a better experience because the sound is richer and has more oomph. I want warmth, oomph, texture, and wows from my analog. The Ania is just too flat, clinical and dry. I want to trade that for some color and a little more strength behind the notes. Budget is $1000. I mostly listen to Jazz. All suggestions are welcome.

Rega Ania MC Cart specs: Input Load Impedance 100 Ω, Output Impedance 10 Ω, Nominal output voltage 350 μV, Tracking Pressure 1.75 - 2.00 g

Rega P3 has been upgraded with GrooveTracer delrin platter and subplatter. 


When it comes to this problem, I think you can blame the phono stage (or its match to a particular cartridge) just as likely as you can the cartridge itself. Tube MM stage paired with a good SUT is the easier path to "fun" sound, in my experience.

Some cartridges are naturally more analytical - that’s been my repeat issue with higher end Ortofon MCs over the years - though their older Kontrapunkts and Cadenzas below the Black have a much more fun sound, btw. But these too can be improved on this front by the tubes + SUT path. Here are some particularly "fun" cartridges I’ve enjoyed: Van den Hul Frog Gold, Air Tight PC-7, various metal body Shelters. Koetsus are always hella fun to me, but too warm for some systems and some ears. Van den Huls above Frog seems to focus more on resolution and transparency. Benzes are pretty good all-rounders, definitely not analytical or dry - here too I find the middle and lower ranges of the line more fun than ruby plate models that focus more on resolution and refinement. In general, I prioritize a cartridge's engagement factor over ultimate resolution and refinement. 

Audio Musikraft Lithium head shell loaded with guts from a Denon DL-103 or 103R. Simple set up, awesome sound.  Audiophile Magazine "A" rating.