Phono preamp connected directly to amps?

I have a phono only system, using an older sonic frontiers anthem pre-1 preamp, tape-out, to a placette passive preamp, to quicksilver monoblocks. Wy question is twofold: 1. are there phono stages in the 1 -2k range that would improve upon the anthem, and 2. would there be an advantage in using one of the newer phono units with a volume control and running directly to my amps, and avoiding the placette and the additional interconnect? thank you
Doesn't the Anthem have volume control? If so, I'm not sure I understand why the Placette is in the chain.

Can you audition any items? You certainly have more options if volume control isn't needed, but there are a few threads here where people laud a couple phono stages w/pots.

There's a Quicksilver Full Function Preamp at the marketplace right now, just in case matching appeals to you at all. Otherwise, it seems that you'd rather move away from "full function" anyway.
I use a PS Audio GCPH running directly into a Nobis Contigore tube amp and it sounds great. very detailed and liquid. The GCPH has a volume control, plus easily variable loading and gain, so its easy to find a range of amplificatioin that suits your amp. there are plenty of mods available to improve the GCPH too.
The volume control is on my amp (Sophia Baby). TTVJ phono hybrid preamp feeds it directly.