phono preamp for Grado Master low output to C11

i got a great deal on a low output Grado Statement Master cart and this is my first delve into the low output cartridge - so naturally, the Phono input's on my McIntosh C11 don't have enough gain.

i'm willig to spend 4-500 bucks if need be on a preamp, but do i really need to go crazy? i

help pls?
"Do I really need to go crazy?" You may or may not go crazy, but be prepared to have an extended hunt. I have the same cartridge and like you, needed a new phono pre that could handle the low output. I assumed the specified gain and great reviews of the Sutherland Ph1-P would ensure good performance. Wrong. For whatever reason, even though the specified gain should have been more than adequate, it just was kind of polite and too laid back. It was also marginal as far as noise. After taking a big gulp, I bought the much more spendy RCM sensor prelude and THIS combo sprang to life. Grado woodies have a less than extroverted personality and it evidently takes some care in preamp matching to get a happy marriage.
I use a Sutherland PhD and it really shines. With the Grado Statement1 at 500ohms input.
Grado's makes it own PH-1 phono amp that sells new for $500. It has switchable 40db/60dB gain

Your Mac C11 supposedly has "Voltage gain 20dB aux, 60dB phono". So let's see how this works out electrically...(experts please correct me if wrong, I'm trying this at 2am after a long night out)

Grado Statement Master @ 0.5mV x PH-1 @ 40dB gain = 50mV output x Mac C11 aux @ 20dB = 500mV output

Grado Statement Master @ 0.5mV x PH-1 @ 60dB gain = 500mV output x Mac C11 aux @ 20dB = 5000mV/5V output

I'm hoping that the volume control on the C11 attenuates the input voltage before reaching the amplifier stage. If so, on the 60dB setting things should work nicely with the volume less than turned up all the way.
I have used a Jasmine phono stage with great results with a LOMC Denon DL-S1. Second hand they sell for $450. On Ebay, a little bit more (this is where I purchased mine). These come directly from China. Read some of the reviews here on AG.
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