Phono stage question

I have a Cary Audio SLP70 preamp (Circa 1993) with a phono stage. It uses two 12AX7 tubes for the phono stage. I recently upgraded my turntable to a Pro-Ject X2. The phono stage in my Cary is the only phono stage I have experienced. I think it sounds great especially with the new X2 spinning my vinyl. But as with most of us, I’m always thinking “Is there something better?”. I’ve been reading a lot about phono preamps. Mostly tube preamps in the $1000 range. But I’ve also read where the phono stage in the Cary is quite good. My problem is having nothing to compare it to. Are there phono preamps in the $1000 range worth considering? Other components in my system are Pass Labs XA30.8 amp and early 90s Chapman T7 speakers.
Try a tavish design classic or vintage, both under a grand and both are tubed. Made in the US. They both have mm/mc, however I'm using a Jensen step up transformer and the mm section of the tavish classic. Cartridge is the Hana el. 
Vertere Acoustics solid state Phono-1 is $1,000 or so.... Well worth investigating and consideration.
I would personally try rolling tubes in the phono section first. I recently bought a Tavish phono pre, and I love it. It’s got lots of loading options and two 12AX7’s (one 5751) and one 12AU7. Another option that I’m curious about that might be worth looking into is the new EAT phono pre. It’s a bit over your budget at $1,500 or so, but it’s got so many loading options, including capacitance for MM carts. Good luck to you whatever you decide to do though. :)
Funny, I am streaming The Pusher Man from Curtis Mayfield Superfly ReRelease. Barry's point is on the mark in my book.

Now we sent you looking at TTs.

Game on!