Should I upgrade my phono linestage first or the tonearm for better results?

Hello all,

I am wondering if I would get more out of an upgrade to my current tonearm, the Graham 2.0, or should I switch out the phono stage AcousTech Ph1P? I am guessing about the same money either way, budget around $2500 for the upgrade. I would be looking to purchase used equipment on this.

Related components:

Clearaudio Virtuoso 2 cartridge

BAT VK 31SE preamp

Krell KSA 250 amplifier

Aerial 10T speakers

Graham IC70 tonearm cable

Transparent reference interconnects

Transparent Ultra MM bi-wire speaker cables

Thank you in advance!!

Off your main question but if you really have money burning a hole in your pocket you should invest in some proper power cords ( you didn't list any power products)

personally I like Synergistic Research but there are lots of good options out there all easily available used and if you haven't done so you really should invest
" I have just ordered a Mint LP protractor kit, it is arriving next week. I am looking forward to more precise alignment than the DB protractor I currently use."

I think you'll be more than pleased with this purchase, and this may end your desire to throw cash at a problem that may or may not exist.  Going from the DB to the Mint is a major leap in setup precision - orders of magnitude, not degree.   Frankly, I'm always stunned when I hear folks with nice systems not using an arc protractor to do their setup.  
I can’t offer any knowledgeable comments about your tonearm, but I don’t doubt that Folkfreak has provided you with some good thoughts. Regarding the phono stage, though, my strong suspicion is that it is not doing justice to your fine cartridge.

A major reason I say that is what I would consider to be the AcousTech’s absurdly high 10,000 pf input capacitance in moving coil mode, together with its fixed 100 ohm load resistance (which I suspect is necessitated by the very high input capacitance). For further explanation see the post by Lyra cartridge designer Jonathan Carr (JCarr at Audiogon) dated 8-14-2010 in this thread. And keep in mind that he is referring to capacitances as low as tens of pf, not ten thousand.

My suspicion, btw, is that the reason such a high input capacitance value was used is that it is serving as an inexpensive way of avoiding what would otherwise be issues in the design.

You may want to consider the Herron VTPH-2, at $3650 new. If you research past threads here and elsewhere, you’ll find nearly unanimous glowing praise from all who own it or have heard it (including me), as well as for Keith Herron as a wonderful person to deal with. Some other owners have reported finding it to be competitive with $10K phono stages. It has only unbalanced inputs and outputs, but I don’t see that as being an issue with your BAT preamp.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

The main advantage from the Graham Arm is its own cartridge adjuster. The user can align a cartridge spot on and I think, that is one reason why Graham Arms sound better than others.
A new, expensive  Arm with wrong calibration is useless.