technics 1200 cartridge and preamp choices

i'm looking for a cartridge and preamp for my technics 1200, i was wondering if you all could give me some direction. i've done quite a bit of searching on the web; from what i understand the tonearm on the 1200 is medium weight.. i've read alot of favorable reviews of the Denon dl-103 and 103R which are about in my price range ($200-300) for this type of tonearm.

for preamp, I was looking at the Grado PH-1 and the Creek OBH-8SE ($300-500 range) i'm especially interested in hearing peoples opinions of these preamps or ones of comparable value.

i'll be playing all genres of music from classical to rock.
for the technics (which i've had) i think the grado phono stage would be a very good choice. its a bit rounder and smoother than something like a dynavector p75 (which i have)... and will balance out the slight glare in the lower treble of the 1200 (not bright as in tizzy, but as in a hardness). also, for your setup (if you go with a 103), the ear phono would prob work very well if you want to spend a bit more. i thought 103 worked well on technics arem... (i am sure people will start to post that the denon is ultra low compliance (5cu)... it is still low compliance, but it is actually 9 or so cu when measured on the calibration that most of us are used to. denon uses some weird unit on there specs)
If you are set on using moving coil catridges, you don't want the Grado PH-1, it's only for moving magnet carttridges. You're going to need more gain for a Denon catridge, which has rather low output. To really give you better advice, it helps to know what kind of sound you are after. Do you prefer analytical or a lusher kind of sound? Does your system have certain sonic characteristics you want to enhance or counteract? My own prejudices and budget have led me to go down the path of moving magnet designs as opposed to the moving coils. If one is doing vinyl with budgetary constraints, there are some very real advantages to sticking with moving magnet or high output moving coil designs.
You could pick up a used Bellari for $150 and a new KAB Groovemaster for $200. I'm currently using this combination on my KAB modded technics 1200, and would highly recommend it. For what its worth, I've owned Creek, Dynavector, Monolithic, and Plinius phono stages. With high output cartridges, the Bellari is competitive with these much more expensive stages. Have'nt compared too many cartridges on the Technics, but the Groovemaster is an excellent cartridge (tracks well,low surface noise, easy to set up, no inner groove distortion, not too analytical etc).
Howdy. I also have a 1200 & went through a couple different setups before settling on the Shelter 501 & Krell KPE reference pre. I had tried a Grado Reference & their PH1 but felt the sound was a bit constrained. I had also tried a Black Cube & replaced it also. I find the Shelter along with the Krell pre gave me the widest sound spectrum and best bass response. Yes is was spendy, but worked out well for me.
The Grado is designed for .4-4.5mv outputs, but the Denon is only .25. A higher output moving coil will work it would appear.
I definitely prefer lush over analytical. i am still learning about phonos, but as i understand now MC are more analytical so maybe MM is the way to go.

The KAB groovemaster looks interesting given that it is made specifically for the 1200 and is in my price range. that stylus hanging out there scares me a little though. i wouldn't expect the bellari unit to sound good given that it is so cheap, but since you have had success with this combo i will add it to my list of things to consider.

Unfortunately the Shelter 501 is out of my price range, but the Krell KPE is not. i will add that to my list as well.
speaking of KAB carts, the KAB-Ortofon Pro S40 looks interesting as well. I wonder how this compares to the Groovemaster, given that the S40 is slightly more expensive ($229 vs $200)
I use the KAB modded Groovemaster & Monolithic Sound pre w/ dual mono power supply. I had Dusty send me the schematic and installed NOS Holco resistors for the 75K Ohm loading. It's a Killer combo.

I also have an Ortofon HO MC, but the Groovemaster beats it.
i just bought a monolithic pre as well from a fellow audiogoner. i am leaning towards the ortofon pros40, only because KAB says there are linited supplies of replacement styluses for the groovemaster.
If you want to go the Ortofon way I suggest the X5 MC. It is a 'high' output MC ( 2.5 mV) with very good ( but not excellent) trackability. The tonearm damper helps a lot bringing its resonance frequency in range and improving trackability.

The X5's stylus shape is a Fritz Geiger, a type similar to that of cutting lathes. Therefore, it is very tricky to install properly ( or will literally *cut* your records ), but the Monolithic handles it VERY well. The midrange is never like the Groovemaster's but it has great high frequencies and three dimensionality. It is truly one of audio's classic cartridges, in continuous production since the early 1980's. The X5 was a suggestion from one of the Needle Doctor's salesmen who is both a DJ and a high end audio enthusiast.