Since the problem/questions he was asking wasn’t making sense, I went over there to check it out. He had a turntable setup but it was “quiet”, plugged directly into his receiver. So I think a pre amp might solve the problem
if all he needs is a phono pre-amp, as I seem to understand by post #7 by tsmooth, I think 250$ may be enough for a decent one.
i.e. a preowned Lehmann Black Cube SE; many people are happy with Creek and Rega Phono MM, but I never had one of them (whilst I had the Lehmann).