I assume the analog input stages are not variable trim/gain like on the industry standard gear, which is neither good nor bad. Their phono stages and that of some other brands that are variable trim/gain also tend to have the RIAA preamp & equalization stage before the analog trim stage, anyway. So they’re in the same boat as you regardless on the phono situation. There are some new weirdly high output phono cartridges that just came out on the market. Another user on another forum was experiencing what may have been clipping on some various cartridges with the X1800, but it was possibly just IMD from cartridge setup issues. So a useful bit of information might be at what point does the phono stage of the X1800 clip?