Just wondering if you have a TT hooked up to your system through an ADC? I do and I would never try it without level control before ADC, there are just too many variables and I have experienced them first hand.Not sure what there is to disagree about.
Let‘s start from first principles and run some numbers. Take a MM cartridge e.g., the venerable Shure V-15 which BTW, I rather like. Its output is 3 mV peak at 5 cm/s peak groove velocity. Now back in the day Shure measured groove velocity on commercial records and the maximum was measured to be around 70 cm/s. The will mean a maximum theoretical output of 42 mV. Note that in real life the the stylus will be unable to actually track such groove modulations, but is not relevant to this analysis. So with 32 dB gain the output of the phono stage will be 42 X 40 =1.6 V (rounded of). No self respecting ADC is going to overload at this level; concerns about digital overload are unfounded.
In practice the LP is, at best, a 10-11 bit medium, more or less. Where’s the harm in applying digital gain if playback level is too low? Perhaps I’m missing something?
RE: 1.6 volts max sounds good in theory .. now add in 10 dB headroom for clicks and pops ( some say 20 dB) and several more dB in case you play 45 's and suddenly 1.6 volts can be 6.4 volt peaks which will clip most ADC's.
RE: Low level. Nothing wrong with applying digital gain if you have it but if you are using Room EQ, which will often eat up 10 or 20 dB of digital gain, you may not have enough left to boost a TT if the level happens to be too low.