I don't even use a preamp
My turntable is connected to the phono stage of the receiver.
My experience is a bit different...I have some issues with inner groove distortion, but I suspect something is wrong with my Dual CS505-4 headshell. I already changed carts and stylus and the problem remains.
When the arm is lowered, use a magnifier and check if the stylus tip makes a perfect perpendicular angle with the record (or use a mirror for that purpose; put it on top of platter and lower the arm with the TT power off).
If stylus tip is not perpendicular, it may indicate a VTA problem, although I'm not sure it would cause the symptons you're experiencing.