The most likely cause is mis-alignment.
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Mekong56 is correct, fine tuning the azimuth affects the channel SEPARATION, not the channel BALANCE. Unless of course, we're talking about something like a tilt of 20 degrees . . .
Provided that there are no problems with connections and wiring (quite possible after a cartridge installation), or a problem downstream (verify by swapping phono output leads left for right), then the mismatch is indeed the cartridge. In fact, channel balance is a very typical cartridge specification . . . precisely because it is the component which usually determines it.
Actually, he said he put on a mono record and hit the mono button on his amp. I'm thinking the mono button on an amp is just going to combine the channels anyway so any volume difference will be hidden.
Perhaps one wrong setting may not be enough to produce such channel imbalance, but combine wrong azimuth, too much or too little anti-aliasing, mis-aligned cartridge, the turntable not leveled, too much or too little tracking force, etc., and it's possible that all this may cause one channel to sound louder than the other.
Also, this channel imbalance could easily be one of the cartridge leads not making enough contact because is either fractured or not seated well.
These wrong settings may cause a singer's voice to be positioned 2/3 to the right or left, instead of in the center of the soundstage.