"Spitting" Cartridge problem

I've run into an issue I've never seen before and can't figure it out. I have an Ortofon Rondo Red mounted on an early TriPlanar on a Basis Ovation table. Recently the right channel has started making serious distortion on transients - it sounds like harsh static/spitting.

VTF, VTA, alignment are all good. And I haven't changed anything either - it just started happening out of the blue. The cart has maybe a few hundred hours on it. Could it just have gone bad?

It's not the phono pre, or anything else in the chain. I can't see how an interconnect could cause such an issue but it's captive so I can't change it easily.
I would suggest switching the right and left tonearm clip connections to the cartridge. If the distortion switches to the left channel then you will have confirmed that the problem is either with the cartridge itself or its setup causing distortion in the right channel output. If the distortion stays in the right channel then the problem is further upstream from the cartridge, either with a cable or amplification somewhere in the chain. Then you can work from there to determine the bad element in the chain by switching left and right connections one stage at a time to determine where the problem is originating. Good luck and let us know what you find.
This doesn't sound like a cartridge problem. I'd look upstream..loose cable, bad tube, etc.
Mine did something similar recently until the right channel finally went out all together. Turned out to be a loose cartridge clip that finally came off all together. Hope this helps.
Check the anti skate setting. If anti skate setting is too low, you will hear static in the right channel. Too high will give static in the left channel.
I did check the clips but maybe not good enough. I will clean those suckers with a good degreaser and make sure they fit very tight (with judicious use of a very fine needle-nose pliers). I am now betting that's it as well.

Wgallupe, I don't think anti-skate can be the issue, since many tables/arms function just fine with no anti-skate - right? Also, that static would not just be associated with transients,I think.
Paul, if you're going to use a needle nose pliers to tighten the cartridge clips here's a tip that I'd suggest. Insert a wooden toothpick into the end of the clip before attempting to tighten it. The toothpick will prevent you from possibly breaking the clip by compressing it too far.
Good idea, Bill. I've used the pliers on many occasions and being very careful, never mushed one closed. I'd bet it would be a bit of a pain to deal with if one did do that.

All leads were on VERY solidly. I removed them and applied some Walker SST carefully to the leads. No change.

I am pretty stumped over this one.

Oh, I also completely disconnected the anti-skate - also no change. And checked the VTF again.
I'd again suggest trying my first idea of switching the right and left cartridge connections to see if the noise switches to the other channel. This will allow you to definitively know whether the problem is with the cartridge or something further down the chain. (I apologize in advance if you've already tried this, but I didn't see you mention it in your subsequent posts.)
Bill, I did not try that yet; thanks for the reminder.
Ok, figured it out! The cart (through my Tom Evans Microgroove +X) is overloading the electronic volume control on my preamp. No problem with another pre.