Trying a turntable-it sounds crappy, what's up??

Borrowed a friends TT.
It is a Technics SL-1900 Direct drive(Panasonic circa 1980's is my guess).
The cartidge is an Audio TEchnica with the #'s 22780 on it.

I hooked it up to my Musical Fidelity A300 integrated amp which has a dedicated phono input.
I aa not sure if this TT and cartidge should be on the MM or MC setting.
I have tried both and one is louder than the other.

I had not used a TT since my Phillips belt drive was stolen 12 years ago. It certainly sounded better than this or maybe I am just nostalgic.

I was kind of excited about trying a TT again as I have about 300 albums from college and the 80's/early 90's.

Anyway-I pulled out Steely Dan Gaucho (a good recording if memory serves me) and it sounded warmish but a kind of muffled. Nothing was really that defined.
I teid a nice Elvis Costello aLP and it also sounded very undynamic.

I have a decent digital front end (CAry 308 CD Player) and nice speakers (ACI Sapphires with an ACI Titan Sub). MAny feel that this Cary and these speakers tend toward neutral and warmish sound. Nice system.

What's up-is this a crappy turntable or a crummy cartridge?
WHich setting should this be on MC or MM?
Thanks for any insight-I wa skind of thinking about taking the plunge again, but am not sure now.
Low end TT + low end cartridge + alot of age = low end sound.

Would you feel like giving up on digital after hearing a Soundesign CD walkman that is 10 years old and half broken?

Come on, be real.
Having never heard your particular model, I wouldn't want to jump in and say that the Technics is crappy, but will say this. With exception of a couple of comments from some folks who do heavy mods on SL1200s, not too many comments have arisen praising the sound of Technics tables. Sure it could be in less than great condition, due to age etc., but there are plenty of Thorens and other old tables out there that still sound great.
I would try to listen to someone else's system with a decent table before you give up on analog. A cd vs vinyl of your Gaucho LP will be all you need to hear. Many of us have also plunged back in, and most are happier for it. I know I am.
Another thing that will greatly affect the sound is a good wet cleaning of the LPs. Many threads here will explain various methods that you can try. Regardless of which you choose, a good fluid/brushing routine will make a big improvement, and is really a requirement to getting enjoyment out of your records Cheers,
The SL-1900, is a very GOOD budget Technics direct drive. All you need to do, is install a new cartridge and check the tonearm wires and alignment. Set the turntable up on a slab of bricks or marble, (because of the feedback prone base)and you can experience very decent LP playback. I now prefer direct drives to most belt driven tables and feel pace and transparency to be superior. Only idler driven Garrards sound better to me, My good friend modified the SL-1900, with better tonearm wires and various other tweaks. The results were amazing.......Better than all the belt driven high end offerings that he had in house.
The above is from my personal experience and I hope is helpful to you...Best regards and good luck
Twl -
Not much help guy. I never said I was an expert on analog gear or that this was great stuff, just trying to gain a perspective. You may be correct but your delivery is a bit harsh.

Sbank- Thanks for a helpful response.
I will pick up a decent cleaner and give it a little time.
I am listening to Joe Pass -Portraits of Duke Ellington, and the LP is in immaculate condition. Now this sounds pretty decent. Still a little dark but the guitar sounds live, and the tube amp sound he is playing comes through well.

Hey Frap-

Well, this is good news. Glad to hear it is not a paperweight.
I know he had it serviced about two years ago to fix something on it.

ANy recommendations on a decent new or used cartridge that I could put in it for my buddy?

I am still confused about the MM or MC thing?
Which is this player?