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.
Your Audio Technica is most likely a MM cartridge. They make some very good sounding models today for about 100.00 if I recall. The Shure V-15 is still a model of neutrality and Various heavyweights in the industry use it for listening to the results after mastering. I would much rather have this setup and spin records, than a tweaky exotic and cost prohibitive table, that made vinyl out of the question. I hope this helps.
OK, one last question for now....

Will this tonearm cartridge mount take any cartridge?
Is their a certain type of cartridge it will not work with?

Don't be too hard on Twl. He's just giving you the cold hard reality. You've got an ancient TT, arm and cartridge. Chances are they need a lot of work to sound good.

At the very least, the stylus on the AT is likely to be worn out. Very possible that the suspension on the cartridge is blown as well. Both need to be replaced before you can tell anything about your setup. Then you need to look at the TT/arm.

Sorry - but analog has to be "just right" to sound good. And that usually means new, or seriously refurbished by experts, with regards to turntable and arm. Cartridges and styli need to be very recent, or new.

Best of luck
I initially had a dual TT (some arm) and a grado black cart with hagerman phono. I was not impressed with vinyl at all. I also threw away the three records that had tempted giving up vinyl altogether. Then we got a thorens 166 with grado black, then later a grado gold. much better. It was actually listenable then. The midrange and overmusically with better than my redbook front end, but everything else suffered in comparision. Then we got a michell gyro SE, incognito rb250 arm, and the grado gold (later dynavecotr 20hx). Holy crap. technically it was almost as good as my redbook front end and the TT's musically was light years ahead.

My $0.02 on my journey. (of course now I'm stuck with a music hall mmf-2.1. :-(

You could also try the outlet tweak someone else suggested. You might also try a wall shelf (if you are on a suspended floor) and using cones or spikes to spike the TT directly to the wall shelf or concrete slab (if in a basement). I'm not familiar with you TT, but with my TT, I'm better off defeating the tables suspension and spiking the TT's plinth directly to my rack with is directly spiked to the concrete slab. Much better soundstage, detail retrieval, prat, less rumble, less noise, etc.

meant to say that I *almost* threw away the three records that I first bought. Never fear. I still have those three records and piles and pile more since then. :-)