I would definitely clean up the Denon and see how it sounds. If you are unsure of the stylus and think it needs replacement, get a replacement stylus. You won't have any/much money into the resurrection, so you can always still buy something new if you are unhappy with the Denon. Also, the Denon will then be in re-sell condition, so you'll have that going for you.....
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Your Denon is good enough a lot of the magic will come from the phono stage. Since you want MM or high output MC then the Decware ZP3 will absolutely kill it. Instantly loft your analog front end to top of your system performance. Then clean and lube, DIY, https://liquidaudio.com.au/denon-dp-30l-turntable/ Not hard at all. Mount a decent cart, maybe some day down the road re-wire the arm, or put the table on Townshend Pods, tweak it out with some fO.q tape, you will be blown away how good your records will sound!
I encourage you to try the refurbished route first.
If you don't enjoy listening to vinyl - I'm sure someone would be happy to purchase your refurbished table for more than it cost to refurbish.
About 5-10 years ago I dusted off my Dual turntable and had it 'tuned up' and used it enough to have me explore other upgrading the cartridge. Ultimately I went with buying a Rega table and traded in the Dual for more than the refurbishment and what I bought the table for new in the '80s.
+1 on this. I would get a new stylus. An old worn stylus may damage your records. After that you can decide if you want something new
"reubentI would definitely clean up the Denon and see how it sounds. If you are unsure of the stylus and think it needs replacement, get a replacement stylus."
That's a nice old TT, I like the stop and auto lift feature.
I vote for
1. a new MM cartridge, advanced stylus (microline, shibata, sas) and
2. cartridge alignment tools and skills (watch a friend, learn to do it yourself) (needed for any cartridge, more important for advanced stylus shapes) Good enough inexpensive tools and on-line videos show how to do it.
3. proper cleaning of your old records. I finally learned how, makes a huge difference. I clean mine manually, batches of 10, see photo of my setup in my LP listing
4. keep Denon DP-30L
a. change the cartridge
c. IF IT AIN"T BROKE don't fix it.
d. If handy, I would try some of the DIY things, probably not all.
I recently embarked on the same search in the same price range. Because I had only used Bang and Olufsen turntables that you don’t adjust much, I also spent a lot of time learning about turntable and cartridge set up. I settled on Mofi Studiodeck. It has good reviews. If you get it with one of their cartridges, it comes set up already. But, it is fully adjustable if you want to change cartridges later.