Been there did that. Get a better cart like a Sumiko Blackbird AND the cleaning machine.
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A better cartridge is basically a waste of money for that tonearm. Anything that tracks optimally is probably a lateral move.
Upgrade the table as others have recommended.
If you don't want to try the steam method, look for a pre-owned Record Doctor manual cleaning machine. I've seen them on Audiogon for under $200. Don't underestimate the importance of clean records.
Not sure what cartridge you're using on the mmf-7.1 but unless it's something better than a Dynavector 20XL, I disagree with Audiofeil. That said, IF you're fairly serious about listening to LPs and either already have hundreds of them and/or plan on purchasing hundreds (thousands?) of them I'd get a good RCM.
The fully manual systems work well but become irritatingly tedious after a while, at least it was for me. A manual RCM (basically a vacuuming machine) works very well but also becomes a bit tedious after a few hundred LPs. I have a manual RCM and I've resurrected some really dirty looking used LPs back to VG+ and nearly M- condition. But I wish now I'd spent the money for a good automatic RCM in the first place.
Like you, I'd eventually like to upgrade the turntable but I've been listening to the mmf-7 for three years now with a couple different LOMC cartridges and it sounds very good. I'm in no hurry to replace it.
Agree with Tketcham, at least concerning the RCM. Depending on your current collection of records that need to be cleaned, anything that helps reduce the drudgery is well worth the money. i.e., if you have 500+ lps, get, at least, something that spins the record and sucks up the moisture, such as a VPI 16.5. If you have 100 LPs, you can get by with something more simple (an RCM that you spin by hand) as long as you keep up with the cleaning as new records come in.
As far as the 'steam cleaning', that may or may not be a worthy adjunct to a cleaning ritual, but without a RCM, everything I wrote above still applies. Plus, sucking the watery slime off of a record with a RCM will always produce better results than 'dabbing dry with lint-free cloth'.
Steam cleaning is absolutely better than any record machine. I have had the best record cleaning machines money can buy and a 300 dollar steam cleaner does a better job period. If anyone tells you different they never tried a steam cleaner. Of course both a RCM and steam is even better. But steam is the bang for the buck. Next buy a better arm, cart and phono. Then buy a better table. Unless this mmf-7 is a horrible table, that makes noise and cant keep a cadence. I dont know.
I agree with the others who recommend a RCM. No matter how good or bad a TT is, a record collection needs to be cleaned properly.
I've never heard the MH 7.1, but most reviews indicate that it is a good unit. You can probably enjoy it to its fullest potential with a good and inexpensive RCM (Nitty Griity) + a cartridge and tonearm upgrade if necessary.