I have this model right now with a Grado Premium Silver cartridge. When properly set up it should sound better than your current deck. Adjusting the suspension and arm can be time consuming, but if I can do it, so can you. Check to see that there is no play in the main bearing and that the arm tracks properly to the end of play, also that the platter starts easily and remains @ constant pitch/speed (if not it could then be either a belt and/or motor problem). Inspect the Headshell to make certain that the cartridge screw holders/holes are not cracked and remove the inner platter (one screw on the bottom which also holds the ground wire) to see if the white plastic ring on the bottom of this black platter is in good shape (these sometimes crack). Remove the cheese board bottom plate if it is still attached (for better sound). You may then need to use spacers on the stock rubber feet after this in order to increase the shelf clearance (I am still using "sink" washers in this application which work/sound fine). If it is in good operating condition and if it comes with a usable cartridge (as a plus) $100 is about right. This is not a great arm by any means, but it does have VTA adjustment and again can sound pretty good when properly set up. A Headshell (in good shape) can often cost as much as the deck itself, so pass if this part is damaged (unless they have a spare). I will soon be replacing the IC's on mine (not going to mess with the tone arm cables @ this point) and installing a male IEC plug (so that I can use after market power cords). If this works out OK I will next construct a new wooden base out of Maple (that I have on hand). There are lot's of cheap tweaks for this deck which will improve the sound (even Radio Shack coaxial cable would probably improve upon the stock IC's, though there are other options as well). If it checks out OK, I guess the question is (What else can you find for $100)? That's all that I had to spend and this is what I ended up with.
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