It's only natural to seek validation or a rational for your personal opinions. I believe we've all experienced it, at some point or another, in some form, what @DEADHEAD1000 is experiencing. Most of us don't do this with just our audio, but with most everything in life: food, art & entertainment, cars, on & on. We read reviews, we invite opinions to inform our perceptions.
I think your friend has provided you with a valuable insight: you now know how his experience ("piercing" & almost unlistenable) relates to your perception ('enjoyable'). That is a refence point by which I mean that a refence point is neither right nor wrong, bad or good. It is simply a point to refer to relative to you and your opinion. That is the utility of audio reviewers: when you get familiar with their opinions you know how to interpret those in relation to your own.
Also you mentioned it's a new cartridge, so there's folks hear that will say it needs to 'break in'. FWIW I think its the listener that really needs to 'beak in'.
Cheers and let your ears be your guide