marantz 6350q turntable budget cartridge?

Hi all... Is there a replacement cartridge & stylus that would be a meaningful and sensible upgrade in sound for under $75? And, must i have it professionally installed/aligned if i'm not able to do it myself?

I just scored a nice working and looking marantz 6350q turntable for $40 as replacement for my pioneer pl-530 with a "motivational" issue. It sounds nice and i think the bass is clearer/rounder/warmer but the trebble seems a bit brassy/brash/harsh compared to what i was used to despite using the same el-cheapo shure cartrige, stylus and the pioneer headshell??? I thought the cartridge & stylus basically was the main influence on the sound of a middle-of-the-line TT like this, assuming speed, wow & rumble are all in check. However, I'm no audiophile, just a record and music lover, and most of my records are $1-$5 60's/70's jazz, rock, soul, funk, country & blues ranging from pretty beat up but plays to VG/VG+ and I do clean and brush them before playing. my receiver is a 2004 Yamaha Natural Sound RX 396 if that matters.

Thanks all for any responses, advise, suggestions, etc...
First of all...SCORE! The 6350Q is a rare and very good turntable with a solid drive system and a very respectable arm. It's well above par for mass-market brands of its era.

Your receiver, while good, is the weak link in the chain here. So, you won't want to spend a ton on a cartridge and I think $75 is about the right amount.

The 6350Q is from an era where most arms were designed for high compliance cartridges. The bad new is, today's arms are the exact opposite so there are fewer 'ideal' cartridges still available. The good news is, what's left fits nicely in your budget and will work well.

The Shure M97xe would be my top pick. It retails for something like $140 but the street price is around $70. A very good tracker, pleasant sound, nothing to complain about at all.

The Ortofon Super OM10 is around $70 as well and is nice, relatively neutral and designed to match with a wide range of arms.

As for can do it yourself. You will need a basic alignment gauge. You can find those for a few bucks on line. Unless you have a good dealer in your area, professional installation is probably a pipe dream. You'd need to spend quite a bit more than $75 to make it worth their time. In addition, I might also suggest that you invest in a stylus force gauge.

Check out this article I wrote some time ago for tips on tuning up an old table:
I worked sales at an audio store in the mid-'70s and we carried the Marantz 6300 as one of our main demo turntables. The 6350q looks to be a slightly later, improved version. We used a Fidelity Research MC cart on that 'table, but I also recall that the high level Grados of that era (e.g., Z2+ or whatever) sounded particularly good on it. The modern equivalent would be a Grado Prestige Silver or Gold. Since that's out of your budget, then it would be the Grado Prestige Blue, which is a notch above the Green, both in terms of cartridge and stylus.

You should also get good results with the Ortofon's latest iteration of moving magnet cartridges--the 2M Red. It also has a high compliance to match the arms of the '70s and '80s, and by most accounts is a significant improvement over the OM series.
Since the 6350q is a rare and desirable model, mint condition examples can fetch $500 or more. It's a good table but not that good.

So, you have another option: sell it and buy something more modern. In fact, assuming the table was in great shape, you could probably take the profits and buy a nice used integrated amp from Rega, NAD, Rotel, Cambridge, Arcam or others to upgrade your Yamaha, and still have a few hundred left over for a used Rega, Pro-Ject, Music Hall or similar turntable. Then sell the Yamaha and use the money for a cartridge upgrade.

My guess is you'd do better on eBay than Audiogon with this particular item.
Ed, I don't think the entry-level turntables you mention are an improvement over the Marantz, they just sound different. The Marantz will beat all the turntables you mention in speed accuracy and consistency. The virtues of a one-piece straight tonearm over an S-curve with removable headshell are overblown as well.

I tend to agree. I'd keep the Marantz if it were you or me. But...

(1) In Terrapin70's case, his receiver just isn't cutting it. So I think he has the opportunity here to take his system to the next level by selling the Marantz and getting into an integrated so he can enjoy all of his sources more.

(2) Also, he says he's uncomfortable with turntable setup. As we both know, setup makes a big difference and a nice Rega P1 or something with a pre-mounted cartridge may actually offer better performance in real world terms than an improperly set up, 30-year-old Marantz that probably needs some TLC.

Now, if either of us were smart, we would have told him, "Yeah, the Marantz is a real piece of crap. I'll take it off your hands for $40 to spare you the embarrassment." But you just can't do that to a fellow Audiogoner.
Good points, Ed.

I just hate to see him sacrifice the Marantz for one of the entry-level MDF turntables. I do agree that better electronics would be an improvement.

It'd be nice if he could Terrapin 70 could spring for an Onkyo A-9555 integrated. I like it better than the similarly priced Brit-designed integrated's. More power and current, subterranean noise floor, and a very nice MM phono section to boot.

Terrrapin70, what are your current speakers?
Keep the marantz great find and superior build to starter regas etc sell yammie and look 4 older nad or rotel intergrated these will have better phono stages some sensible sound advice on carts here
hi all... thanks for the responses!! first, about me and my system... i'm not picky and vintage style means almost as much to me as the sound... just want to be able to hear and feel the guys in the bands enough to enjoy the music and i need stuff that looks good in my 70's bachelore style pad. modern and expensive stuff doesn't interest me.

my speakers are KLH 900B 8 ohm 3-ways with 50-20,000 hz frequency response for use with 5-120 watt amps (per the label). i'm in a upstairs apartment in a quiet building and rarely rock out totally anymore with a few occasional exceptions. I am looking to replace them though, as well as the receiver... and, i just say this deal on craigslist and it kind of excites me:

it's a 80-84(?) 60 watt JVC R-S77 Digital Synthesizer Stereo Receiver Super-A w/ killer looking 4-way jvc(?) mark V Speakers and it's local so i can hear it all first.

as for the cartridge... howard at audio specialist in studio city, ca suggested a $70 grado and offered to install & align it for $40. my main concern was that i had picked up a neat looking but poor sounding TT that no cartridge upgrade could fix.

Thanks to your comments i feel better about the TT choice and i think i'll go with the grado.