Vinyl experts, I need your advice. TNT6, ETII,Benz

O.K. Here's the deal. I've been listening to vinyl for a long time on a VPIHW19jr. fitted with an ETII tonearm. Recently I upgraded to a somewhat lessend version of a VPI TNT 6. This is basically the new TNT jr. with the dual motor cutout but using a single motor and a TNT 6 platter and bearing. No air suspension, just the sorbothane units.
For my little pocketbook, this upgrade was substantial and I hope to eventually upgrade to a full "6" status. Here's the kicker, although the table sounds MUCH better than my old HW19jr, I still get a fair bit of what I believe to be distortion generally more towards the end of the record. I should add that I kept the ETII arm and a Benz Gold cart. I can't tell whether this is from record wear, mistracking or it is just a phenomenom of records. Some records are worse than others, some are what I would call unlistenable. When my wife listens to her Strisand records or other female artists I generally leave the room because when the going gets rough it gets unlistenable. Loud passages or higher pitched singing can be unbearable. I love Rickie Lee Jones and find that it is so much more pleasant on my Jolida CD player. THIS JUST WON'T DO! I have heard records sound great but there is always an uneasiness as I wait for that loud passage.
I have also heard this on better systems which makes a little apprehensive about vinyl playback anymore, and this is a shame because when it's's real good.
If anyone has any ideas on where I should be looking to improve my playback please remark.
I started with a standard ET II and upgraded it step by step to a fully modded ET 2.5. All of the changes were worthwhile. The biggest bang for the buck in descending order:
DIY Air Pressure Regulator
2.5 Larger Diameter High Pressure Manifold
Magnesium arm wand
Damper Trough
Bright Star Padded Cell (to silence the air pump
if it has to be in the listening room)
Yes, I've read about some of those upgrades, but I'm not sure if the HP Manifold is still available.
Ive been researching some cartridge upgrades, but for now I'm hoping to just retip the Benz Gold and upgrade later. I hear so much about the Shelter cartridges but it's hard not to use the Benz trade in program.
Thanks, I'll let you know how the manifold cleaning works out.
The ET 2.5 is still offered for sale on the Eminent Technology website Give Bruce Thigpen a call and ask him.
O.K. I think I nailed it today. I spent about 2.5hrs on aligning the arm and cartridge and it sounds REALLY good. It is tracking some of my classical albums as well. I'm really impressed with what a little patients can achieve.
I also cleaned the arm tube but did not do the capilleries at the time. Airflow seems to be pretty good.
Now I really want to hear some better cartridges. I know that the Benz is pretty entry level and sounds decent, but how good can it get! I'm going to take a couple o my records down to the shop to hear the Benz LP. My gold is a little dark sounding in my all tube system and I think it could use a little more life on the top end. The Lyra cartridges (Argo and Dorian) may be a good match with a better compliance for the arm as opposed to the slightly more compliant Benz's. Sumiko's Celebration could also be a want on my list.
Any ideas?
Your on the right track all alignment parameters are very important vta, vtf, overhang etc.

Heres the problem when you upgrade your turntable you will now Hear more, including any short-comings in other components (Cartridge etc.) by upgrading your cartridge and spending the time to get it aligned. You will be delighted
with the improvement.

I wouldn't waste the time and money on a retip. Looking into the Blackbird and Celebration would be good choices at this price point

I currently use a Shelter 501 that IMHO bettered my van den hull grasshopper and Benz glider.