If anyone think I might have been too harsh, it is because I did invest lot of time and work and money in determining what it takes to get as accurate reproduction off vinyl as possible. Think DECADES.
Mellowing things a la Shure M97xE is sweeping the dirt under the rug - there is no other honest way of saying this. The reason stems back from the day one of MM cartidge , which was introduced by ELAC from Germany in 1957 IIRC - and then licenced , among others, to Shure. It was great for the time, it did allow much more people to have decent quality sound ( MCs in those days were even far less reliable and affordable than today ) - but it is inherently flawed. Over the years, manufacturers did come up with improvements - and few actually did reach correctly performing solution - or at least one approaching it. But they can be counted with fingers of a single hand and are unfortunately an exception confirming the rule - with possible few still in production, most are now next to unobtainable vintage carts.
It all has roots how the cartridge behaves not only within the accepted audibility of frequency response ( 20 Hz - 20 kHz ) - but FAR above that. Most MMs, all Ortofon and practically all Shure models are quite poor in this regard. Although some of these measure extremely well 20-20 kHz ( Ortofon OM 20 Super )
with manufacturer recommendeed electrical load, it is NOT an optimal solution.
Basically, in order to arrive at measured flat frequency response at the OUTPUT, the vast majority of MM designs relies on compensation from limited electrical frequency response governed by the LRC characteristics of cartridge/cable/phono input by boosting the high end with deliberately designed in mechanical RESONANCE in stylus somewhere just above 20 kHz - followed by a STEEP rollof above that resonant frequency. Meaning the stylus has to work approx 3-7 dB HARDER in the treble as it should have around this resonance frequency. Since action results in reaction, so do the vinyl groove walls have to work harder - leading to excessive distortion and MUCH greater record use.
MMs designed properly are possible - just. That "just" means the lowest moving mass possible - which IS hard to do at any price, so forget affordable correctly designed MMs. It will be at the or slightly lower/higher level of anything that went on before as SOTA TOTL - and that unfortunately means $$$. No way around it - like it or not.
And it may well be impossible to produce the styli with the performance required in present day - due to health haphzard and enviromental issues. Even when cost is not an issue. Nothing would please me more than being proven wrong on this last count !
There is more to this "cartridge sounds too bright" ( usually Audio Technbica gets mentioned ) story. In a properly designed arm/turntable/preamp, it does NOT sound too bright - at all. But it comes at a price - and being a mechanical precision product, it can never be inexpensive - it can not be improved by an improved code for the chipset to make to perform at much higher level than officially specified by the chipset's manufacturer as in digital. I think it is fair to say this loud up front .