Dirty or worn out stylus on the M97xe? Old stock M97xe from time when there were QC issues with them? If it's new you could also have gotten a bad one. Have you added the required extra tracking force to compensate for the brush? Depending on what type of stylus profile was on the V15III and stylus wear, your M97xe could be riding in the groove at a different height and picking up surface noise as a result ... possibly from previous wear / damage on the records.
When you said "I raised the tone arm up so that it could slide over the record without hitting." does that mean that you adjusted the VTA or the tonearm lifter height? Although it would probably result more in skipping than 'crackling', I'm wondering if the lifter is too high and contacting the tonearm when the turntable is playing? On the flip-side, if you change VTA then you also have to adjust the arm lifter height (actually it's all part of the setup procedure ... see the owner's manual posted in the library).
Why not get a new stylus for the V15III? Here's a basic elliptical one: https://www.turntableneedles.com/VN35E- ... _1393.html
Those are Japan-made and a bit of a step-up from some of the other aftermarket ones as they should have the tension-wire (tie-wire) construction as per the originals.