To my ears, some cartridges sound like the music is coming from inside a closet.
Some sound like you are standing outside the concert hall, with the door closed.
Next is going in the open door.
After that, there are different seats in the concert hall: first balcony, middle of orchestra seating, front of the orchestra seating.
You can get a very good cartridge for less than $500. My Denon DL-301 puts me in about the 12th row of the orchestra seating. But my Dynavector 17d3 puts me front row center.
Matching you cartridge to your tonearm, and setting it up properly make a big difference.
There are other factors that you might not think of. The mat, for instance, can have a quite noticeable effect on the sound. The phono preamp also is important.
Listen to different cartridges. No-one can tell you what a carrot tastes like, if you have never eaten one.