The pl50 shipped with a pc35 cart, a pioneer labeled cart . If it sounds bad, you likely have a bad stylus . It is a very, very good sounding cartridge!
Also note that it isn’t your typical conical stylus on it; while most use a .7 diamond, the pc35 uses.5.
As it stands, the pl50 with pc35 will have ideal vta. Toss something else on and who knows?
The pc35 is a short squatty beast, you can try a mc like a dl110, but that’s s tall cart.
Along with my all stock pl50, I have five other tt’s hooked up to my system, got one tt with shure 97 with sas boron stylus and another with AT O9CII, all going through a 100w tube amp to my ESL speakers and that pc35 can hold its own!
Before tossing another cart on there :
1) get a new stylus. I think the pfanstiehls might be relabeled oem( I’d have to look) I have a few afternarkets in storage, along with some new oem ones.
2) it has a fairly high mass arm. I have tried dL 110, liked the pc35 better . Tried the older pioneer plc9 cartridge ,
Liked it a lot( got one in my pl41 along with like 8 oem styli and four aftermarkets)
The pc35 should have a very solid bass, warm sound , I like it with rock, jazz like chuck mangione and vocal rich stuff. It ( maybe because it’s a conical) is very quiet. I have vinyls that make more noise with my fancy fancy micro tips, but they are quiet as a road kill with the pc35.
3) experiment with the anti skating . The pl50 uses magnetic antiskate which is a little funky. Don’t trust the numbers on it, error on the side of not enough a/s and go from there.
Stuff with lots of synth gets a different tt.
I never tried any of my 97 carts on it, never saw the need and I don’t think it would be worthwhile.