In short this was a budget turntable with barely any bass and no deck suspension 😦 An unfortunate snap purchase that I made while failing to get another deck (A Thorens TD125 MKII found in a Notting Hill secondhand shop) fixed to maintain constant speed and tracking.
Snap purchases are bad news sometimes. Was the cart/arm set with the wrong Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA)? Dunno. It just sounded thin and uninspiring whatever I did.