Is the brush on my M97xE defective?

Date Updated: September 12, 2017 FAQ #4681

The brush bristles are indeed cut an an angle.  Looking at the cartridge from the front, the bristles on the left are longer by design. To work properly, only a small section of the brush needs to contact the record groove.

As a test, play a record without cleaning it first.  If the brush is working properly, it will have collected a small "ball" of dust by the end of the first side.