Hana SL MC Cartridge

The Hana SL is the latest of Hana's top-of-the-line " Shibata stylus "  with low outputs (high output version also available), I have become a dealer of Hana now for about 5 months and every time I listen to the Hana SL, it shocks me! This is the best value for money MC cartridge I have ever heard! The cost is less than £600 yet can rival many, if not most of cartridges costing well into four figures!

 

OK I am not saying the Hana produces the best sound I have ever heard, but this cartridge closes the gap between silly price high-end carts and budget ones.  Good news for the high-end user who keeps thinking about £ per side. You know who you are; and yes, myself included.

Hana SL, however, is even better news for those who are using the lower end cart but dream of owning an exotic, cost no object MC.  This gives you a good taste of how £1k (and upward) cartridges can sound like. The sound of the Hana is very delicate and smooth with beautiful sparkle in the treble which is rare around this price point.  Female vocal is er...delicious, it gives me the similar feeling of having a meal cooked by a great Chef. You just want more of it!  The inky black background is getting close to the Soundsmith Paua II which costs nearly 4 times more, while the Soundsmith can separate layers from front to back better, the Hana matches it on scale.  


As an example. Play a well recording LP with female vocal like Diana Krall Live in Paris. The Hana SL sounds big and assured, with her voice projected large and high up in the room.  The resolution is very good too; you can hear what is going on with room acoustic. The inner details in her voice however doesn't quite give me the chest and throat as clearly as my Ikeda Kai (£5K). But after a while you don't think about the short comings (and remember the short comings is against cartridges that cost much more). The musicality takes over, and you just melt into her awesome performance.  It will be unfair if I would mention some of the brands at similar price that doesn't compete well with the Hana SL. Let say that this Japanese marvel makes direct competitors sound bright and clinical.  
I cannot praise the Hana SL high enough, even if it seems like I have already! When we are not talking about cost-no-object engineering, the best trick of making audio equipment is to get the listener lost in music; and the Hana is the master of this trick.  

OB


Associated equipment
Mobile Fidelity Soundlabs Turntable
AMG V12 Turntable
Clef Conductor Phonostage 
Soulution 751 Phonostage
Clef Soloist Integrated Amplifier 
Soulution 7 Series pre / power Amplification

Maxonic TW 1500 Speakers
Vertex AQ main cables
Ziro Audio interconnects and speaker cables.

Price

Shibata stylus Low or High output   £595

elliptical stylus Low or High output  £390

Specifications: 

Model No. HANA-EH or HANA-EL
Stylus Elliptical Nude Synthetic
Cantilever Aluminium
Output level 2mv/1kHz (EH) or 0.5mv/1KHz (EL)
Output balance <2dB/1KHz
Vertical Tracking force 2g
Trackability 60μm/2g
Channel separation 22dB/1KHz
Frequency response 15-25,000Hz
Impedance 130Ω/1KHz (EH) or 30Ω/1KHz (EL)
Suggested load Impedance 47KΩ (EH) or >400Ω (EL)
Cartridge weight 5g
Body Colour Moss Green

Model No. HANA-SH or HANA-SL
Stylus Shibata Nude Diamond
Cantilever Aluminium
Output level 2mv/1kHz (SH) or 0.5mv/1KHz (SL)
Output balance<1.5dB/1KHZ
Vertical Tracking force 2g
Trackability 60μm/2g
Channel separation 25dB/1KHz
Frequency response 15-32,000Hz
Impedance 130Ω/1KHz (SH) or 30Ω/1KHz (SL)
Suggested load Impedance 47KΩ (SH) or >400Ω (SL)
Cartridge weight 5g
Body Colour Black

 

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