It’s always exciting to see a new cartridge brand pop up on the market, and even more so in 2015! Hana, like the majority of high-end MC cartridge brands, has come to us from Japan.
Hana SL : Output voltage
As the name suggests (‘L’ for Low), the Hana SL is a low output model.
Its 0.5 mV mean that is suitable for use with all MC phono preamplifiers available on the market. Hana recommends a charge above 400 Ohms.
Hana’s approach to the design and technology of the generator is fairly flexible.
Hana SL : Needle
Like the rest of the range, the cantilever is made of aluminium, chosen for its lightness and neutrality.
The cantilever is fitted with the excellent Nude Shibata elliptical stylus. It has been shaped with the utmost precision to ensure that the profile nestles perfectly into the grooves of your records.
Not only does it boast excellent tracking ability, it also works wonders on surface noise, reducing it to practically non-existent levels and therefore letting the music take centre stage.
Hana SL : Body
The body of the Hana SL cartridge is made from a Delrin-like synthetic material, and this low output SL model is a shiny black colour.
Hana SL : Listening and test review
We tried the Hana SL out with a lightweight 9” tonearm as well as with a more substantial 12” model.
It’s worth noting that its compliance of 10 at 100 Hz – so around 18 at 10 Hz – gives it impressive versatility, which is helpful for you when choosing either a lightweight or average weight tonearm.
The Hana SL delivers impressive timbre and nuance.
With a load of 100 Ohms (which is the load offered by standard MC phono preamps), the balance is delicate and can sound a little dull. If you have a relatively neutral Hi-Fi setup, and if your preamp allows, we recommend setting it to a value above 400 Ohms. With our Hi-Fi system, we achieved the best results after a break-in period with the Pro-Ject Phono Box RS phono preamp set to over 600 Ohms.
We were impressed by the clean and high quality sound of the Hana SL cartridge from the very opening bars. The music sounds highly nuanced and natural, and the tonal balance was one of the best we've heard in this price range.
All of the instruments are perfectly placed, making for highly enjoyable listening.
The bass comes out especially well – it stands out as being particularly tight and well-articulated, without being overstated or heavy. Not that the other registers are far behind – the mids border on perfection, and vocals are present and perfectly defined, with a warm touch that humanises the whole sound. There is absolutely no aggressiveness or hissing.
The overall sound quality delivered by this Hana Hi-Fi cartridge is detailed, defined and natural at all times, with all of the tracking ability the Shibata stylus has to offer. It must have some of the lowest levels of surface noise in this market segment.
The Hana SL cartridge is an excellent alternative to the Ortofon Quintet Black, which, despite offering more definition, has a little less substance.
The Hana SL cartridge is sure to meet the high standards of audiophiles who love the timbres and silky smooth sounds of analogue. And the price isn't to be sniffed at either!
Also available in high output model: HANA SH MC CARTRIDGE
Positive Feedback - Writer's Choice Award - 2018
Tone Audio - Product of the Year - 2018
Stereophile - Finalist Product of the Year - 2018
Rocky Mountain - International HiFi Press Award - 2018 & 2019
Mono Stereo - Best of 2018
Mono and Stereo - Best Buy award - 2018
Mono and Stereo - Highly Recommended product - 2018
Hifi Pig Recommended - 2016
Hi-Fi Choice Recommended
Meilleur achat Haute-Fidélité
Stereo Test - Überragend Exceptionnel
Audio - Test Winner - Exceptionnel
Part-time Audiophile - Best Phono Cartridges (Best Guides for 2021) : "We called this LOMC from Japan a “killer sub-$1000 cartridge,” noting that it lacks any sort of pretense and is made for those who honestly love music. The Hana is also quiet in the groove—you may wonder if you lowered your tonearm once you sit down." Franck
Principle: Low output MC
Stylus: Nude Shibata
Balance: > 1.5 dB
Tracking force: 2g
Tracking ability: 60 µm/2 g
Compliance 10 Hz: 18
Compliance 100 Hz: 10
Channel separation: 28 dB/1 kHz
Frequency response: 15-32,000 Hz
Internal impedance: 30 Ohm
Load resistance: >400 Ohms