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.
As the name suggests (‘L’ for Low), the Hana EL 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. The cantilever is made of aluminium and is fitted with an elliptical stylus that, after undergoing rigorous tests to ensure compliance with the brand’s technical specs, has been shaped with the utmost precision. With this optimal profile, it nestles perfectly into the grooves of your records. The body is made from a Delrin-like synthetic material, and this low output model is coloured green.
We tried it 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 EL delivers impressive timbre and nuance. With a load of 100 Ohms (which is the load offered by standard MC 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. Playback is detailed, defined and natural, with a well-articulated and nuanced bass register. Vocals sound very present, with no aggressiveness to report. The level of detail is incredible, without ever spilling over into a clinical sound.
The Hana EL cartridge is an excellent alternative to other brands’ offerings, such as Ortofon or Audio Technica! It is sure to meet the high standards of audiophiles who love the timbres and silky smooth sounds of analogue. And the value for money is remarkable!
Also available in high output model: HANA EH MC CARTRIDGE
Hi-Fi World Franck
The Audiophile Man - Deeply Groovy - 2016
Stereo - test
Principle: High output MC
Stylus type: Elliptical
Balance: > 2 dB
Tracking force: 2g
Tracking ability: 60µm/2g
Compliance 10 Hz: 18
Compliance 100 Hz: 10
Channel separation: 25 dB/1 kHz
Frequency response: 15-25,000 Hz
Internal impedance: 30 Ohms
Load resistance: >400 Ohms