Can you run the HANA SL MC at 100 ohms?

I am tempted by the Hana low output MC  cartridge which has gotten great reviews and seems good value. However the mfr specs say the loading should be > 400 ohms. My own phono stage only allows 100 ohms for MC cartridges-as do many others. Has anyone tried the Hana at 100 ohms and were you happy with the result?  Also what difference should I expect to hear at 100 versus 400?
30 ohms is pretty high for a cartridge of that output. At 100 ohms loading you’ll lose around 2.28 dB of signal in theory (relative to infinite ohms "no loading"; and about 1.65 dB down relative to the recommended 400 ohms loading, again in theory) and will start to induce some frequency response deviations from flat. But it will work, and only you can say whether you’ll like the effect.
As mulveling says, you will lose some output signal voltage at 100 ohms load, but also you will lose some extreme high frequency response.  The cartridge may sound a bit dull and rolled off with that load and a source impedance of 30 ohms, besides the penalty in over all gain.  However, it should be no big deal to change the load resistance afforded by your phono input, unless it uses an SUT to boost gain, in which case it gets a bit more complicated, but still not un-fixable.
I have a Hana EL which is basically the same thing specwise.I bought this from dB Systems: will provide it with any value you want.  I got one for 400 ohms and it works great.That being said, it didn't sound bad at 100 ohms either.
My old dealer sold me one of those DB-Systems kits when I first got into vinyl, ~ 11 years ago. The adapter cable & plugs/jacks are very plain, and won’t satisfy anyone with audiophile nervosa and 4 or 5-figure cables, but the kit is very handy and it’s fun to play with the different loading values! If nothing else, it can help you hone in on the optimal loading for a cartridge before you explore more hard-wired loading solutions with exotic resistors. But I used ’em patched in full-time with my first Benz Glider and later an Ortofon Kontrapunkt "c", to good effect. Good to know they still make ’em.

The kit could use a few more values above 200, up to at least 1K, though. Right now it’s pretty much focused on low-output MC’s with less that 15 ohms coils. And that 10 ohms (or even 20 ohms), I can’t imagine ever using.
The 100-ohm load will not sound "bad" with these cartridges, either the SL or the EL, but the SQ will be colored to a degree by the effect of the load resistance on the HF response and on total gain. It’s OK to like it that way. Lots of guys load down the Denon DL103, which has a similarly high internal resistance, even below 100 ohms, and claim to love it.

But it should be a simple matter for any competent tech to open up the chassis of a phono stage and replace the phono load resistor with a more appropriate value. I would suggest 1K ohm and forgeddaboudit. If the LOMC gain is being generated via an SUT, then one trick would be to increase the value of the load resistor that is across the secondaries of the SUT, to a value that results in the desired higher impedance being seen at the primaries. For that, the tech would need to obtain information about the turns ratio of the SUT, as well, from the maker of the phono stage.
"The kit could use a few more values above 200, up to at least 1K, though. Right now it’s pretty much focused on low-output MC’s with less that 15 ohms coils. And that 10 ohms (or even 20 ohms), I can’t imagine ever using."
If you contact dB directly, they will provide the kit with whatever values you want.
I use lots of carts so I can't hard wire any exotic resistors.  Would be curious if I could hear any difference though!
thanks to all for the suggestions.I am reluctant to ad another " interconnect" between the phono cable and the phono preamp (all tube with SUT) in case it degrades the SQ but perhaps I am being too picky.I was wondering how do you make the calculation of loss of output based on the cartridge impedance?
1. add up the coil ohms plus loading ohms, e.g. 30 + 100 = 130
2. divide the loading ohms by the number from step 1, e.g. 100 / 130 = 0.769
3. take the log (base 10) of the result from 2. and multiply that result by 20; that number represents the loss in dB versus a theoretical load of infinite resistance (i.e. NO load on the cartridge), e.g. 20 * log10(0.769) = -2.2788 dB

Calculate loss for other loading values and subtract them to determine relative losses.
just saw that a reviewer on TNT audio found that the Hana sounded better at 100 ohms than  the recommended 400 its very unclear. Makes me as a potential buyer very hesitant since no dealer I know of  will let me return a cartridge if it doesnt sound right.
The MC load setting in your phono Preamp is set by a fixed resistor  - just change it if you know how to,  if not  have someone that does do it.

 Good Listening

Did you end up buying the cart? I hope you did. I've had mine for two months and it's glorious. I'm puzzled by what I've read here though. You said your "audiophile nervosa" has got you at 4 and 5 figure cables, wouldn't a Lyra, Van den Hull, Dynavector or a Soundsmith  or at least Hana's own ML model be more appropriate in such a system? Good luck
I tried it 100 ohms wasn’t happy, then at 470 ohms with sut ,very impressed , when set up correctly , It belongs in class b in stereophile. that’s with the outterring on the record ,to sonically better It,I have to start saving....
then at 470 ohms with sut

do you mean 47 000 ohm (47k Ohm) with SUT ?
I think the op means he is using a SUT with 1:10 ratio and 47k on the secondary, which means cartridge sees 470 ohms.
Loading is entirely for the benefit of the preamp not the cartridge. Here's how it works:
The cartridge is an inductor. The tone arm cable has a capacitance. Since they are in parallel, the result is a tuned resonant circuit, often active at +100KHz frequencies or even into the MHz range.
If your preamp isn't happy with radio frequency energy coming in (and that is what I'm talking about) then the loading is used to detune the resonance and thus kill the RFI (Radio Frequency Interference).

It is therefore non-critical- a low enough resistance value is all that's needed if your preamp can't handle RFI (and if it has a switch for loading on the front panel then that is the case).

I would try it without any loading and see how it sounds though! The load causes the cartridge to do more work and thus makes the cantilever more stiff and less able to trace higher frequencies.
I moved the turntable (Clearaudio Emotion) I have my Hana SL mounted on to a secondary system and am using a Parks Puffin which only has a 200 ohms setting and it sounds great there.  No experience at 100 ohms.
tried the hana sl into a couple of phonos with 100ohm loading - cambridge audio 651p, plinius sounded ok.sounded much better into 47k
I find the reasoning behind the loading kits like DB Systems, at the least, questionable. If my phono pre or SUT has a fixed input loading of 100 ohms and I add a 300 ohm resistor in parallel, what is the resulting load impedance? Hint: it sure ain't 400 ohms as is widely believed.

FWIW, I run my Hana SL into a SUT with a fixed input load of 100 ohms and it sounds excellent.
Chili, I think you are underestimating the technical expertise of the designer at DB Systems.  The kits are meant to be used in conjunction with a phono stage that has a fixed input resistance of 47K ohms.  For other fixed input resistances, I suppose they can provide custom values, but as you intimate, the final net resistance of two or more resistors in parallel can never be higher than that of the lowest value resistor in the parallel grouping.  Most audiophiles know this, let alone all EEs.  I don't think it's "widely believed" that resistances in parallel are additive.

By the way, SUTs cannot have a "fixed" input impedance.  Transformers do not per se have an impedance.  The device on the primary side sees an impedance equal to that of the device on the secondary side divided by the turns ratio of the transformer.  I guess you know all this, but your post makes me wonder what load you are presenting to your Hana.  For the Hana to "see" a load of 100 ohms, using a SUT with a 1:10 turns ratio, the resistance on the secondary side must be 10,000 ohms.  Is that the case?  If the turns ratio is other than 1:10, then take the square of that turns ratio and multiply it by 100 ohms to find the value of the resistor on the secondary side, at the input of the phono stage, which would give a 100-ohm load to the Hana.
On paper, 100 ohms should not be optimal for the Hana SL, with its internal resistance of 30 ohms, but you like what you like.
>I think you are underestimating the technical expertise of the designer at DB Systems.
>The kits are meant to be used in >conjunction with a phono stage that has a
>fixed input resistance of >47K ohms.

Then I wonder why @andysf suggested them as a remedy in response to the original post which asks:

>My own phono stage only allows 100 ohms
>for MC cartridges-as do many others.
>Has anyone tried the Hana at 100 ohms and were you
>happy with the result?

@andysf said:

>I have a Hana EL which is basically the same thing specwise.
>I bought this from dB Systems...etc...

Surely, neither you nor @andysf propose plugging a Hana SL into a normal 47kohm MM phono input and adding loading plugs. I tried my Hana SL direct, that is, without a SUT, one time and the sound was thin and lacked dynamics. I could hardly wait to remove it!

>For the Hana to "see" a load of 100 ohms, using a
>SUT with a 1:10 turns ratio, the resistance
>on the secondary side must be 10,000
>ohms. Is that the case?

No. My Rothwell MCL SUT is resistor loaded.$_57.JPG?set_id=8800005007

Seriously, think no more, pull the trigger! I’ve had mine for nearly a year and for the first time since I got my Shure V15 Type IV with the Jico SAS neo stylus, I haven’t looked back. It’s amazing, even cruddy ‘70s pop rock recordings are tolerable, a really disruptive cartridge, best I’ve ever owned!
PS: Mine sounds sublime through my Gold Note PH-10/PSU-10 with the loading set at 220 ohms
Don’t want to hijack the OP’s post but I have a related question for you impressively knowledgeable fellows.  I know very little about how this all works: I simply enjoy the warm and liquid sound of records.  Anyway, I’m told that the moving-coil input impedance of my 834p has been measured to be 515 Ohms.  Is this maybe why my experiment with the Hana SL hasn’t moved me to the levels of enthusiasm expressed here and by so many others?   It does sound very good to me, with lots of detail, but it’s not really any more emotionally stirring in the mid-range to me than my last couple of two-or-three-hundred dollar cartridges.  
@spiritofradio The original post is over a year old, so I don't think you have to worry too much about hijacking it.  I'm not an expert at this stuff either, but you have to take into consideration that your cables also add some resistance, so you may actually be somewhere around 700 ohms when you factor in the cables.  That may or may not make a difference in how the cartridge sounds, depending on your phono stage.

I am using a Parks Puffin phono stage with my Hana SL, which has only two options, either 200 ohms or 47K.  I've been running it at the 200 ohm setting and it sounds good.

I think it's a nice cartridge at its price point.  I have some that I've paid less for that sound almost as good and some that I've paid more for that sound a bit better.  There are noticeable differences, but not dramatic ones.

I think you have to have realistic expectations about how much difference a cartridge will make in terms of sound quality (and "emotional involvement") and also whether your turntable, phono stage, the rest of your system, and your hearing are resolving enough to notice a dramatic difference.  It's possible there are some folks here that exaggerate the amount of difference they hear when they make an upgrade.  What matters is what you hear.  
big-greg, Just so some other neophyte doesn’t go off on the wrong track, are you adding 185 ohms of resistance to spritofaudio’s statement that he sees 515 ohms at the inputs of his 834P, in order to get to 700 ohms? If so, that’s WAY wrong. No phono cable (typically less than 2 meters in length) is going to exhibit more than a few ohms resistance, usually less. Perhaps you are confusing resistance with capacitance. Cable capacitance does have to be added in with input capacitance in order to calculate the load capacitance, and a pair of ICs could add as much as 50 to 150pF, but for an MC cartridge like the Hana SL, that is not such a big deal. But resistance of a phono cable is usually irrelevant because it’s quite low.

Spiritofaudio, Doesn’t the 834P use a built-in SUT in order to achieve gain sufficient for an LOMC cartridge? If so, you cannot determine load impedance without knowing the turns ratio of the SUT, but maybe I am wrong; the 834P might have an active gain sufficient to deal with an LOMC without a SUT.
And finally, you guys might look back at the first several responses to this post. Typically, you want the input load resistance to be about 10X the internal resistance of the cartridge. Since the Hana SL has a 30 ohm input resistance, theory suggests it should be loaded with at least 300 ohms. Of course, you can go much higher, as well. And if you go lower, nothing explodes; but lower load resistances will tend to roll off the highs and eventually to sink some gain to ground, which means the cartridge will start to waste signal voltage.
chili555, The most likely reason that your Hana sounded poor when you removed the SUT was not due to load but due to insufficient gain into an MM input.  Maybe that's what you meant.
Thanks @lewm I did read the thread (3 times). It’s a learning experience for me.  If you tell me what an SUT is I could check to see if that is indeed what’s in my phono amp.  

Re: my hearing: I don’t pretend to be all that discerning but I do have a genuine love for good sound and exceptional physical problems with bad sound (you could ask my wife). And very sensitive speakers that pick up flaws and nuances.

Re capacitance:

Together with the sales guy I added up the capacitance of what my my rig would be with the Hana cart including headshell, arm/wire, table, and cables and we thought we were well within tolerances. 
Re: resistance

we looked up the MC number for the 834p and it was well above recommended, but some of the fellows here indicate that they’re getting exceptionally good sound with lower resistance phono amps, so...

@big_greg, what you wrote about expectations and experience is what I’d been tending to think too in relation to this cartridge. I may also have made fortunately good pairings with previous carts. I hear a little more detail but probably not $400 a year worth. I think I posted recently (to you?) that I may just go back to an AT when it’s time.

Or I could be all wrong and have other big problems or it’s just a mismatch with my TT. I really don’t know enough to say for sure. 
Still enjoying it though; Particularly on new records. It doesn’t seem to do the magic on the old ones that I keep reading about.
@lewm Yes, I was thinking about capacitance, not resistance, and thanks for making that distinction.
@spiritofradio I mention hearing, not because I think yours might be bad, but because I think that's a big variable.  I'm approaching 60 and while I can discern differences between cables, cartridges, bit rates for digital music, etc., those things don't make dramatic differences to me.  Things like speaker changes, different amps, preamps, turntables, CD players, etc., are much more dramatic.  What might seem like a subtle change to me, and not worth spending a ton of money on, may be "dramatic" to another listener and worth every penny.

I’m right with you. Just turned 60. And I agree.   I will say that it’s EZ for me to change carts and make adjustments and I can discern significant differences between them.  Must admit that I’d hoped the Hana SL would have made more of an impact.  

I was not happy with the Hana ML at 121 ohms. I used two phonostages, the Groove at 47k, and another, loaded first at 121 ohms and then at 47k. Both phonostages sounded more "unfettered" at 47k.
I’ve loaded cartridges at 47k for 40 years. With Audio Research, Rowland Coherence I, Klyne, Conrad Johnson preamps, Convergent, VACs. Oh, and the Vendetta Research SCP 2A, Audible Illusions, Modulus 3A. Never had a problem with a cartridge at that loading. This was the first time I loaded one down. Not keen on it.

Many designers, Alan Perkins (Immedia turntables and other items) and Charlie Hansen (Avalon speakers) also argue in favor of 47k. Ralph Karsten of Atmasphere (amps, preamps) believes it is not the cartridge, but the phonostage that needs loading down. Dave Wilson and Tom Evans (the Groove) believe in loading cartridges down. All I can say is that symphonic music (unamplified) - to my ears - more resembles the 47k loading - and I mean LIVE symphonies I attend (Carnegie, Bushnell in Hartford, Davies in SF, Boston Symphony Hall, The Met, Village Voice club, and David Geffen Hall (NY)). I can’t speak as to why anyone hears it better loaded down. But I’ve been going to symphony halls since 1963, so...

I just know that I haven’t heard the sense of realism I hear in life when loading down (I’m sure some cartridges do, just none of the ones I’ve had (Spectral, Benz, Carnegie I, Lyras, Van den Huls, and Clearaudios (Signature, Accurate, Stradivarius, Concerto) and Dynavectors XX2 and DV 20s)). AND, after my experiments over the past two days, playing one phonostage at 100 and 121 ohms, and then 47k, and then immediately playing the other phonostage (the Groove) on the same Mercury Living Presence Speaker Corners lp, both sounded better at 47k. And when I say "better," I mean the instruments "moved" the way they do in real life. Strings across hair. Harmonics rising above flutes and piccolos and spreading outward. Tubas moving large amounts of air. trumpet blasts directional (usually forward, but not always). In other words, the way it sounds on all those records and in real life

So, there you have it. I’m sticking with 47k. I played the Hana for two weeks at 47k, and I couldn’t refrain from playing entire albums - BOTH SIDES, eyes GLUED to the musical presentation.
So, try it out for yourself.
Compared 300 to 1k on my Hana SL and Plx-1000 with Cronus Magnum 3.
For my system and ears, sounds amazing and absolutely perfect at 1k. At 300ohm sounds a little muted.
This is now a dream set up for me, goose bumps with some of these top notch 45 rpm albums !!!

Cartridge loading is very system dependent. I never loaded my Benz carts until I got into my Brodmanns and Ref110 amp. I can hear the difference between 40 and 50 ohms-ain't huge but I can hear it AND have a preference. I've settled on 100 for the Hana ML. This is in my #2 table which has an old Fidelity Research FR64fx(removable headshell) & I've got several cartridges that are easy to swap. Don't scrimp on a transformer if you go that way. The difference can be huge BUT each one's different. I borrowed a $2600 Dynavector and it wasn't as good in my system as an old Audio Interface. AND I'm using a transformer INSTEAD of the hi gain setting on my ARC Ref Phono 2! This can be an alternately infuriating and engrossing hobby. Thank god for music. BTW if you know a friendly tech, he might make loading plugs up for less than DB Sys. Find a couple old interconnects with decent plugs that can be taken apart-I used cheap old Monster Cable and they will be better than DB's.
I've owned the Hana EL and currently own the SL. They have the same internal impedance (30 ohms) and a similar sound, but the SL is more resolving in the mids and highs. I load the SL with a Bob's Devices transformer that feeds a Line Magnetic tube phono preamp. I have two of the Bob's: with the Sky 20 and Sky 30 Cinemag transformers, so I can load at 10, 15, 20, and 30 to 1. Respectively, that's 470, 209, 118, and 52 ohms loading. In my system, there is a benefit to "loading down" the cartridge that goes beyond keeping RF away from the preamp (as atmosphere mentioned). There is a presence, a focus, a palpability, that comes with lower loading, that makes the sound more "real" in my system, and which has been written about by many, including the late great Art Dudley (RIP). But loading it down too much can also create a closed-in sound that loses some sparkle. So there's a trade-off (like almost everything in life). For the Hana SL, I most often load it with the 15:1 transformer, which is 209 ohms, which gives me the best in terms of openness and palpability. It sounds amazing in my system; better than the Denon 103R, Dynavector 10X5, and Dynavector 23R that I also own.

I have the Hana SL & ClearAudio Emotion, after reading your post (and others) I just changed resistance from 470 to 1k in my Moon 310LP. BIG difference, 1k is SO much better, 470 was as you said muddy, main vocals were not focused. SO glad I made the change. :)

Manufacture recommends >400 ohms for Hana SL, but 470 wasn’t enough for me. I should have tried both when I bought it...
but the phonostage that needs loading down. Dave Wilson and Tom Evans (the Groove) believe in loading cartridges down.
If you understand that its the phono section that's reacting to the resonance of the cartridge and tonearm cable, you're far more likely to design a preamp that is resistant to the RFI generated by that resonance.

If you don't believe that its the resonance causing this issue, go get yourself a square wave generator and (with a suitable low level so you don't deGauss the cartridge) run it thru any moving coil cartridge you want and look at what happens to the square wave on an oscilloscope after its passed thru the cartridge. Spoiler alert: its unaffected at audio frequencies. So if that is the case, how in the hell can loading be affecting the cartridge frequency response at audio frequencies??

The simple and correct answer (Occam's Razor, for anyone whose gotten this far) is that it isn't.

The reason you hear tonality changes is simply because the designer of your phono section didn't take into account how powerful the RFI is that comes out of a LOMC setup (hint: it can be up to 30dB higher than the cartridge signal). So the phono section reacts- with brightness usually; loading the cartridge knocks out the resonance and thus tones things down. Its a band-aid approach.

Why do cartridge manufacturers specify a loading? Two reasons:
1) Most phono sections have problems on this account. Plus the manufacturer has no idea what tonearm cable you'll be using (so the capacitance in parallel with the inductance of the cartridge is an unknown; most use 100pf as a general rule of thumb). So they specify some safe resistance value to use that won't mess things up too bad.
2) Some cartridge manufacturers are just as in the dark on this topic as many phono preamp designers are.

All I can say is look at the math folks. If you have to use loading you're dealing with a compromise.

@atmasphere is correct, at least from my experience.  I went from a fairly cheap but well regarded built in phono stage to the Herron VTPH-2A.  With the built in, I was getting what I thought was surface noise.  As I upgraded my system, I went to the Herron.  Now, Keith recommends running the MC input with no loading, though he does supply loading resistors.

With a Supex SDX-1100r with an output of .2mv and internal resistance of 1.5ohms, it only sounded good on my previous preamp when using an SUT, also a Supex.  It was pretty noisy (again, I thought it was surface noise) running it straight into the phono inputs with max gain and 1kohm loading.

Running it on the Herron, I initially started with 1k loading, and tried various different loadings.  Then I decided to run it unloaded, and wow, no "surface noise" to speak of, and the output seemed a bit higher.  The cartridge also opened up to a large degree.  My SUT now sits on the shelf unused.

Though what Ralph says is completely counterintuitive, he speaks the truth.
This is for Brad1138.  So sorry if I confused you.  I did suggest you might want to try the 47K ohm loading, but I also said "if your phono stage permits it", which was to say if your phono stage can provide sufficient gain absent a SUT.  I should have realized that you were probably using a SUT with a 1:10 step-up ratio, in order to achieve the 470 ohm loading that pleased you.  A 1:10 SUT into a 47K ohm resistance (across the secondaries of the SUT) will give the cartridge a load of 470 ohms.  So, you are correct to have questioned my advice; most likely your phono stage requires a SUT in order to provide enough total gain for the Hana.  One advantage of "high gain" phono stages is the ability to do without a SUT, and in that case you are freer to load the cartridge as you see fit.
What makes this tricky to understand is that MM cartridges **are** affected by the loading values at audio frequencies. This is because there are so many more turns of wire inside them- they have much higher inductance. So there is confusion and the whole thing spreads like a bad rumor. 
Hana ML into Herron, no loading. Low Cap cable ( Cardas in arm, Audioquest Fire to Herron. )

sounds pretty fine to me.

Thanks, I do not own a SUT. My phono stage is a Moon 310lp with 320s PS, and it has 10, 100, 470, 1k & 47k ohm options, also 40, 54, 60 & 66 dB gain settings. 

The gain at +66 dB for either 470 or 1k was just right. 

I Googled it and see in some setups, 47k works very well for MC. I will try it, but at the moment 1k is sounding great. :) 
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@lewm  OK, I finally got around to trying 47k. It brought the vocals and instruments, (everything really) much more forward and "present". More like my ProJect w/2M Blue in that aspect. It is very nice, but I will need to go back and forth to decide which way I like better. I would say 47k is more natural, but being as my Moabs are already a really forward speaker, the 1k being less forward was nice. 

I can't imagine there would be any problem running my phono pre with the top off, so it would be quicker to switch back/forth. 
The more time I spend with it at 47k the more I REALLY like it. Not feeling much need to go back to 1k.