Hey, Another option and in your price range is the new Hana Umami Blue. It retails for $2500. Hana ML is an incredible cartridge.
Chocoholic is right. Price is not the deciding factor here. Some brands of carts you are paying for the materials in the cart body. Most of the Hana line punches 2x -3x its weight. In fact at Axpona in 2022 one of the vendors told me they had a $12k cartridge that had been damaged during setup. The distributor of Hana gave them a Hana Umami Red. I tried to buy the Hana from them. They said no way. They said it sounded better than the cartridge costing 3x as much. The Hana ML is going to be a little more forgiving and the Hana Umami Blue gives you more out of the pressing good and bad as Chocoholic said or implied we are at the mercy of the pressing. I own the Hana Umami Red. Your tt can cover all of these recommendations easily.
All that being said. You want a fine line (style) stylus. It mimics the cutter head. Therefore it will play back closer to the original. Most important is installation and setup. This can not be done just by looking at the cartridge or using a basic protractor. You need certain tools and good ears.
This cartridge is going to last you for years or even a decade. I don’t know if you have heard of Wally Analog Tools. They have a service where you can send in your cartridge and make sure it is within factory spec. Also, They will create a shim that sets up the VTA/ Azimuth/ and gives you the measurements or adjustments for the Zenith which is so important most do not realize. Plus, you will need a good VTF scale to setup the proper weight. Especially in a Shibata stylus which is a version of a fine line stylus. You are better off spending $1000 on a cartridge and it be set up perfect than spending $12k on a cartridge and you setting it up by eye balling it. A Ferrari cannot perform unless it is tuned or setup properly.
I hope this helps.
- 11 posts total
- 11 posts total