Matching the cartridge to the phono stage

Hey Everyone, I am new to this so please be gentle :) 

I am in the process of buying an amp that has the phono stage in it with the following specs with 3 options for the cartridge type MM/MC-Low/MC-High:

Moving Magnet: 2.5mV / 47kΩ

Moving Coil:

MC-High-Output: 0.3mV / 100Ω

MC-Low--Output: 0.1mV / 40Ω

LINE 180 mV / 47 kΩ


Now I am thinking of buying the Hana SL cartridge with the following specs:

Hana SL specifications:

  • Output Level @ 1kHz: 0.5mV

  • Output Balance @ 1kHz: Less Than 1.5dB

  • Impedance @ 1 kHz: 30 Ohms

  • Suggested Load: 400 Ohms

  • Cartridge Weight: 5 Grams


The preamp MC-Low says:  MC-Low--Output: 0.1mV / 40Ω

The Hana SL cartridge: Output Level @ 1kHz: 0.5mV, Impedance @ 1 kHz: 30 Ohms and Suggested Load: 400 Ohms. 


How do these values match ? As far as I can see I don't have the same voltage 0.5mv on the cartridge and 0.3mv on the phono preamp. I also see that 40ohm vs 30ohm. The 400ohms figure is only mentioned on the cartridge. 

Can this cartridge be used successfully with this phono stage ?

Do I need to match these numbers ? Can someone help explain this whole thing to me. 



I keep it simple...I use both a Denon 103 and a Hana el. These cartridges are pretty close as far as what loading they require or is recommended (400 ohms). I use a USA made Jensen SUT into my tubed Tavish phono's MM section. Sounds Dann good to me. If you look on Jensen's website, they designed their SUT in and around the usage of the Denon 103. They have done the thinking for me...less stress and good sound.

How about Rega Ania MC ? that way no spacers are needed I think and reviews are pretty good (I should really audition it). 


These are the specs:


Tracking Pressure 1.75 - 2.00 g 

Input Load Impedance 100 Ω 

Output Impedance ​10 Ω 

Nominal output voltage 350 μV 

Channel Balance ≥ 20 μV 

Separation ≥ -29 dB 



Phono settings:

Impedance 100 Ω 

Capacitance 1000 pF 

Gain Setting High (‘On’ position for Rega phono stages) 


These are my phono stage specs again (btw what does IHF-A correction mean in the specs below? Does it mean it will adjust to that voltage if required automatically?):


Moving Magnet: 

2.5mV / 47kΩ


Moving Coil:

MC-High-Output: 0.3mV / 100Ω

MC-Low--Output: 0.1mV / 40Ω


LINE 180 mV / 47 kΩ


S/N ratio:


PHONO (MM) : 91 dB or more (IHF-A correction, 5 mV input) 

PHONO (MC) : 75 dB or more (IHF-A correction, 0.5 mV input)



I was like you a couple of years ago.  Wanted to get into vinyl again but had no idea.  Back in the day I just put a record on and dropped the needle!  Never knew there was so much to learn.  Still don't know much about the specs, numbers, etc. but learning.  I picked up a mint used Rega Planar 6 and purchased a new Rega Exact cart.  Setup was super easy.  No spacers needed with the Rega cart.  It sounds great with any phono stage I've used.  Currently a Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2+ with gain set at 40dB and input loading at 47k.  Considering trying an Ania mc cart in the future but no rush. 

It's great that you are doing the research - kudos.  But, you might want to start simple with a Rega cart for the Rega TT.  Pretty much plug and play.         

@ajones82 those last numbers are the signal to noise ratio relative to a reference input level (the “typical” MM and MC cartridge output levels), as calculated by the IHF A weighting standard. The A weighting heavily de-emphasizes bass (power supply ripple) and treble frequencies. Given that, the numbers look OK but perhaps not stellar. It has nothing to do with the phono stage altering signal or adjusting to cartridge level.

@ajones82 One of the issues with the Rega arms is an adjustment called VTA is tricky or impossible to set, at least the ones I've seen. But if you use a Rega cartridge its spot on. IMO if you have a Rega arm a Rega cartridge is your best bet. If you want to do better you likely will want to move to a different machine.