Need some help picking my first MC Cartridge

I have recently purchased an Icon PS1 Mk II tube Phono Preamp. and was thinking of purchasing a seperate MC cartridge and head to interchange with my Nagoaka MP 300 MM cartridge, which I am very happy with. This is my first MC Cartridge so this is more of a chance to compare MC versus MM Cartridges. Some suggestions have been Denon 103 or the Hana Red, The Icon Preamp has a fixed MC load setting of 100 ohms. The Sansui SR 525 Direct Drive Turntable that I will be using has an interchangeable cartridge head, so VTA height, tracking weight, anti-skating adjustments may be required for each cartridge but should not take more than 20 minutes to adjust. I have read that some low output cartridges may be preferable to high output, but I am not sure how this matches up with the Icon Preamp. I am a little in the weeds here with the technical information when it comes to cartridges so be gentle.

My listening preference is more to the musical / warm vinyl side. Gear: Tube preamp, Class "A" amp , alternating with a tube Integrated, Wilson Benesch Square 2 Speakers, Rel Subs (x2). I split my listening about 50/50 Vinyl/Digital.

My Budget is up to $1500.00


I think the OP ought to limit his choices to true low internal resistance LOMCs, if he’s going to use the built in SUT in the Icon phono, which seems like a very nice unit, now that I’ve read more about it. Thus a Denon DL103 or any of several Benz LOMC cartridges would not do, owing to the fixed 100 ohm input load. (I am guessing the MC inputs must connect across a 10K ohm resistor in order to achieve a fixed 100 ohm load using the built in 1:10 SUT.) This the case if one wants to adhere to the rule of thumb that the input R should be about 10X the out impedance of the cartridge. That doesn’t work here for the Denon, some of the Benz, and some other LOMCs. Also, most HOMCs and most low output MI types won’t work optimally into 100ohms owing either to high internal R or high inductance, respectively. 


I have heard most of the carts you are choosing between. I am going to say go with the Hana ML. Part of the reason is sometimes cost is important. Especially when it comes to Hana. They punch 2x -3x their weight. The Hana ML is in your price range, has the warmth you are looking for, and sets up really nice at 100r. I have heard so many people go from the Hana SL to the Hana ML to the Umami Red. Thank god they developed the Umami Blue. At $2500 it’s over your budget. That being said. The Hana ML will make you happier right now because it’s more of what you are looking for. Keep the warmth and get more out of the pressings. It’s a win win. Good luck, if you go with the Hana ML you won’t need it. 

@lewm 1+

The OP has to limit his choices to cartridges with an coil resistance 10 ohms or less. The OP has not given us the amount he wishes to spend. At $2000 The Lyra Delos is very hard to beat. It has a reasonable output and a 6.3 ohm resistance. Above that at $3500 is the Ortofon Cadenza Black with 0.45 mv and a 5 ohm  resistance along with the Lyra Kleos. Below at $1000 is the Ortofon Quintet Black, 0.3 mv and 5 ohms. If the OP is feeling particularly frisky there is the My Sonic Lab Ultra Eminent EX @ $7000. All these cartridges have modern styluses and cantilevers of Boron or Sapphire. The Ortofon Quintet Black stands out because of it's amazing tracking ability. The Delos is the best value but it's naked cantilever may scare the OP.