Still looking for a new Moving Coil Cartridge

I noticed that Music Direct has 20% off cartridge sale on select cartridges. I am still using a ZU/Denon DL103 MC cartridge Series 1 with the cartridges tightest tolerances. I purchased it here from “Audiofiel” back in 2010 and have used it sparingly since. I had been using a Dynavector DV20XL cartridge which I bought a couple of years ago but my 6 yo nephew destroyed it (that’s another story) so I am back to the ZU/Denon.

My table is a Technics SL1200G which I truly love. I have been looking at the Hana Low out put MC cartridges. I am interested in the low output “S” series as the $600.00 price is right where I want to be. Now, the million dollar questions: I listen to 95% 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Rock and want whatever cartridge I purchase to make the records sound good without excessive surface noise. Will the Hana S be up to the task? My Mac C2500 tube preamp has cartridge loading from 50 ohms up to 1000 ohms so I should be ok. I just want to be sure this cartridge will be very musical and full bodied sound. I do no want a thin sound. So there you have it, yay or neigh?


There are far too many variables from one cartridge to another to enable one to say that a stiffer cantilever, per se, makes for better bass.  One way to get relevant data would be to buy two samples of the same cartridge, both bearing what you deem to be a "flexible" cantilever.  Then send one sample off to one of the re-tippers and have him install a cantilever that you deem to be stiffer, but with the same stylus if possible or at least the same stylus shape.  Then listen and take measurements.


I don't mean to insult you, but I am suspecting you are NOT buying those LP's new. More than likely, even if bought new by you (as so many of mine were), they were played with conical and elliptical stylus, and 'stuff' got pressed deep down in the grooves, now to be found by modern 'deep groove' stylus shapes.

My friend has a ultrasonic cleaner he loves, but it does not clean my old lps as well as my vigorous scrub method does. I don't know why, but they play quieter after my method.

IF a cartridge can play a noisy LP more quietly than another cartridge, I don't want it, what else is missing along with the noise?

A great cartridge can kick ass on any type of music.

Speakers 'best for rock' were crap.

So many options;  For MC, I went with a Hana SH (high output) into the MM port of my McIntosh MA352.  It was in replacement of an Ortofon 2M Black.  Similar in price but the Hana is such a noticeable improvement.  The Hana is so much more forgiving on less than perfect vinyl than the 2M Black.  The details, rich bass and warm sound are all much better.  My local audio place that set up my turntable was pushing Hana even before when I went with the 2M Black and now I see why.

Hana SH

Swapped in my Audio Technica VM750SH to see what a $500 MM sounds like on my second system. Always good to recalibrate one’s sonic apparatus. Played 3 albums. Switched back to the resident, rebuilt Decca Maroon. No comparison. The Decca trounced the AT. I can’t imagine being stuck at that lower level of audio non-enjoyment!

Forget all the suggestions above and buy the Denon DL-103 cartridge.  Then get the wood body for it and you are done.  We own the Gold Bug cartridge and Denon makes that also.  For the price of the DL-103 and the combination with the wood body you would be hard pressed to match the sound quality no matter what you buy at any price.

Happy Listening.