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?



I am an MC fan as well. I would not recommend the grado offerings, except that you can replace the stylus. However, I have experience with replacing the arm/stylus of a Benz micro mc (two of them) thru a vendor in New York. He does a great job. $300-400. Yes, the sound is slightly different, but excellent nonetheless. Feel free to email me to get the info.

Your Dynavector is better than the recommended grado, particularly with a new rebuild. Have you tried the Dynavector 10x5, mc high output? It's very good with rock. In your price range.


Finally, 2juki (Hong Kong) on eBay offers great deals on cartridges and accepts returns if the cartridge arrives damaged. He's been dealing in high end cartridges for 20 years, at least. Very credible. I have bought two cartridges (10x5 & Audio Technica ART9). FWIW, the ART9 is excellent but the same price a the dv20x



My Hana SH has blown me away more than once on many of my older rock albums.  I have maybe 100 hrs on it now and I think it took about 10-20 albums to come into its fullest potential.  

Tonearm and set up are a big factor. I used a high end stylus gauge to set it at 2g and then went though a couple of test records to get some anti skate and other adjustments corrected.  If someone does not have proper tools then I think best to have it done by a pro.

I do find the Hana SH amazing! Very solid imaging with fine detail, no perceptible coloration and not favoring or flavoring any particular type of music.  Of course bad recordings sound... bad.

For me this opens the imaginary door to wondering how much better something like the Umami Red is...  I'm tempted!

Lively discussion on this one! The Hana cartridges are great. I had an ML and really enjoyed it. I’ve since upgraded a couple times but the shibata stylus in the SL will be a good match for your listening habits and is somewhat forgiving regarding noise. Another great option would, as others have said, be an Ortofon MM, perhaps the LVB. This is a little more than you were speaking of but I’d a great match to that table.

+1 for the Grado

If you haven’t listened in a while to a MM cartridge in your system, I encourage you to give the Grado a spin. I currently have the Hana ML mounted on my TT. I like it, but it demands a good deal more of my phono pre than the Grado to which I am comparing it. Unless you have a really well designed and implemented phono section, you may find the Grado more satisfying than the Hana. Bear in mind, I’ve always preferred MM to MC, so my bias is showing. I’m sorry I can’t make useful comparative statements about the Grado and Hana because the Hana has only about 20 hours on it right now. I can say that potentiated by a PS Audio Stellar phono pre the Hana is warmer and more coherent, two features of MM that strongly appeal to me, than I expected. Very promising.