Thinking about switching cartridges.

I have a 2 year old Rega P-10. I'm thinking about switching out the Aphelion 2 for a Hana Red. Is this a waste of money? Your thoughts. Thanks in advance. 


A sideways move unless there is something about the sound of the Aphelion you don't like. Does that tonearm have a removable headshell? If so, then buy the Hana cartridge so you can alternate listening between the two cartridges.

I always prefer a tonearm with a removable headshell so that changing cartridges is easy. 

@jasonbourne71 is right. That is a sideways move. Save longer and get something like a Soundsmith Sussurro or Ortofon Windfeld Ti.  

Thanks everyone. That's what I wanted to know. Whether it was going to be an improvement or a sideways move. 

I have seen many glorious reviews of the Hanna, but none about the Rega carts, all on their own. I have only see glorious reviews of the P10 with the cart. 

Dear @marshinski15  :  I never listen in any system your Rega cartridge but I listened in at least 4 systems ( inlcuding mine ) the Umami Red and is a excellent performers and no the Ortofon Windfeld is not better but different.

My advise is that you should try and decide about because your system is different for the other audiophiles. Btw, RP-10 and its tonearm are really first rate components.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTION,


Consider the Koetsu Rosewood cartridge. At 8.25 grams weight this could be a better statistical match for the RB3000 tonearm then the 10.5 gram Hana Red. 

Dear @dayglow  : With all respect 2 things: first the KR is inferior in quality level performance that the Umami Red and second there are at least 2 Umami Red revirews using the Lyra Atlas at 11.6 grs.. The OP has not to worry about.




The Red is a fine cartridge for the money. The Aphelion Is just as good if not quite the value. The Windfeld Ti is a marvelously neutral cartridge and a great tracker with a beautifully cut and polished stylus. It may not have quite the detail of the MC Diamond or Verismo. The upper series Soundsmiths are the best tracking cartridges I have ever used and the OCL stylus and ruby cantilever are a great combination. The stylus is easily of the quality you would find on any $10,000 cartridge. 

For those that are unaware. Styluses come is a wide variety of quality, The very best cartridges have specifically selected stylus/cantilever assemblies. The poorer examples of any specific combination are handed down to the less expensive cartridges. The number of inclusions in the diamond, the shape, the polish and the precision of the mount are all factors subject to variability. Most people have no idea what their stylus looks like. Humans being what they are are prone to taking advantage of situations like this. They would argue this allows them to get advanced stylus shapes into less expensive cartridges. I would rather a well polished elliptical than a jagged line contact. I did not know this until I started looking at styluses under high power. I am not saying that all companies do this and I did not say which ones do. A microscope will answer that question. If you would like to view some of my recent pictures go here 


buy the Denon DH-103 and get the wood body to install  then you are done with this for life.

Happy Listening

Your weak link is your table and arm. IMO, you won’t get much change in performance with that table.

There is a LOT more to it than stylus shape. A careful look at alignment and adhesive ( if applicable ) might be just as illustrative of quality… then there is suspension, tie back, coil former geometry, quality of the wire…. blah, blah…

Have you heard a Red at any length Mijo or is this an artifact of your negative polarity Hana bias ?

to the OP w no other data on your system configuration, i expect IF you dont have HRS equal or better ( Minus K ) isolation…. a better cartridge will be mired in the mechanical noise floor…

Just my $1.49…. should have been $3 but i have an occlusion…..


In relation to Styli type  or form being solely influential on the produced sound. My own experiences have discovered the Styli does create change, but not enough to be considered as the the part that voices the Cartridge.

It is the materials selected to produce the Cart’ and the overall assembly method selected that is the voice of the Cart.

Many Cart’s come as a range of models, of which a range can all be closely related in materials selected, but a different Damper, Cantilever or Body Metal or Magnet, creates a change to the voicing that is quite detectable.

I assume tie wire tensioning or wire type, will also be a influence as well.

My comparisons of Styli Types alone, where differing types are used on very similar Cart Designs, where the Cart' is mounted on same Head Shell Material and used on the same TT and System, undoubtedly suggest detail retrieval and surface noise are where these Styli offer the least/most influence.

Dear @mijostyn  : With all respect but you are " wrong " on that stylus issue and you have to " learn " a little about and other thing that you need to " learn " is who in hell is Excel the manufacturer of Hana, Etsuro and some other top today and past cartridges. I even own an Excel top of the line under its nomination: Excel and I have many first haND EXPERIENCES WITH CARTRIDGES MADE BY eXCEL. the model I still own in mint condition is realluy a jewel starting with the cartridge top plate that's builded of pure ruby around 0.5cm. 

Regarding cartridge tracking abilities I think that you remember the " hot " discussion in the Dava cartridge thread where @mlavigne Etsuro Gold cartridge he owns ( I think he owns 2 units. ) whe your severe critic to that Excel cartridge was that the tracking is 70u and you said that you never buy that cartridge or any other with inferior tracking to 80u but you need to know that 60u is more than enough to track really fine almost any high velocity LP tracks but the Telarc 1812. Btw, the lavigne Etsuro Gold sample is not the stock one but he posted somewhere a " special " one but he never said in this forum  why is " special.

@tomic601  is rigth: " There is a LOT more to it than stylus shape. ". Mijos your memory is a little " short " about the stylus differences because like 3-4 months ago I posted/shared in other thread 6 of my vintage cartridges that were with Joseph Long retipper. All of those cartridges he only changed the stylus ( cantilever NO. ) and in all cases the stylus came/comes by Ogura.

Well, when you seen one of those cartridges stylus under microscopic photo that Joseph sended inmediatly you shared the stylus of your ( in tghose times ) be loved MSL top today cartridge where you posted that in both cartridges the stylus with both samples under microscope looks way similar and I paid way lower than 300.00 against your over 7K MSL stylus: go figure what you are posting in this thread about the stylus importance.

Yes, my vote for the OP still goes to the Umami Red in that " great " RP10. @bpolleti I thimnk that you need to read the Stereophile review of it where the reviewer compared it very favorable against the SAT direct drive one that set you back over 100K  ! ! 


Agree that the Delos is a very good performer.  But that table will mask that performance and add coloration.  

@rauliruegas I never said you can not replace just the stylus tip of some cartridges. Some manufacturers like Soundsmith mount the stylus themselves. I also think the RP 10 is a great table and arm as long as you put it on an isolation platform. It seems no matter what I say you make hash out of it. There are always exceptions to every generalization.  

@tomic601 I said the Red is a fine cartridge. As I have noted before I do not like the cheaper Hanas below the Blue. In that price range I think people are better off with high output cartridges and phono stages. You get a much better signal to noise ratio. It does not matter how good a cartridge performs if you have a lot of hiss behind it. Of course there is a lot more to cartridge performance than the stylus, I never said there was not. 

The precious part of any analog set up is the record. Noisy, worn out records suck. Well shaped and polished diamonds cause less record wear. The better a cartridge tracks the less likely it is to cause record wear. IMHO 60 um is unacceptable. When a stylus leaves the groove and bounces back and forth it permanently damages the groove. Can a cartridge with a spec of 60 um track most records? Yes, but a cartridge with a spec of 80 um follows the groove better which means less record wear even if the 60 um cartridge is not miss-tracking.

The Delos is a fine cartridge, but at that price point I prefer the Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC. It has better support and rebuild is much less expensive.


Dear @mijostyn : " I never said you can not replace just the stylus tip of some cartridges.. "


? ? ? ? ? from where came your statement, seems you have a misunderstood because that is not the subjects of my post to you. What’s going on ? ? ? ?


What I posted about Hana, Etsuro and my cartridge was only for you can understandthat Excel is EXCEL and made and makes several OM top today cartridges that audiophiles as you not even knew/know. My cartridge ruby top plate is part of that quality know/how level by Excel, the measured of my cartridge in the chart says that output levels in both channels are exACTLY THE SAME: 0.211MV AND fr FLAT FROM 20HZ TO 20KHZ.

In the other side all what you said about stylus tip " special " polished and the like is only a myth that I believed like 10 years ago for several years and my post confirm that is just false because the Ogura stylus tip in the Fulton cartridge that Joseph Long fix it for less than ( not 300.00, error. ) 200.00 is exactly the same as your over 7K-8K MSL stylus tip. That's why I posted.




@mijostyn " " When a stylus leaves the groove and bounces back and forth it permanently damages the groove. "

All cartridges with out mistracking " leaves the grooves " at microscopic levels because the tracking is not posible that be continuous for any cartridge stylus: no matter what.

So, 60um or 100 um exist that " leaves the grooves ". and again 60um is good enough with any LP ( but Terlarc 1812 or the like. ) to not have additional mistracking. That your mind stays more calm with a 90um cartridge means only that " mind calm ) and that’s all.

I posted in other threads that I listened in my system the Etsuro Gold and it’s an excellent quality performer as it’s the Umami Red too.

For the other gentlemans I agree that the Delos at its price is a real challenge but different to the Umami Red that I prefer over the Delos and I have a lot of respect for Lyra and followed/owned/own almost all its models just from the began with the Evolve.


@mijostyn   " It seems no matter what I say you make hash out of it.. "  Sorry for that. No it is not that way, you already know my respect to you and I have no single rouble with yo or your way of thinking. I'm ok with you. Sorry again.



@mijostyn I do have a lot of respect for you…in a sense… like the baseball loves the bat… We do violently agree on the RP-10…. only with isolation ;-)

Of course the Delos is formidable but should be eclipsed by the $2x ¥ Red… especially considering the oft ignored economic scale Excel enjoy and frankly created by dominating the lower end MC market and …. now..VERY wisely giving those hordes of happy ML customer two destinations to upgrade toooooo. Blue n Red….. 

Also, Lederman has some thoughts on mistracking .. is analog really sampling…..

@tomic601 Peter calls it jitter. I call it miss-tracking.  I have heard the Red but not the Blue. They are good cartridges, but I prefer the Soundsmith, The Zephyr MIMC is 2K and a great value. Soundsmith's customer service is second to none. I can recommend it without hesitation. This is not the case for some companies, I am not familiar with Excel, but I have interacted with MSL, Ortofon, Grado, Lyra and Soundsmith. Soundsmith handily wins the customer service medal.

@rauliruegas I have looked at many styluses under a microscope. Unfortunately, my ability to take pictures is recent and I have no photos of older cartridges to demonstrate my point. I'm sure your Excel cartridge is excellent, but that is an anecdote. I have seen all sorts of defective styluses and mountings coming from very reputable companies. The quality of the diamonds and polish is very variable. It is extremely easy to see. In general the more expensive cartridges get better styluses, but "more expensive" varies from one company to another.  You can get an excellent stylus in a $600 cartridge and I have seen a defective stylus in $10,000 cartridge.  

My experience with Rega, limited to mid and lower TT's, suggests a lack of cartridge alignment capabilities. Not just Rega, but make sure the replacement cartridge geometry is compatible....     just saying.

Dear @mijostyn  " I'm sure your Excel cartridge is excellent, but that is an anecdote. I have seen all sorts of defective styluses and mountings coming from very reputable companies. "

First it's not an anecdote Excel quality whole levels as are not anectdotic vintage cartridges coming from still today top cartridge designers/manufacturers and I'm not ( as you ) talking only about the quality of the stylus tip but the overall very high quality level performance that many times are not only a challenge for the MSL you owned but that beats several today top LOMC/MM/MI cartrridges.

The issue is that as my Excel you don't have on hand to confirm by your self my statements but you have the opotunity that for the kind of money you paid for that MSL or the Susurro you can buy at least 8 top vintage cartridges where you don't need to " see " back in the future cartridges.

There is a gentleman here in this forum ( I can't remember his moniker and I hope he can shime about. ) that owns all vintage LOMC cartridges that came with diamond cantilever/stylus including the Sony XL 88D that as the today  top limited edition Audio Technica was the only cartridge with diamond cantilever/stylus made by one piece. I never heard this Sony great cartridge performer and " only " heard the 88 D version with diamond cantilever and stylus as separates

That owner is anecdotic but I can send/post vintage LOMC cartridges that every MUSIC lover needs to listen/experience it before die. 

Yes, jitter is mis-tracking that any cartridge can avoid it.

Btw, next time you need help to fix a cartrudge you need to experience too Joseph Long who handled : Ogura, Nagaoka, Namiki, Gyger.



Of course, i am experienced in Soundsmith work. ;-) more than a few times now. 

Hopefully we have helped the OP

@rauliruegas i believe you are thinking of Chackster.   buddy of mine just got a nice Vintage Grace from him…. certainly they knew what they were doing…. ha

@tomic601 Whatever happened to Chackster. I got the impression he was Russian. 

@rauliruegas Not Sussurro, Hyperion MR, the one with the cactus spine cantilever. MR stands for Micro Ridge. I do not know where Peter got this stylus from, but it has the most complex profile I have ever seen.   Check out the pictures in the link I left above. I have looked at other micro ridge styluses and they are not cut like this. Hopefully, I won't f-up any other cartridges, but I will keep Mr Long in mind. As far as cantilevers and styluses cut from one diamond I only know of the AT special edition. The MC Diamond has a separate diamond glued to the end of a diamond cantilever. It is a great cartridge, but I cannot say there is any advantage in a diamond cantilever over boron, ruby or cactus spine. Raul, I have examined enough styluses from Grado, MSL, Lyra, Ortofon, AT, Soundsmith, Koetsu, Denon , Grace and Sumiko to know they are all capable of having a bad day in any number of ways.  QC is never perfect. 

Yes Russia…probably a difficult environment given world events…. 

A favorite of mine and in the stable is the Dynavector 17D3 with a very short diamond cantilever….. but again…. it’s a system with a variety of trades that get made….

Dear @tomic601 : No, chackster owns no single cartridge with cantilever diamond even he does not likes LOMC that are the only cartridges with diamond cantilevers.

chackster here in Agon was a seller of vintage MM/MI cartridges, as a fact when he appeared in Agon he had not very good cartridge knowledge levels he learned almost all here in Agon mainly through the long MM thread.



I own a Dynavector 17D3.  I think that D series all have one-piece diamond cantilever/styli.  So if and when the stylus wears out, you would have to replace both if you want to preserve originality.  Am I correct in this belief? (Raul?)  If so, does Dynavector have the capability? I rank that cartridge as upper level but not tops.  Very enjoyable, nevertheless.

Under a microscope, it does appear that stylus and cantilever are one piece.

@mijostyn : " I cannot say there is any advantage in a diamond cantilever over boron, ruby or cactus spine.. "

There are one critical advantage of diamond for cantilevers and it’s about stifness ( Young Modulus ) where diamond hast the higher YM spec followed by boron and where ruby/sapyre are really poor in this regards.


Your Atlas Lambda comes with boron cantilever and a cover of diamond, j.carr knows a lot about and that’s why he does not use ruby or other inferior materials for cartridge cantilevers.

Btw, normal micro ridge stylus shape is made by Namiki.


Here about Young modulus materials: Ruby is around 250 vs over 700 in the boron not showed in the link:



Raul - Yes, i am aware of Chackster STRONG preference for certain designs. i do remember his system photos and i would put him as a lifelong learner, as i also aspire …. My comment re Dynavector was in relationship to Mijo question.

@lewm I believe you are correct. Last i checked Dynavector offered a credit for exchange and i believe at under $3k new, that they represent fantastic value… IF they work with arm / etc….. all constraints you know well.


Yes but Y m isn’t the only variable to control, mass matters as well, hence one but not the only reason for the VERY short 17D3 cantilever…..

Hopefully obvious… i certainly have a LOT of respect for J Carr at Lyra….

Dear @lewm  : It can looks that way but it's not builded of one pice, this is absolutely sure. Not even its vintage top of the line 13D.



@lewm Did you form the listening impression of The 17D3 with the Dyna and or Triplaner or another ? i’ve so far only had it on my 505. Best to you in music !

@mijostyn : The last on those vintage diamond cantilever cartridges that used natural diamond was the Audio Technica MC 1000. After AT all diamond cantilevers are synthetic.


@rauliruegas I know all about young's modulus, but there is more at play such as cantilever mass and dimensions. A ruby cantilever that has a larger diameter or is shorter can be stiffer than a Boron or even diamond cantilever. For identical dimensions you are correct. 

The micro ridge stylus on the Hyperion is definitely not the usual Namiki. Look at the AP photograph. I'll ask Peter who is making it.

@retipper Hi Peter, Mike here. Who is making the stylus for the Hyperion MR? The cartridge is certainly up there with the very best. I need to listen more to be specific.

Not to put too fine a point in it, but doesn’t a stylus get polished by the groove and wouldn’t that process eventually negate or render irrelevant the factory original state of polish? Within the first 50-100 hours I would think.

Unless you’re getting engaged, what difference does it make whether a diamond stylus is of natural or man made origin? None, IMO.

Tomic, I’ve had the 17D3 in my 505 with a CF headshell, possibly in my FR64S, also in CF headshell, and now in Viv Float in CF with shim. It sounds best in the Viv without a doubt. And now I will proceed to my fallout shelter.

@mijostyn  : " but I cannot say there is any advantage in a diamond cantilever over boron, ruby or cactus spine. "

That was your very specific " dude ", you not even mentioned " everything the same " but in your next post following my answer you said you know everything about YM but you just fogeret and like tomic posted " but there is more at play such as cantilever mass and dimensions ".

A way unwise post and that's why I just ignored the tomic post about.


@rauliruegas I'm afraid I do not understand your last post. All I can say for sure is I now have cartridges with diamond, boron and cactus spine cantilevers and all three are fine cartridges. I can say from a tracking performance perspective the cactus spine can handle the highest groove velocities. It is also a thing of beauty. From a sonic perspective all three sound remarkably similar so It might just be an all roads lead to Rome situation. 

@lewm From a stylus perspective I do not think there is any difference between a natural and synthetic diamond both can have various levels of inclusions. I have looked at some styluses that were black with contamination and these styluses are going to wear out faster and are more likely to damage grooves. Again there is a level of quality and selection. The more expensive cartridges tend to get much cleaner styluses. I have a very inexpensive Ortofon 78 RPM cartridge. The stylus is spherical and swaged to a brass ferule (not naked). It is poorly polished and very dark. Another interesting attribute which anyone can see without a microscope is the diamonds of the more expensive cartridges are much smaller lowering the effective mass of the assembly. Less expensive cartridges using an aluminum tube for a cantilever with have the diamond pressed into the crimped end of the cantilever with a lot of excess material while the more expensive cartridges use much lighter mountings. With every cartridge made there are various levels of quality. The more expensive cartridges are more consistent but you can still get a dud. And, you had better take a lot of food down there with you:-)))

Which do you prefer, press fit or a big gob of glue? And which adds more superfluous mass to increase inertia? 

I do suppose with no supporting data that a synthetic diamond is mor likely to display those imperfections you describe than would a natural diamond, but it’s pure guessing.