What a difference a setting makes.

I recently got a new turntable (Feikert,) Arm (Origin Live,) and cartridge Hana ML.) A whole new analog setup. I talked myself into thinking the sound was good, although I had doubts when I compared the SQ with the sound I was getting from the digital side. It was really great on some records (the equal of digital,) but the majority of discs were mediocre. Finally, I decided that with such good equipment I should be doing better. So, I contacted my salesman/advisor for help. He had initially recommended that I set the preamp with the gain at 58 and the load at 100 (evidently the standard for the Hana cartridge.) I kept it on that setting for several weeks.  
When I called him he suggested that I increase the load to 200. 
All of a sudden everything opened up! Almost everything I played had a presence it lacked before. The proverbial veil was lifted.  Records really did sound wonderful!  
I can’t help but think, that if I hadn’t had enough with the old sound I would be blissfully ignorant of what my set was capable.




I believe you had previously asked me about my settings.  I was thinking of you when I decided to indicate them.

Hahaha that’s right! And we both thought 58/100 was a sweet spot.
Glad you played around with the loading settings and posted your results. I’m thoroughly enjoying this cartridge/phono amp combination. Good synergy.

When you do adjust VTA make very small adjustments. Pulling the lever towards you rotates clockwise and increases VTA. This raises the arm which results in a thinner more detailed presentation. Pushing the lever away rotates counter clockwise which lowers the arm for a fatter fuller sound.

Don’t listen for crude tone changes. That’s big VTA moves. This is fine-tuning. Assuming the arm is already close to where it should be.

But even if the arm is way off this is still the best approach. Let’s say the arm is way too high. But you have no way of knowing. 50/50 coin toss you guess right and pull the thing towards you lowering the arm and it sounds better. More body yet still plenty of detail. In that case you keep on going. Eventually one tiny adjustment (they should all be very fine adjustments) instead of getting fuller and better is ever so slightly bloated. Then back off half of whatever the last move was.

Then go back and forth smaller and smaller until either you run out of patience or stop hearing improvement.

But remember, 50/50. If by chance you lower and right away it sounds more bloated and sluggish then you went the wrong way. Same process only this time very small increases in VTA, which on your adjuster is counter-clockwise. At least according to the manual I read when you said what you have.

The main thing being this is all done by ear.

There is only one "right" SRA and that is 92 degrees. Not all records were cut at exactly 92 degrees but unless you want to drive yourself crazy it is the best average setting. Expensive cartridges are easy, as long as the headshell is parallel to the record you are good to go. Cheap cartridges unfortunately vary wildly from right on to defective. You have to look with a microscope and measure the angles another  impossibility for most people. The most inexpensive solution is the Wally Reference but it assumes the cartridge was built correctly. 

@rvpiano , If you think it sounds good now save your sheckles and get a decent cartridge.