Zephyr MIMC vs Hana ML

Mounting on a Shure DME 3009 S2 improved with a Thorens TD125 Mk2.

presently using Ortofon 2M black through Musical surroundings Nova III phono stage and linear power supply. This was s major step up from the Grace F7 ruby that came with the TT/TA.

considering a step up and for various reasons I’m leaning towards one of those two cartridges.

Tonearm effective mass, compliance, resonance all check out.

Anyone with enough experience with either/both cartridges to offer sn informed opinion?  I’m all ears.



The Soundsmith is a better cartridge in every way than the Hana. But, the Lyra Delos is better. It tests better than many $6000 and up cartridges. There are very few companies that can keep up with Lyra. Ortofon and MSL come to mind. At that price point the Delos reigns supreme. 

Happy New Year Norm ! Father in law Army also, Intel in Nam. His brother a FAC. Service runs deep. My Dad on the Army pistol team a bit. Again thanks and I will look out for you on the TT thread :-)



Jumped the gun on prior post. Cartridge not available after all.

gonna wait, play Ortofon more, think about Lyra Delos, Hana Umami, something in between.

interested in Soundsmith’s ctges, just that they’re all so low compliance.


 Thanks again.


interested in Soundsmith’s ctges, just that they’re all so low compliance.

Yes and no. Many of Soundsmith carts are available in low, medium, and high compliance. But, you are correct, and for those that are available with three compliance options, the highest end cart is The Voice. Most all their highest end carts are low compliance only (including the Zephyr and Zephyr MIMC Star). Works for me as I have a Jelco 850 arm with about 13.5g effective mass. Lower mass arms of 5-8 or similar may not be a good match. That said, if you call Peter, I’m sure he could guide you further. The chart does state you can use their low compliance carts with arms that have an effective mass of 7-29....so...

Soundsmith has a complete table of all their carts (on their web site) which provides all the info of their carts on one chart.

Sharing some thread relevant cartridge experiences-

Had an original ART9, loved it to death.  huge value. 

Ortofon Cadenza Blue was a significant upgrade in most, but not all areas.  Bigger sound and dynamics but the ART9 was more colorful and refined. 

Recently tried the ART9XA (ultra low output).  Loved the sound but it really needs a SUT to shine dynamically.  

Also tried a Zephyr MIMC star ES.  Dynamics were very good but a letdown considering the low mass of the fixed coil deign.  Not very refined or a big soundstage.  The value comes with the rebuild cost but the sound is not competitive at its price as it had the least appealing sound of the bunch.  

Bought a Lyra Delos and was underwhelmed at first but after ~ 120 hrs. holy toledo what a big dynamic sound!  Smooth and refined with instant speed and dynamics, huge sound stage, detailed with no edge.  

By far the best cartridge in my stable.  I have tried to swap others back in but they do not last long.  

Recommendation would be the Delos, then the Ortofon Cadenza Blue followed closely by the high value AudioTechnica ART9XI.  .