The Hana cartridge is the best cartridge I have ever owned. I have been using my Hana almost every day for hours, so there is probably well over 1,500 hours on it. The sound has not degraded at all, which means this is a fairly durable moving coil cartridge. I bought a number of extra cartridges so I could rotate cartridges and not wear out the Hana, however, I still use the Hana almost exclusively.
The Hana has the wonderful imaging and soundstage that connects you to the music. Tracking is outstanding and there is no inner groove distortion. The Hana had absolutely no harshness and was so musical I could listen to it for hours.
When comparing the Hana to other cartridges, the Hana gives me the clarity of the Sumiko Talisman S and Talisman A, and more clarity than the Grado Platinum.
The Hana has almost as much bass extension as the Grado Platinum and more bass than the Sumiko Talisman S and Talisman A.
Surface noise is kept to a minimum similar to the Grado Platinum. Although the hum on my Grado was very minimal, the Hana had no hum or noise at all.
I compared the Hana to an Ortofon MC-1 Turbo high output moving coil phono cartridge ($240). The Ortofon sounded similar and had a little better bass, however, the Hana was better in just about every other category.
I recently bought the new Sumiko Rainier cartridge ($150) on a whim, which is a fine cartridge for the price. I felt it was a huge step down from the Hana. While in its own way the Rainier is a good cartridge, it did not connect me to the music the way the Hana would.
I put a Nagaoka MP-110 cartridge ($125) on another turntable that I own and found this cartridge was not as engaging either with a sound similar to the Rainier. I know using another turntable with the Nagaoka is not a fair comparison, however, this is what I heard.
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