When Japanese manufacturer Hana announced they were hand building a new high-end Cartridge we got very excited. The E,S and M Hana MC Phono Cartridges use high rigidity aluminum cantilevers and cross-shaped armatures, providing a ‘brilliant and gorgeous’ sound at competitive price points for Moving Coil (MC) Cartridges offering these levels of sound quality. The Hana Umami Red cartridge offers the highest level of musicality, reaching new limits of excellence in the Hana range. this cartridge should be on anyone's shortlist to audition.
Manufactured by Excel Sound Corporation, a 50 year old company based in Tokyo, who specialise in the maunufacture of moving coil cartridges (with particular expertise in high output MC cartridges) and the supply of OEM cartridge parts and OEM finished cartridges. They are perhaps known as one of those highly specialised but slightly underground Japanese companies - who certainly will not reveal which cartridge brands they have manufactured for over the years.
The HANA-Umami Red hand-built MC cartridge embodies Umami, officially coined in 1908 by Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda-san as a very pleasing or delicious flavor on the palette, a synergistic effect resulting in higher taste intensity.
Hana’s Master cartridge designer Maseo Okada-san applies this concept as he combines brilliant materials and classic Japanese techniques with modern audio engineering to create his HANA-Umami Red MC cartridge.
The cryogenically treated MC generator features a samarium/cobalt magnet with a pure-iron square plate armature, hand-wound with high purity 30-micron copper wire for an internal impedance of 6Ω and 0.4mV output.
A Nude Microline stylus is bonded to a solid Boron cantilever for tracing the most delicate musical nuances from the LP.
The HANA-Umami Red exclusive Auricle™ body design, mimics the shape of the human outer ear to rigidly support the “Open Air” Moving Coil generator. It is machined from A7075 Duralumin with a multi-layered Urushi lacquer finish originating from the Japanese Makie-artistic tradition, and incorporates an Ebony Wood inlay, tapped mounting holes, and stylus guard.
All the major parts of the HANA-Umami Red are manufactured in house by Excel Sound with its highly trained craftsmen skillfully hand assembling each cartridge. Master designer Okada-san brings over 50 years of experience to this design, applying the Umami concept of synergy with the HANA-Umami Red
Body: Duralumin A7075, Ebony inlay
Finish: Urushi Red Lacquer
Armature: Permalloy Square Plate
Magnet: Samarium Cobalt
Coil: 6Ω High Purity Copper
Output: 0.4 mV
Loading: > 60Ω
Tracking Force: 2 grams
Weight: 10.5 grams
Dynamic Compliance: Estimated at 17 x 10(-6)cm/dyne at 10Hz