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First MC Cartridge

Mounted the Hana ML on the Traveler - the ML sounds at least as good as the SL, which is what one would expect for so much more money. I’m getting more detail from the ML than from the SL, depending on where I set VTF. The ML is indeed even more setup sensitive than the SL in my opinion; 2.1 grams sounds different than 2.0 grams. But, it was not a night and day sonic difference between the carts initially.

I need to run the ML for at least 50 hours before I can really compare. It took a couple of weeks for the SL to fully settle in after I initially installed it, too.
That's pretty much what one would expect, the narrower horizontal with longer vertical contact patch, makes it more sensitive to VTF.

Having said that, a Shibata vs a Microline should not be a night & day difference
 
That's pretty much what one would expect, the narrower horizontal with longer vertical contact patch, makes it more sensitive to VTF.

Having said that, a Shibata vs a Microline should not be a night & day difference
There are significant differences in specs - see below - aside from the diamond profile. The mass is almost double along with much lower coil resistance.

1675942395842.png
 
So, from a mass standpoint is the ML or the SL a better fit for the Traveller arm (at 10.2g effective mass)? or are they both within the sweet spot of the arm.
 
So, from a mass standpoint is the ML or the SL a better fit for the Traveller arm (at 10.2g effective mass)? or are they both within the sweet spot of the arm.
Use the 10 Hertz compliance number - 16 - to see the resonance for the Traveler. Looks like both are in the green!

1675957947325.png
 
Below is for my tonearm - Clearaudio Satisfy Carbon Fiber at 7 grams effective mass. The SL barely makes it in the green, the additional mass of the ML would be better perhaps.

1675958592363.png
 
Just so that I am reading the graph correctly.......using 16 (on the Y axis) would be for the SL, you would use 12 for the ML?

Second question - Is that a file/tool or a web site you are using to build the graph?
 
Just so that I am reading the graph correctly.......using 16 (on the Y axis) would be for the SL, you would use 12 for the ML?

Second question - Is that a file/tool or a web site you are using to build the graph?
5 grams SL, 9.2 grams ML. Screws add a touch. Pick 16 on left axis and 10 to 11 top axis for ML and find intersection. 9 Hertz in this case.

The calculator is from Vinylengine - chart is generated based on tonearm effective mass. https://www.vinylengine.com/cartridge_resonance_evaluator.php?eff_mass=7&submit=Submit
 
So, from a mass standpoint is the ML or the SL a better fit for the Traveller arm (at 10.2g effective mass)? or are they both within the sweet spot of the arm.
I did inquire of VPI before I purchased the table to see if the arm would be compatible with the ML; they also agreed.

From a sonics standpoint, I'm not thinking yet that the ML is worth the additional cost over the SL when used with the Traveler and my Bryston phono. That might change when I switch to a transimpedance phono that loves lower coil impedances.
 
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I did inquire of VPI before I purchased the table to see if the arm would be compatible with the ML; they also agreed.

From a sonics standpoint, I'm not thinking yet that the ML is worth the additional cost over the SL when used with the Traveler and my Bryston phono. That might change when I switch to a transimpedance phono that loves lower coil impedances.
If I did not have to worry about spending money, I would get the Umami Red. However, I do have money concerns.....

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If I did not have to worry about spending money, I would get the Umami Red. However, I do have money concerns.....

View attachment 263656
If nothing else, it is pretty! At the $750+ price point, I'm definitely seeing diminishing returns setting in for cartridges in my setups. Personally, I don't think I require anything more than the Hana SL (MC) and the Nagaoka MP-500 (MM/MI) for great sound. And on those, I've been able to find deals that get me substantially below retail outlay.
 
If nothing else, it is pretty! At the $750+ price point, I'm definitely seeing diminishing returns setting in for cartridges in my setups. Personally, I don't think I require anything more than the Hana SL (MC) and the Nagaoka MP-500 (MM/MI) for great sound. And on those, I've been able to find deals that get me substantially below retail outlay.
It is pretty to be sure and that stylus is a big part of the higher cost. Still, too much money for me.
 
So, from a mass standpoint is the ML or the SL a better fit for the Traveller arm (at 10.2g effective mass)? or are they both within the sweet spot of the arm.
At 2g VTF they both like a relatively heavy arm... the heavier cartridge is likely to get closer to the ideal than the lighter one... but either one should end up in the "green" zone... and both will behave better in an arm with some low frequency motion damping (fluid or magnetic) - as will any cartridge!
 
There are significant differences in specs - see below - aside from the diamond profile. The mass is almost double along with much lower coil resistance.

View attachment 263562
Hmm yes -the generator is quite different - and most likely the ML coils are lower mass, although the contribution of MC coils to mass is minor compared to the cantilever... but still. - Also the body is quite a bit heavier- body mass will alter which arms it will match with optimally.

However when you look at the level of contribution to the sound, distortion levels, etc... - I still would not expect the ML to sound all that different to the SL.... In a real in depth analysis, I would lay odds that the differences would be well below the threshold of psycho-acoustic audability!
But that would require "all things being equal" - simply the difference in mass, and the resulting difference in the low frequency resonance, along with its resulting harmonics etc... could result in a sufficient difference to be audible! (not necessarily better or worse)

The ML should have a substantial advantage however in terms of "reading" worn records (due to the length of its contact patch) and should also for the same reason, have increased life for the needle, and reduced wear for the vinyl.... (I'm a big proponent of ML needles!)
 
Hmm yes -the generator is quite different - and most likely the ML coils are lower mass, although the contribution of MC coils to mass is minor compared to the cantilever... but still. - Also the body is quite a bit heavier- body mass will alter which arms it will match with optimally.

However when you look at the level of contribution to the sound, distortion levels, etc... - I still would not expect the ML to sound all that different to the SL.... In a real in depth analysis, I would lay odds that the differences would be well below the threshold of psycho-acoustic audability!
But that would require "all things being equal" - simply the difference in mass, and the resulting difference in the low frequency resonance, along with its resulting harmonics etc... could result in a sufficient difference to be audible! (not necessarily better or worse)

The ML should have a substantial advantage however in terms of "reading" worn records (due to the length of its contact patch) and should also for the same reason, have increased life for the needle, and reduced wear for the vinyl.... (I'm a big proponent of ML needles!)
About 25 hours in, my admiration of the Traveler v2 / Hana ML combo grows a bit by the day. The cartridge is settling down and becoming smoother without sacrificing detail. The combo is simply solid and transparent in how it sounds without any audible artifacts. Nothing seems added or subtracted. It’s a very nice paring. Still, I think the SL in this set-up is a better value even if the ML ultimately proves to be a better performer.
 
About 25 hours in, my admiration of the Traveler v2 / Hana ML combo grows a bit by the day. The cartridge is settling down and becoming smoother without sacrificing detail. The combo is simply solid and transparent in how it sounds without any audible artifacts. Nothing seems added or subtracted. It’s a very nice paring. Still, I think the SL in this set-up is a better value even if the ML ultimately proves to be a better performer.
Hana just upped the ante - Unami Blue for $2500. Very much like the Red except with an Alnico magnet.

F9FCB176-A627-4B52-B3C6-72E8BBF44EB3.jpeg
 
Hana just upped the ante - Unami Blue for $2500. Very much like the Red except with an Alnico magnet.

View attachment 270511
I think I'll be sticking with my "humble" Hana SL, which still costs more at MSRP than the majority of turntables that are purchased. The blue is fetching, though.
 
I think I'll be sticking with my "humble" Hana SL, which still costs more at MSRP than the majority of turntables that are purchased. The blue is fetching, though.
I thought you had advanced to the ML? I do very much enjoy my SL, however, the Blue sure looks nice from an aesthetic point of view. I do wonder about the actual cost of manufacturing.
 
I thought you had advanced to the ML? I do very much enjoy my SL, however, the Blue sure looks nice from an aesthetic point of view. I do wonder about the actual cost of manufacturing.
Well, I have two Travelers now: one with the SL and one with the ML, in different rooms. The ML is on the nominally higher-end system.

The ML is still breaking in (<50 hours) but to my ear on my systems, the sonic differences between the two are not worth $450 MSRP more. The ML may ultimately prove to be a better cart, but the SL is a better value. The comparison was not nearly the difference between the SL and the Ortofon 2M Blue it replaced, even though the dollar price increment was similar. Within a few hours of hearing the SL, there was no going back to the 2M Blue.

I may be switching up the second Traveler to a higher-end table in a few weeks, so I might get to test that conclusion with a different platform. The ML on a PLX-1000 decidedly fell short of the SL on the Traveler.
 
And that's really the issue -- if an entry-level MC can't beat a similarly priced top tier MM/MI, it's not really worth the downsides of MC.
After a few system upgrades, I have to agree. To come full circle over the years of this thread, I’ve found that a Nagaoka MP-300 or 500 is very competitive with a Hana SL or ML on a great table and phono.

I upgraded my Traveler table to a Luxman PD-151 Mk2 and the Insight phono to a Bryston BP-1.5. On this new rig, both the Hana and the Nag were very satisfying, although not exactly the same. It cost a lot more to upgrade the table and phono than the difference in cartridge costs, but I did come to the conclusion that other components may matter more than just the cartridge alone.
 
Probably fitting to conclude this thread with what may be my last MC cart. I’m keeping the Hana ML / Luxman PD151 MkII for the long haul as my primary vinyl rig. The VPI Traveler / Hana SL combo has taken up permanent residence in my office. Along the way, I picked up a Bryston SUT to use with the office system.

I have a few other carts as backups in the event of retipping: SAE 1000LT, SAE 1000E, Nagaoka MP-300, and the “humble” Ortofon 2M Blue. That line up should last me as long as I need for spinning vinyl.
 
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