Hana Umami brings new flavour to audiophile cartridges

Hana's Umami cartridge

The new Hana Umami Red MC cartridge is now available in New Zealand.

Hana’s Umami cartridge

The name Umami says a lot about Hana’s new cartridge even before you consider the mix of technology and traditional skills that have gone into it. Umami is a statement of design intent.

Full-bodied flavour, rich, meaty, are all adjectives you find when doing a search for the meaning of Umami. Unsurprisingly, these also can describe the sound of the Umami Red cartridge.

Hana’s Umami cartridge

Those familiar with the sound of the Hana ML may have wondered how you could do much better but master designer Okada-san from Excel Sound, (makers of Hana cartridges) has lifted the bar considerably.

Drawing on 50 years of experience making cartridges sold under other brand names, Okada-san has added a checklist of exotic parts and processes. A boron cantilever with nude Microline stylus, cryogenically treated coil system of hand-wound high purity copper and a body of A7075 Duralumin & Ebony finished with multilayered Urushi lacquer.

Hana’s Umami cartridge

Even lower coil resistance and tighter tolerances improve output balance and frequency response.

But like all good chefs, it’s the subtle mix of these ingredients that give the Umami flavour.

Simon Brown of Design Build Listen who distribute Hana cartridges said, “It is not a one-trick pony as we have all been impressed by the increase in leading-edge dynamics, bass extension and image depth/placement.

The Hana Umami Red is $NZ6300.




Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

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