Meet the Hana twins...a pair of moving coil cartridges from Japan that can be yours at an exceptionally low price. Paul Rigby is smitten by their charms.
Low cost Moving Coil (MC) cartridges are a rare beast - for very good reasons..... since most are not so good.
[first the LP] Edie Gorme and a slice of Bosa Nova...and the track 'Vereda Tripical'...perfect when challenging low priced MC cartridges. The EH was a very smooth, easy going performer. Gorme had an attractively husky edge to her delivery that was beautifully portrayed here, along with subtleties such as intakes of breath...the backing singers providing a harmonic backing were not just smoothly portrayed, but mellifluous in tone.
Turning to more dynamic fare, I chose a newly re-issued Joy Division album... Lead vocals were articulated well...there was a lot of passion and energy [without] slurring or blurring from inaccurate stylus tracing. More than that, the texture of the vocal delivery added to the emotive presentation and this helped my ear engage with the power of the music.
Finally... I turned to Ennio Morricone and the music from the cult film 'Il Prefetto De Ferro'. Its title track exhibited a rich sweeping effect during the mid-track string crescendos, while the wind section, free of any suggestion of brittleness offered calm assurance
...the EH provided a slightly more accurate and tonally tad more exciting performance in how detail was extracted from the master [than the EL].
Both these [EL and EH] moving coil cartridges performed well and they bring genuine advantages to any listening session at a low, low price. Terrific value for money.
HANA EL £276.00p
VALUE: keenly priced
FOR: detail; focus; clarity; value for money
AGAINST: midband tacking