Excel Sound Corporation Hana E and S series Moving-Coil Cartridges - three very good values and one overachiever.
.... All of the Hana cartridges have musically engaging presentation, no bothersome sharp edges on musical transients that can detract from enjoyment. There is a slight polishing (or rounding) of large bass transients that make them inviting without sounding soft or rounded to the point of being ill-defined. A contrabass still sounds correct whether plucked or bowed. "So far away" from the excellent Mobile Fidelity reissue of Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms LP stll packs a strong low end punch that packs a visceral reaction.
Dynamic linearity, while not at the same level of the much more expensive cartridges I've heard, is very even across the frequency spectrum. Overall the cartridges are pretty solid performers. These are the kind of cartridges you can use without wondering if your getting good value and performance for the money.
The Hana (EL and EH) get a solid recommendation for their $475 [US] price point [£384 UK].
The Hana SH gets an easy reccomendation for a sub $999 [US] category [£589 UK] and quite possibly beyond.
The Hana SL is the gem of the lineup and can easily fit in any table arm combination that will accommodate a 0.5mV output. With the Hana SL the user can rest assurred that the cartridge will support the next table/arm upgrade and will provide a clear baseline from which to judge if any future upgrade "upgrade" is warranted. The Hana SL is strongly being considered as an addition to my choice of moving-coil cartridges to use for turntable/arm evaluations and - more importantly - musical enjoyment. Yes its that good.
Read the full review here.