Hana SL

Product Code: HNC004


ex-vat: £ 524.17

The ancient Japanese symbol that represents Hana can be translated as “flower” and “brilliant and gorgeous”. Both meanings express the sonic character of Hana cartridges.

Excel Sound, the manufacturer, which used to make cartridges for other brands, produces all the major parts, from materials like aluminium for the cantilever, AlNiCo magnets, pure iron for the magnetic circuit, and 4N copper wire for MC wiring. The electrical sub-assembly is then packaged in an ABS plastic body by highly skilled artisans. Hana cartridges as a result offer astonishing price/performance value.

The Hana SL is a low-output moving coil with a Shibata stylus.

Press Reviews

“I’ve just completed several months of playing records with a slew of $5000+ cartridges, and switching to the Hana SL did not feel like a depressing step down. In fact, I can imagine someone, somewhere describing the Hana SL as more accurate than some very expensive moving-coils. I wouldn’t go that far, but while playing the title track of the Mascara Quartet’s Barco Negro (Sazas VVE LP 001), for a moment I did think, Holy shit! Am I hearing right? Is this plastic-bodied Hana SL recovering more information, more naturally and more enjoyably, than those big-money ‘coils? Of course, it didn’t—but at that moment, it seemed as if it did.”

Read the full review.


“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 assured the cartridge will support the next ’table/’arm “upgrade” and will provide a clear baseline from which to judge if any future cartridge “upgrade” is warranted. The Hana-SL is strongly being considered as an addition to my choices of moving-coil cartridges to use for ’table/’arm evaluations and—more importantly—musical enjoyment. Yes, it’s that good.”

Read the full review.

The Absolute Sound

“This extra definition is a nice boost with ‘Soular Energy’ from the Ray Brown Trio, where the bass plays such an important role. I can raise the volume with ease, in the meantime the snare and body of the bass remain one entity. Drums are unmistakably real, cymbals clear and the piano keeps its light tone. The stereo image stays tight between the speakers but never goes beyond them and ‘Cry Me A River’ goes abyss deep into the bass. The SL cartridge seems made for jazz music like this, playing it in a natural and easy way.”

Read the full review.

The Ear

“What immediately impressed me with both [Hana SH and SL] cartridges was the very low surface noise and how quiet they were overall. There was no hum even with the level turned well up and this made for an easy listen where the music was highlighted without being drowned out with irritating surface noise. I am sure the Shibata stylus helped contribute to this performance and proves what a clever design it is. High frequencies were clearly portrayed and detailing was very good on instruments like cymbals, hi-hat etc. and background detail was easily retrieved, making for an enjoyable listen. Vocals were clear and well projected in the sound stage which itself had good depth and spread. Bass was also well defined and detailed…

“…the Hana [SL] low output model just added more to the listening experience in terms of better detailing and depth over the high output model. I cannot fully explain this, it’s just what I heard and it wasn’t a subtle preference when compared to the high output model.”


Hi-Fi Pig

“The Hana [SL] on the other hand makes you forget the nature of the reproduction chain – its handling of the most tricky elements of vinyl recordings – sibilants, surface noise, end-of-side wear inevitably help here, but it’s more than that. On some recordings I found myself preferring it to all other cartridges regardless of price, and given that the Hana is right at the bottom of the Moving Coil pile price-wise this is nothing short of astonishing.”

Read the full review.

TNT Audio


Nude diamond Shibata
Output balance
Tracking force
Dynamic compliance
10 x 10 (-6) cm/dyne
Channel separation
Frequency response
Suggested load impedance
Suggested capacitance load
47-220 pf
Cartridge weight