Hana Shibata Phono Cartridge
Introducing HanaWhen an OEM house distributes their own brand, they reserve their best efforts for themselves and Excel is no exception. Hana, translated as “brilliant and gorgeous” represents Excel’s best materials including alnico magnets, cross-shaped armatures, and proprietary manufacturing processes. They have excelled at creating MC cartridges noted worldwide for their sound and value, which retain their “musical magic” regardless of their phono stage pairing.
Shibata High(SH) and Low(SL)The Hana SL and SH models, distinguished by their black body, provide tighter channel balance, greater channel separation, and improved high-frequency extension compared to their EH and EL counterparts. The SL and SH models also feature an upgraded Shibata stylus.
Ratings & Reviews
Amazing sound! I've been Jonesing for an MC cart for a while now, even though I loved my 2M Blue, but it was absolutely the right move. All the detail and huge sound stage I'd imagined is not only a reality, every aspect of the sound quality is so much better than I'd ever hoped. I strongly recommend the SL.
Unbelievable! I can't imagine prices will stay where they are for too long. I love it when actual manufacturers finally put out their own products...always a good price, and rarely a disappointment. This is no exception. Buy it.
I was originally looking at some cartridges that were under $500, asked about the Hana with the elliptical stylus and this one, Brian did a great job explaining the differences between the two and the relative merits of the other ones I was considering. Had initially planned to get the lower priced model, but when it was out of stock decided to try out this one, did a comparison to my previous cartridge, a Sumiko Blue Point #2 and within 10 seconds of listening to this one I was sold, simply amazing, well worth the money, extremely musical, does everything well. James helped me out with the comparison. Highly recommend this cartridge and the store, thanks guys!
I just love it
I traded in my old EL version of this cartridge for the SL using the re-tipping program and I could not be happier. It is far greater in detail, instrument separation, and representation of timbres than the EL. It's just in a different league altogether, a night and day difference. It takes about 40-50 hours of break in to develop any brilliance or excitement, but it happens, I promise. The bass is also much more direct and impactful, rather than loose and boomy as it was with the EL. The hype surrounding this cartridge is for real.
More Upgrade than I expected
I replaced a very good sounding Audio Technica AT150MLX with the Hana SL. At first I was not all that impressed with the sound. But after about 75 hours the Hana really began to shine. Detail and soundstage were greatly increased. Surprisingly enough surface noise was equally decreased. I even put the AT back on to compare and this cartridge that I had really enjoyed now sounded raw and way too bright. All the reviews say the Hana is one of the best cartridges in its price range and I concur. It's going to take a lot to top the sound I'm getting out of this wonderful cartridge.
Coming from a Koetsu Rosewood, I wasn't sure the Hana would be right for me, but so many positive reviews gave me courage to "go for it"! That turned out to be a great choice, as I absolutely LOVE the sound of the SL, mounted in my Linn Ittok which is mounted to an LP 12.
Here is how I described the sound:
1. Crystal clear reproduction from records that were unlistenable with even my mighty Koetsu. I bought it new in 1985 and there were a lot of records that simply sounded ultra-distorted. The SL has played everything I've thrown at with aplomb.
2. Accurate reproduction that makes you feel like "you are there" with live instruments.
3. Bass response that is neither lean, nor "full". Just well balanced.
4. The midrange is right where it should be--not hiding in the background; nor sitting irritatingly out in front.
This is an outstanding cartridge, and I say that as the guy who has auditioned countless cartridges in the past, w/ few making the cut.
Huge upgrade from the Clearaudio Aurum Classic that I used for 10 years on my Pro-ject RPM 10. This really opened the system up, improving clarity, response and soundstage. Well worth the price differential.
Great all rounder that just sounds right.
This cart was my first venture into the world of low output MCs. Having a shibata stylus, it does require some care in setup, but once dialed in, the sound is sublime. I've had MM and high output MCs carts in this price range. They simply don't compete with the Hana. I've finally found a cart that doesn't leave me wondering what I'll upgrade to next. It'll only be retips/exchanges from here on out.