Japanese manufacturer Excel Sound Corporation has introduced two new Hana M Series moving-coil phono cartridges, an MH (high output) cartridge and an ML (low output) cartridge, both of which use Alnico magnets.

Both cartridges are identical other than their coils, which are wound with high-purity copper, with the coils in the Hana MH delivering 2mV channel and the coils in the Hana ML delivering just 0.4mV per channel. The impedance of the Hana MH is 130Ω and it’s designed to operate at its best with a load of 47kΩ. The impedance of the Hana ML is 8Ω, and Excel recommends you load it with an impedance of less than 100Ω.

The Hana M Series cartridge bodies are made from black polyoxymethylene (POM) which is a very hard, extremely rigid and very strong thermoplastic Excel uses a particular formulation of POM manufactured by DuPont that sells under the trademarked name ‘Delrin’. Both cartridges have nude Microline styluses and aluminium cantilevers. ‘The shape of the nude Microline stylus, mimics that of the cutting stylus used in the cutting lathe and therefore fits precisely into the vinyl groove,’ says Aleksandar Maksimovic, of Audio Magic, which distributes Hana cartridges in Australia. ‘It’s this enhanced tracking ability that enables the Hana M Series cartridges to capture the most delicate musical details with better frequency resolution, channel balance and stereo imaging as well as lower distortion.’

Excel Sound Corporation has been manufacturing Excel-branded phono cartridges for more than 50 years as well as phono cartridges for other manufacturers under other names (OEM). The parts for the company’s Hana cartridges are manufactured for maximum and consistency, after which they’re assembled by hand at the company’s facility in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Several of the components used in the magnetic circuit of the Hana M-Series cartridges, including the front yoke, are cryogenically treated—a process Excel claims results in the creation of a more precise and controlled magnetic flux field that in turn enables greater linearity and a more musical sound quality.

Available now, the Hana M-Series phono cartridges sell for $1,750 (RRP).

Manufacturer’s Specifications: Hana M-Series Phono Cartridges

Stylus: Nude Microline
Cantilever: Aluminium
Magnet: Alnico
Coil Wire: High Purity Copper
Cartridge Housing/Base: POM/Brass
Output Level: 2.0mV (MH), 0.2mV (ML)
Channel Balance: <1dB/1kHz
Rec Tracking Force: 2g
Trackability: 70µ/2g
Compliance: 10×10-6 cm/dyne
Channel Separation: 30dB @ 1kHz
Frequency Range: 12Hz to 45kHz
Impedance: 100Ω (MH), 8Ω (ML)
Suggested Load Impedance: 47kΩ (MH), <100Ω (ML)
Cartridge Weight: 9.5g
Body Colour: Black
Price: $1,795 (RRP)