A fortunate encounter with Excel Sound = Hana

It was more than fortunate to have met Masao Okada-san, founder of Excel Sound almost 40 years ago and then in 2015, to have him develop the Hana line of moving coil cartridges for our exclusive export. We are privileged to be partners with Excel Sound and without our long-standing friendship, Hana moving coil cartridges would never have been launched.

Meaning “Brilliant and Gorgeous” in the Japanese language, “華”, Hana moving coil cartridges are affordably priced and supply the most “Brilliant and Gorgeous” performance to audiophile customers for their budget.


Hana. The best Performance v. Cost value.

The biggest advantage of Hana cartridges is “the best Performance for the price”.

As written by Geoff Husband-san in his TNT/France review - “To compare the Hana with a cartridge costing 10x as much seems madness, but “blind”, I would have believed they were in the same class - extraordinary.”

What are the secrets? First, Excel Sound produces all the major parts used in Hana MC cartridges itself, from materials like aluminum for the cantilever, Alnico for the electro-motive power magnet, 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. So you see, of the constituent materials are not rare or expensive, but designed and manufactured correctly, they can produce cartridges with a very excellent sound for a reasonable price – a rare end product indeed.


The “Brilliant and Gorgeous” Hana sound comes from superb design, engineering excellence and 40 years of hand assembling knowhow, continuously improved in-house from 1970 by the Excel Sound Cartridge Master - Masao Okada-san, who began researching phono cartridge design in 1964 and who’s skills and expertise has been transferred to the artisans employed by Excel Sound who build the Hana cartridges.

Specialized tooling is another weapon that improves the price/quality performance, so manufactured parts are consistently perfect, repeatable parts for production, parts designed for maximum performance assuring the highest level of performance.

Lastly, perhaps the most essential ‘secret’ is the hand assembling by skilled artisans. Excel Sound craftsmen hand assemble all the parts into a perfect finished product, producing a consistent “Brilliant and Gorgeous” Hana sound. Without this precise hand assembling and the fine-tuning work by Excel Sound’s renown craftsmen, with their accumulation of 50 years of cartridge production expertise, the Hana products would not sound so consistently fine and delicate. Rare or exotic materials and extreme design is not enough to make a fine MC cartridge, but might make an expensive one.


HANA/ Low defect ratio and ‘new for old’ exchange service.

Whilst phono cartridges are made of relatively delicate parts, they are carefully assembled, and laboratory tested by skilled craftsmen at the factory to ensure a very low defect ratio, resulting in few returns under warranty to the manufacturer. This saves Hana Distributors and Dealers a lot from awkward office work returning cartridges to the factory! In the unlikely event of a cartridge failure within the warranty period, your Dealer will replace it with a new one (final decision for warranty is made by Excel Sound, after inspection of returned Hana in its laboratory).

Of course, cartridges are in general the most fragile part of any vinyl record hi-fi replay system, they can get accidentally damaged when in use and will certainly eventually wear out, even when treated with care and respect. So, whether worn out or damaged during its life, your Hana cartridge Dealer will offer you a beneficial ‘new for old’ price, under-written by Excel Sound.

figHANA/EH, installed in STUDER/REVOX,"B795" LINATRACK Turntable system , a vintage in 1970s.
(Presented by Altei, Czech Republic)

Hana. The name for MC cartridges for everyone

The Hana “Brilliant and Gorgeous” sound is now universally available to all music lovers, without an extreme financial burden on your equipment budget. Indeed, a Hana purchase allows you to buy more favorite vinyl records - which is the real reason for buying a good phono cartridge in the first place!


華(Hana) MC Cartridges Specification
Stylus Synthetic Elliptical Synthetic Elliptical Nude Diamond Shibata Nude Diamond Shibata
Cantilever Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Output level 2mv/1kHz 0.5mv/1KHz 2mv/1KHz 0.5mv/1KHz
Output balance <2dB/1KHz <2dB/1KHz <1.5dB/1KHz <1.5dB/1KHZ
Vertical Tracking force 2gr 2gr 2gr 2gr
Trackability 70μm/2gr
Dynamic Compliance 10 x 10 (-6) cm/dyne
Channel separation 25dB/1KHz 25dB/1KHz 28dB/1KHz 28dB/1KHz
Frequency response 15-25,000Hz 15-25,000Hz 15-32,000Hz 15-32,000Hz
Impedance 130Ω/1KHz 30Ω/1KHz 130Ω/1KHz 30Ω/1KHz
Suggested load Impedance 47KΩ >400Ω 47KΩ >400Ω
Suggested capacitance load 47pf (Change to 100,150,220pf, subject to your sound preference to reduce higher frequency level)
Cartridge weight 5gr 5gr 5gr 5gr
Plastic Body Color Moss Green Moss Green Black Black

For the EH I chose 50dB gain and 47 kOhms impedance. The SL needed 62dB gain for the same output with an impedance of 500 Ohms. (Rene Van E : "The Ear")

The resonance turns out to be at 8Hz and,although this is at the lowest end of the acceptable range of 8-12 Hz,it is absolutely fine. (Hifi Choice: "UK-5" HANA review with Jelco SA-750 silicone-damped unipivot tonearm )