Acoustic Sounds

Features: Cartridges

The new $2,500 Hana Blue moving coil cartridge is the talk of the town and looks to fill the gap between the company's highly regarded Hana ML and flagship Hana Umami Red.

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It’s no secret that the world’s two largest cartridge manufacturers, Audio-Technica and Ortofon generate most of their cartridge income from inexpensive, mass-produced units, many of which they supply OEM to turntable manufacturers. Yet both lavish time, attention, and financial resources on the far smaller (it would be fair to say “tiny”) top of the market, where ultra-precision hand-built limited-edition models garner more attention than sales from audio... Read More

When discussing high-end cartridge brands with fellow audio enthusiasts I find that many companies like Ortofon and Audio-Technica don’t elicit from them the same respect and brand panache recognition they pay to some of the smaller cartridge manufacturers—especially in the multi $1000 price range, where many want to own a cartridge they feel was built by an “artisan”.While having an artisan single-handedly craft your cartridge is certainly appealing, overlooking or... Read More

Moving Iron is the Rodney Dangerfield of cartridge technology. It gets no respect. Analog enthusiasts regularly debate “moving coil or moving magnet?” but rarely is moving iron part of the discussion. It’s true that “moving iron” is a type of moving magnet cartridge, but companies that manufacturer them, (Grado, Goldring and Soundsmith are today’s main players, though in the past ADC, Sonus, B&O and probably others did as well) make it a point to distinguish their... Read More

Luxman’s LMC-5 MC phono cartridge got “caught” in the move from my previous endeavor to, so this review has been delayed for many months, but what’s the rush when there’s a forty year gap between this cartridge’s introduction last March and the LMC-2’s debut back in 1982?Not sure what took them so long, or what happened to LMC-3 (four is an unlucky number in Japan, which is why when you play golf there you yell “three!” or “five!”), but welcome back!... Read More