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When you experience a special sense of taste in food, it's Umami*. The specific ingredients meld together synergistically and harmoniously to become more than the sum of their parts. Many of the world's most delicious and memorable food experiences possess the Umami quality.
Hana's master designer Maseo Okada-san creates a new benchmark for exceptional sound and value. Combining the Auricle ™ body, Micro-ridge stylus, and boron cantilever of the Umami Red with the ALNICO-based generator of the Hana ML, the Umami Blue sets new standards.
The HANA-Umami Blue cartridge follows in the Hana "Brilliant and Gorgeous" tradition of providing the listener with sublime enjoyment. The Hana E, S, and M Series moving coil cartridges have won accolades and critical acclaim from reviewers and customers worldwide for the highest achievement of sound quality in their respective price ranges. The HANA-Umami Blue follows that tradition with a more enticing level of audio enjoyment and satisfaction.
*Umami /o?o'mämē/ noun. The fifth taste category after salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Officially coined Umami in 1908 by Japanese chemist Kikune Ikeda-san, it is that very pleasing or delicious flavor on the palette, a synergistic effect resulting in higher taste intensity.
The HANA-Umami Way
The HANA-Umami Blue high-end moving coil cartridge combines brilliant materials and classic Japanese techniques with modern audio engineering.
The synergistic relationship in MC generators between magnet, armature, and coil windings is a critical aspect of outstanding cartridge design; and like a signature dish at a Michelin 3-star restaurant, every element and detail working in concert results in a memorable and emotional experience.
Auricle™ Cartridge Body
The HANA-Umami Blue incorporates the exclusive Auricle™ body design, first developed for the Umami Red. It mimics the shape of the human outer ear to rigidly support the "Open Air" Moving Coil generator. The unique body shape is machined from A7075 aluminum, one of the strongest and lightest alloys, often specified in aerospace engineering. The Umami Blue body features a white POM inlay on its front facia to provide damping properties and as homage to the Hana ML, the first cartridge using a POM body. Tapped and threaded mounting holes in the Auricle™ body assure secure attachment to the tonearm.
Enameled Body Treatment
The HANA-Umami Blue uses a special enameling process to impart the brilliant blue glossy finish to the Auricle™ body, adding to the rich sound and optics.
The HANA-Umami Blue "nude" natural diamond stylus is cut and polished to mimic the cutting head stylus used to Master or "cut" all vinyl records. This critical part, also used on the HANA-Umami Red, offers the most precise fit into the vinyl groove, tracing the most delicate musical nuances.
Boron, with a hardness comparable to diamond, was selected for the HANA-Umami Blue to rigidly hold the Microline stylus.
Alnico Magnet-Based Moving Coil Generator
The Alnico magnet material selected for the HANA-Umami Blue, as found in the Hana ML generator, creates a classic sonic quality. Alnico magnets provide greater linearity with reduced saturation, creating a rich musical quality. The Pure copper wires are expertly hand-wound onto the Permalloy cross armature, found in the Hana ML generator. The pure iron pole piece featured in the Umami Blue is another key ingredient found in both the HANA-Umami Red and Hana ML generator.
This "cold annealing" process at near absolute zero temperature is used to treat the pole piece, both front and rear yoke in the HANA-Umami Blue generator, as well as the gold-plated signal output pins. The cryogenic process alters the molecular structure of the materials, producing a transformative quality similar to molecular gastronomy.
The Hana team is proud of their seamless integration of brilliant materials, modern audio engineering, and traditional Japanese techniques. Master designer Okada-san brings decades of experience to this design, furthering the Umami concept of synergy with the HANA-Umami Blue to create an exceptional musical quality.
The Hana Umami Blue is a deliberate trickle-down design utilizing the best and most cost-effective elements of the Hana Cartridge line. It is an unqualified success...With the body, finish, and many of the features of the top-of-the-line Hana Umami Red, the Blue is a super high value for audiophiles looking for a cost-effective moving coil cartridge...the Blue was so satisfying, I often forgot about reviewing and just listened for enjoyment... I highly recommend the Hana Umami Blue Moving-Coil Cartridge as the Sweetheart of the Hana cartridge line and the world of moving coil cartridges alike.
The Hana Umami Blue's ability to delicately handle multiple layers of musical dynamics, even when the album is pushing the limits, makes it a special cartridge for $2,500.
|Finish||Melamine Thermosetting Process (MTP)|
|Stylus||Microline Nude Diamond|
|Armature Shape||Cross Plate|
|Parts Material||Pure Iron|
|Output Pins||24K Gold Plated|
|Coil Wire Material||High Purity Copper|
|Terminating Impedance||> 80Ω|
|Cryogenic||Front Yoke, Rear Yoke, Pole Piece, Terminal Pins|
|Tracking Force Weight||2g|
|Dynamic Compliance||10 x 10(-6) cm/dyne (10Hz)
Estimated at 17 x 10(-6) cm/dyne (10Hz)