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Audiophilia Product of the Year Winner 2022!
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 cartridge designer Maseo Okada-san produces this quality for vinyl listening as he combines materials and techniques to create the musical richness and intensity you experience from his HANA-Umami Red hand-built MC cartridge.
The HANA-Umami Red 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 Red 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 Red high-end moving coil cartridge combines brilliant materials and classic Japanese techniques with modern audio engineering. Ebony wood, rare-earth magnets, precision-cut diamond, high-purity copper wires, Urushi lacquering, and CNC machined Duralumin synergize under the vision of Hana designer Okada-san.
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.
All the major parts in a HANA-Umami Red are manufactured in house by Excel Sound with its rich history spanning over 50 years. Excel's highly trained craftsmen skillfully hand assemble the HANA-Umami Red ensuring an intensely musical experience furthering the HANA "Brilliant and Gorgeous" sound quality.
Auricle™ Cartridge body
The HANA-Umami Red exclusive Auricle™ body design, 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 used in aerospace engineering. The Duralumin body features an Ebony Wood inlay on its front facia to provide specific damping properties and tapped mounting holes assure secure attachment to the tonearm.
The HANA-Umami Red body's multi-layered Urushi lacquer finish originates from the famous Japanese Makie-artistic tradition, adding to the rich sound and optics. This classic and complex procedure consists of a black Urushi painted undercoat, elaborate red-coloration process incorporating fine silver powder, "hana" name printing with pure gold powder, and final lacquer coating with multiple polishing steps.
The HANA-Umami Red 'nude' natural diamond stylus is cut and polished to mimic the cutting head stylus used to Master or "cut" all vinyl records. This design 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 Red to rigidly hold the Microline stylus. This solid Boron cantilever allows the smallest audible details and micro-dynamics to be transmitted without loss to the moving coil generator, capturing the artists' intent.
Moving coil generator
The rare earth samarium/cobalt magnet material selected for the HANA-Umami Red generator offers the best electro-magnetic energy, a requirement for this very musical design. Pure copper wires are expertly hand-wound onto the classic square plate Permalloy armature.
This 'cold annealing' process at near absolute zero temperature is used to treat many of the components in the HANA-Umami Red 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 techniques. Master designer Okada-san brings decades of experience to this design, applying the Umami concept of synergy with the HANA-Umami Red to indulge your senses in the music.
The Umami Red is not just the most engaging cartridge I've had in my system, but it's one of the most engaging cartridges I've ever heard, and that includes time spent with very high-end systems and cartridges double its price. For listeners like me who have hung out in the 1-2k range of moving coil carts for many years, the Umami Red represents one of the smartest 'steps up' to the high end you can make in my opinion. The sky is the limit when it comes to high-end moving coil cartridges, but I think Hana has presented a very good case here that this could be your 'end game'. I decided it very well might be mine, as I arranged to purchase my demo unit and keep it permanently in my system as a long-term analog reference. That's the best endorsement I know how to make.
|Material||Duralumin (A7075), Ebony Wood|
|Finish||Gloss Urushi Lacquer / Red|
|Stylus||Microline Nude Diamond|
|Parts Material||Pure Iron|
|Terminal Plate||PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone)|
|Terminal Pin||24K Gold Plated|
|Coil Wire Material||High Purity Copper|
|Terminating Impedance||> 60Ω|
|Tracking Force Weight||2g|
|Dynamic Compliance||10 x 10(-6) cm/dyne (100Hz)
Estimated at 16 x 10(-6) cm/dyne (10Hz)