Price: $3,500
Carousell Store: https://www.carousell.sg/p/hana-umami-blue-mc-phono-cartridge-1223238594/

“For all of the superlatives we use in this hobby, the one word I would use to describe the Hana Blue is simply clear and devoid of a specific character (well, that’s more than one word). The tonal balance is silky and extended both on top and on bottom. The Microline stylus produces dead quiet in the grooves. The mids have a pleasing glow and a velvety feel. The finely textured sound excels in capturing the essence of the human voice. Instrumental decay is generous and fades slowly, continuing its decay regardless of musical macro transients. Impressive.”

“Next I wanted to spin an “oldie but goodie”, so I put on The Cowboy Junkies’ The Trinity Sessions (Analogue Productions APP 072). The Umami Blue produced super quiet backgrounds on “Mining For Gold”, not a hint of a stylus coursing through grooves. The noise floor was beneath the depths of hell, letting me hear the air flowing through the Church of the Holy Trinity recording venue (as well as the air conditioner rumble). On the second track, Margo’s voice coupled with the harmonica delivered pure musical bliss, with the Blue’s microline stylus delivering the depth, layering and pin-point image precision picked up the single Calrec Soundfield microphone.”

“Music lovers are all different and wish to achieve different things with their systems. Some look for timbral accuracy and harmonic richness. Some need laser-like imaging and a deep soundstage. Some desire dynamics and detail. Regardless of your personal requirements, the Hana Umami Blue won’t disappoint. Is it the perfect cartridge? Absolutely not. There are differences between a $2,500 cartridges and ones that costs north of 10k. The Hana Blue just lessened that gap. I am quite confident that in 10 years the Hana Umami Blue will be regarded as one of those products that was “the one to beat”, at or anywhere near its price tag.”

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