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Denon DL-103 versus HANA EL

HANA EL update-I can't say enough good things about this very reasonably price LOMC cartridge! I gave my MFSL Steely Dan Aja album a good cleaning with the RCM...this copy is at least 35 years old and am hearing stuff with the EL I've never noticed before on previous playings or listening to digital copies. Detail galore but very balanced presentation. Timbre and subtle details are spot on. Still very impressed.
Very much in agreement. Was amazed over the weekend at what the SL could achieve.

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Must call my dealer since he is the one I got the MS Nova from to see if he has access to the Hana line. I might sell my Clearaudio table/cartridge setup since it has been parked for a few months now.
I run a couple of modified Denons, Shure SC35C and a Grado along with a stock Hana EL

Modded carts:

Denon DL103: thinner solid aluminium cantilever, elliptical tip, threaded mahogany body
Denon DL303: solid aluminium cantilever, shibata tip
Shure SC35C: theaded aluminium body, Ed Saunders V15xMR stylus
Grado Reference Platinum 1: microtracer tip

Now I'd have to say that the Hana and the two Denons are my two favourite carts.

The DL103 has by far the most bass, quite detailed and dynamic. Not as laid back since replacing the cantilever and tip though better frequency extension than stock. Enormous sound stage.

The Denon DL303 is the most detailed of the 3 and frankly sounds much like the Hana just with more detail and energy. Really exposes poor recordings though. Whatever is there is what it plays. A very neutral cart with insane frequency extension and very flat across the spectrum. You need good records to enjoy this.

Hana EL: Laid back like my DL103 was before the new stylus and retip. More fine detail than the 103 though less than the 303. Like the 103 it has the ability to make almost any record enjoyable and sound good.

Shure SC35C: Similar to the DL103 though with more meat on it, a bit less air. Bloom around the mud range. A great backup cart

Grado Reference Platinum 1: Not really a great match in my system. Seems to emphasise effects like space, breathing etc at the expense of the music which sounds quieter in comparison.

Though yes, the Hana is a great cart. Seems a step sideways from my Denon carts rather than a true step up. I guess I need to look at Dynavector or Benz Micro next time. All of these carts are lovely and noticeably different in their voicing. That's the thing though. The two Denon carts and the Hana EL are merely different. I don't think any are necessarily better than the other.

In terms of set up my DL103 is best, followed by the Hana EL. The DL303 is extremely fussy about set up though.

I guess its down to preference. The Hana EL and DL303 have more finesse with the Hana having the most laid back and unforced/effortless sound.

The DL103 in comparison is that cart that makes you want to get up and dance. That's in my main system.... In my secondary system the DL103 is just too dynamic and becomes outright fatigueing to listen to (SEP amp & not yet broken in full range drivers)

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On, the Hana just keeps improving as I listen to it. I think this will become my favourite cast.

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Ok, I got an extended 9 album long listening session in yesterday. Definitely the Hana EL. My poor old Denon DL103 just doesn't compete. I've never heard better in my system. Perhaps I'll keep the DL103 as a spare.

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