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2021 Product of the Year Awards: Phono Cartridge of the Year

Hana Umami Red Phono Cartridge

Hana Umami Red 


On the outside, the Hana Umami Red has a gorgeous-looking, glossy-red, Japanese Urushi-lacquer finish with a front inlay of ebony wood. Inside, the Umami Red gets the premium treatment with a duralumin-alloy body, nude-diamond microline stylus, boron cantilever, and high-purity copper coils. Furthermore, the front yoke, rear yoke, pole piece, and 24-karat gold-plated terminal pins are all cryogenically treated. From a sound perspective, this cartridge has exceptional overall balance, such that it allows the musical timbre of instruments and vocals to present themselves truthfully no matter what genre of music is being reproduced. Couple these attributes with excellent micro/macro-dynamics, the ability to easily unravel harmonic complexities, an ever-so-slight tilt towards overall warmth, and buttery smooth yet extended high frequencies, and you have a superb combination. Consistently producing deliciously enjoyable class-leading performance, the Hana Umami Red (designed by Excel Sound Corporation’s Masao Okada-san) instantly moved towards the front of the pack when compared with cartridges in the same price range. The Hana Umami Red is the best-sounding cartridge reviewer (and analog maven) Andre Jennings has experienced from the Excel factory, and he’s heard a number of them, including some posh OEM models. 


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