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2022 Golden Ear: Excel Sound Corporation Hana SL Cartridge

Excel Sound Corporation Hana SL Cartridge

Excel Sound Corporation Hana SL Cartridge


Around five years ago, I said that the Hana SL establishes a baseline of performance that any cartridge demanding a higher price should exceed, without any steps backwards in other areas. This seems like it should be a simple matter, but the Hana SL makes it a tall order for some higher-priced cartridges, especially the part about not stepping backwards. At that time, I also reported that the Hana SL had an even-handed response across the frequency spectrum, traces the grooves very well (from low-to-high frequencies), and has a touch of color that moves it ever so slightly to the warm side of neutral. Today, the Hana SL continues to impress in system configurations that include higher-cost analog front ends. At its price point, it is still a standout. This cartridge will allow the owner to enjoy his vinyl playback system while providing an anchor for future upgrades of tonearms, turntables, and phonostages. For a cartridge at any price, the Hana SL holds its own against the competition, and then some. Over the years, it has been an easy recommendation, offering low distortion, high coherence, excellent soundstage depth and width, and an uncanny sense of togetherness. It’s still a keeper.


Andre Jennings

By Andre Jennings

My professional career has spanned 30+ years in electronics engineering. Some of the interesting products I’ve been involved with include Cellular Digital Packet Data modems, automotive ignition-interlock systems, military force protection/communications systems, and thrust-vector controls for space launch vehicles.

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