The announcement of a new flagship Hana cartridge has most of us at Part-Time Audiophile in a frenzy. We all want to review the new $3950 Hana Umami Red, and I think we’re going to have to enter Thunderdome to determine which of us gets the honor.
I think I should advance to the finals, since I’m the one who just reviewed the extraordinary Hana ML and loved it. Also, I’m the editor-in-chief, dammit, and what I say goes! Some long-forgotten bit of altruism deep inside of me squeaks, in a tiny little voice, “Let someone else review the Hana Umami Red. Spread the love that is Hana cartridges.”
Here’s the thing: the Hana ML costs just $1200, and we feel it’s one of the best cartridge values there is. That goes for all of the Hana designs, which start at an incredible $475. These are Japanese cartridges, made in Japan by a master craftsman who has figured out an efficient design that doesn’t have to cost a fortune to buy. So the question became: “If Hana can make a cartridge this good and sell it in the US for just $1200, imagine how good an, oh say, $3950 Hana would be?” Now we will find out.
So stay tuned to see which reviewer wins out. Here is the press release sent today to officially announce the Umami:
Happy Autumnal Equinox – 秋分の日 – Shūbun no Hi
HANA Umami Red Sales begin today – September 22, 2020
The perfect balance of brilliant materials, classic Japanese techniques, and modern audio engineering. Hana’s Master cartridge designer Masao Okada-san brings over 50 years of experience, applying the Umami concept of synergy with his HANA-Umami Red
Ebony wood, rare-earth magnets, precision-cut diamond, high-purity copper wires, Urushi lacquering, and CNC machined Duralumin synergize under the vision of the designer Okada-san. All the major parts of the HANA-Umami Red are manufactured in house by Excel Sound with its highly trained craftsmen skillfully hand assembling each cartridge.