HANA Umami Cartridge Promises Audio Deliciousness

Cartridge manufacturer HANA’s new Umami high-end cartridge opens the possibilities of superbly tasteful sound performance.

It may not be sour or bitter, it may be a little sweet and certainly a full-bodied taste – HANA’s new Umami Red cartridge is slated for availability in Australia in Q4 2020. Masao Okada-san’s new Umami Red creation is a merging of traditional Japanese cartridge craftsmanship with the astute adaptation of modern materials and engineering.

Okada-san has assembled the Umami Red Moving Coil (MC) cartridge from a mix of ebony wood, rare-earth Samarium Cobalt magnets, precision-cut diamond and hand-wound high-purity copper wiring. These construction materials have been encased in a CNC-machined 7075 aerospace engineering Duralumin ‘Auricle’ composite body-shell which, as a design feature, has been cut with an inset resembling a human ear. The body-shell is then inlayed with an ebony damping plate and finished in Japan’s gorgeous Urushi multi-stage lacquering. The Umami Red has been handcrafted by Excel Sound Corporation which has been manufacturing high-end “Brilliant and Gorgeous” cartridges for over 50 years.


The diamond ‘Microline’ stylus is a ‘nude’ design cut and polished in a configuration made to replicate the Mastering stylus profile used when producing records at the cutting or production stage. Further, the Umami Red stylus design – in conjunction with the precision boron cantilever – is said to precisely fit the cross-section of the vinyl groove making it able to trace the music with extreme precision while able to “… trace the most delicate musical nuances.”

For the final manufacturing ingredient, the Umami Red cartridge is cryogenically treated. The ‘cold annealing’ process is said to alter the molecular structure of the materials, producing “a transformative quality similar to molecular gastronomy.” Tasty.

The Umami cartridge’s output is 0.4mv and is quoted as having an impedance of 60 ohms (coil impedance of 6 ohms). Frequency response is said to be between 15Hz and 15kHz with channel separation being 30dB at 1kHz. Tracking weight is 2g and cartridge weight is 10.5g.


A HANA representative told SoundStage! Australia, “… ‘Umami’ is typical essence of delicious taste of food and namely, when you experience a special sense of taste in food, it's Umami. The specific ingredients meld together synergistically and harmoniously to
become more than the sum of their parts. Many of the world's most delicious and memorable food experiences possess the Umami quality. HANA Umami sound means ‘Wonderful Taste in Music’”.

HANA Umami Red Moving Coil Cartridge
Price: AU$6200

Australian Distributor: Audio Magic
+61 3 9489 51 22