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Ortofon 2M Black vs Nagaoka MP-500 vs Hana SL
#1
hi, everyone, this is Bart from Brisbane Australia

I stared a thread yesterday inquiring about Devialet 120 as phono stage for low output MC cartridges and got a kind reply from @Confused. Now that I’m much confident about my Devialet 120 (I didn’t upgrade it), with my Rega Planar 6, I began to choose the champion from the candidates:

Ortofon 2M Black: I auditioned THE Ortofon 2M Black and quintet blue at a local dealer and found that the former is so much better in terms of details and sound quality. The dealer said maybe his $200 phono stage didn’t allow the quintet blue to show its full power. Quite possible.

Nagaoka MP-500: it is high recommended by some audiophiles for its boron cantilever and line contact stylus.

Hana SL: low output MC!!! While the former two are MM...

For the Hana SL, there is a local dealer but I’m not sure if I can audition. For Nagaoka, no audition is possible.

As for the price, I can buy Ortofon Black 2M at a special price of $700 AUD (RRP $999), while the other two are both $900 AUD. Also considering the stylus replacement, Ortofon Black 2M $700 AUD, Nagaoka MP-500 $400 AUD...

Any ideas and recommendations?

Thank you very much!
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#2
Hi there, I am in Sydney. I have a Hana SL and I am very happy with it.

No experience with the other cartidges - previously had a Dynavector Karat and the Hana is of comparable quality in my opinion.

Cheers

Phil.
WTL TT / HP laptop (JRiver) / Devialet 400 / Marten Django / Crystal Cable

Sydney Australia
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#3
Thanks Philb! However I’ve decide to go with Benz Micro Ace SL recommended by a fellow in a local forum. With $100 more, it comes with Boron cantilever and micro ridge stylus and was hand made in the Swiss. I think it’s more bang for the buck lol. However I did read many positive reviews of Hana which I hope to try one day.

My concern now is whether my 120 can handle this low output MC cartridge. Maybe have to buy a dedicated phono stage if not...
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#4
I know the Hana and the Nagaoka, I recommend the Nagaoka mp500 for absolute quality and for your phono MM, good match with Rega arm
Pink Triangle - Laptop - JRiver 24 - Air - D200 Expert - Avalon Avatar - Meicord Eth - MIT Matrix 12 bw - PS Audio AC12

Marietto -Italy 
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#5
(04-Oct-2018, 11:48)Marietto Wrote: I know the Hana and the Nagaoka, I recommend the Nagaoka mp500 for absolute quality and for your phono MM, good match with Rega arm

Hi thanks for your suggestion. May I know the reason why you recommend MM over MC? Becasue devialet 120, which I intend to use as phono stage for now, cannot handle low output MC cartridges? Thanks!
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#6
(04-Oct-2018, 12:08)mjledme Wrote:
(04-Oct-2018, 11:48)Marietto Wrote: Conosco Hana e Nagaoka, raccomandando la Nagaoka mp500 per la qualità assoluta e per il tuo phono MM, abbinabile al braccio Rega

Ciao, grazie per il tuo suggerimento. Posso sapere il motivo per cui raccomandandi MM su MC? Devo dire che il devialet 120, che intendo usare come stadio phono per ora, non può gestire le cartucce MC a bassa uscita? Grazie!

Nagaoka mp500 è un top a cartuccia, per migliorare ho comprato ZYX R100-002
Non conosco il phono di 120
Pink Triangle - Laptop - JRiver 24 - Air - D200 Expert - Avalon Avatar - Meicord Eth - MIT Matrix 12 bw - PS Audio AC12

Marietto -Italy 
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#7
(04-Oct-2018, 12:08)mjledme Wrote:
(04-Oct-2018, 11:48)Marietto Wrote: I know the Hana and the Nagaoka, I recommend the Nagaoka mp500 for absolute quality and for your phono MM, good match with Rega arm

Hi thanks for your suggestion. May I know the reason why you recommend MM over MC? Becasue devialet 120, which I intend to use as phono stage for now, cannot handle low output MC cartridges? Thanks!

Unfortunately, Devialet’s phono can not handle LOMC well, irrespective of the model or the series (pro or earlier). If you are interested in going down that route, be aware that you also need to invest in a step up of pre.
Devialet 120 - Wilson Sophia - Technics SL-1000 w/ DV XX2-MkII & DV-6A - Rega Apollo -  AIR 3.0 ethernet - Chromecast
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#8
Have no hiss with 0.48 mV - using ZYX R 50 H on 250 - well performance!
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#9
Ortofon 2M Black is one of my favorite cartridges of all time. It’s the closest thing to a master tape that I’ve ever heard. Dynamic, clean, powerful, three dimensional.

Nagaoka MP-500 is also very good, a bit mushier, I prefer the Ortofon. A good alternative would be the Audio Technica VM760SLC and VM750SH. Both Audio Technicas are fantastic, they have a bit more treble and less midrange compared to Ortofon, it works well in some systems. Same powerful drive and propulsion to music. But Ortofon is more faithful to tape. 

IMO, Hana is far bellow the state of the art MM cartridges. And I’ll leave it at that.

Most legendary mastering engineers preferred and always used MM over MC.
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#10
Updating: I've purchased a Benz Mirco Ace SL (output 0.4mV) at last and also a Musical Fidelity MX-VNYL. Haven't put them up yet. Will report later. Cheers~
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