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Author Topic: Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow  (Read 3488 times)

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Offline Doc B.

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Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow
« on: March 21, 2012, 05:13:18 AM »
A lot of you know that we have been making a very high end phono preamp on a bespoke basis, that received some high praise from Jonathan Valin of TAS a few months ago. I've been using a very nice older Van den Hul MC One cart (with a Benz retip, go figure) for evaluation. Jonathan was using the $12,000 Clearaudio Goldfinger for his eval. And I have heard our preamp with a couple of different Brinkmann cartridges as well that were IIRC in the $3500 range. Those sounded very good and I while I like this MC One I have been wishing for a chance to try a super high end cart in my own system.

Well, my old bud Bob Bean came through, big time! Last night I installed a Haniwa HCTRO1 low impedance moving coil cart that Bob has loaned me for eval on my SME 309. It's got just a few turns of wire in the coil and an impedance of just 0.8 ohms, which Haniwa owner Dr. Kubo says gives it superior transient response.

Luckily it was practically a drop in replacement for my VdH in terms of cart alignment and impedance matching. All I had to do was decrease the tracking to 0.9g from the 1.4 or so I use with the VdH. My immediate impression upon the needle drop was that the bass is quick and tight, not at all boomy but getting nice and deep. But the really striking thing is how amazingly clean, extended and relaxed the top end sounds. This is indeed a very special cartridge. Now before you cost conscious Bottleheads scream foul, yes, the list price is $5000. But remember that I am using this to evaluate a preamp that has been reported to keep up with $20K models from other manufacturers. And also remember that you can get a lot of that same goodness from our $750 Eros kit!

http://www.kubotek.com/haniwaaudio/p_cartridge.html
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Jim R.

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Re: Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 03:07:10 PM »
Dan,

Not that I'm in the market for one of these, but is the output sufficient for a standard MM preamp or do you need a stepup?

-- Jim
Jim Rebman -- recovering audiophile

Equitech balanced power; uRendu, USB processor -> Musette DAC -> 5670 tube buffer -> Finale Audio F138 FFX -> Cain and Cain Abbys near-field).

s.e.x. 2.1 under construction.  Want list: Stereomour II

All ICs homemade (speaker and power next)

Offline Doc B.

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Re: Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 05:08:09 PM »
Output is .35mV - needs a step up.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Jim R.

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Re: Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 03:28:26 AM »
Dan,

Thanks -- figured as much but the web page would not load last night for some reason.

-- Jim
Jim Rebman -- recovering audiophile

Equitech balanced power; uRendu, USB processor -> Musette DAC -> 5670 tube buffer -> Finale Audio F138 FFX -> Cain and Cain Abbys near-field).

s.e.x. 2.1 under construction.  Want list: Stereomour II

All ICs homemade (speaker and power next)

Offline ironbut

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Re: Haniwa HCTRO1 cartridge - wow
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 06:50:58 AM »
After doing an extended cartridge hunt a few months back, I came to the conclusion that there are a number of the big dollar transducers that really do sound considerably better than the cheaper ones.
And even though I don't have the financial where with all to get one right now, I think the competition at the top forces the mid cost guys to step up their game.
Anyway, anytime I get a "Wow" experience from vinyl, it does my heart good to know there's still headroom to be explored in the old girl.
steve koto