Goldring E3 vs Hana SL

 Goldring E3 vs Hana SL: A Comparative Analysis of Two High-End Phono Cartridges

When it comes to the world of vinyl playback, the choice of a phono cartridge plays a crucial role in delivering optimal sound quality. In this article, we will compare two popular options: the Goldring E3 and the Hana SL. Both cartridges have garnered praise for their performance, but they also have distinct characteristics and differences that are worth exploring. So, let’s dive into the details and find out which one might be the perfect match for your turntable setup.

Design and Build Quality

The Goldring E3 features a lightweight and rigid body made of a unique bi-metalllic alloy. Its low-mass vital diamond stylus is mounted on a tapered aluminum cantilever, ensuring precise tracking and excellent channel separation. On the other hand, the Hana SL boasts an aluminum body with a high-rigidity threaded base, providing enhanced resonance control. It sports a nude microline stylus mounted on a solid boron cantilever, allowing for detailed retrieval of audio information.

Sound Performance

Both the Goldring E3 and the Hana SL offer exceptional sound reproduction, but they exhibit different sonic characteristics. The Goldring E3 delivers a warm and smooth sound signature with a balanced frequency response. It excels at presenting a rich midrange and offers a good sense of depth in the soundstage. On the contrary, the Hana SL leans towards a more neutral and transparent sound, offering extended highs and tighter bass response. It provides a greater level of detail retrieval and precision in instrument separation.

Tracking Ability and Compliance

The tracking ability of a cartridge determines how well it can navigate through the grooves of a record without causing distortion or skipping. The Goldring E3 has a recommended tracking force of 1.75 grams and a moderate compliance, making it suitable for a wide range of tonearms. The Hana SL, with its slightly higher recommended tracking force of 2.0 grams, also offers good tracking performance. Its medium compliance allows it to work well with a variety of turntable setups.


Both cartridges are designed to be compatible with a wide range of turntables and tonearms. The Goldring E3 has an output voltage of 3.5mV, making it compatible with most phono stages and preamps. The Hana SL, with its slightly lower output voltage of 2.0mV, may require a phono stage or preamp with higher gain to achieve optimal performance. It is essential to consider the compatibility with your existing equipment when choosing between the two.

Price and Value

The Goldring E3 is positioned as a mid-range cartridge, offering an excellent price-to-performance ratio. It provides a substantial upgrade over entry-level cartridges without breaking the bank. On the other hand, the Hana SL falls into the high-end category and comes with a higher price tag. However, it offers a level of performance that competes with some of the best cartridges in its class, making it a valuable investment for serious vinyl enthusiasts.

In the battle of Goldring E3 vs Hana SL, both cartridges have their strengths and cater to different preferences. The Goldring E3 delivers a warm and smooth sound with good all-around performance, making it a solid choice for those seeking musicality and balance. The Hana SL, on the other hand, offers a more neutral and detailed sound, excelling in precision and transparency. It is a worthy contender for audiophiles who crave the utmost accuracy and clarity in their vinyl playback. Ultimately, the choice between the two cartridges boils down to personal taste, system compatibility, and budget.

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