I was not happy with the Hana ML at 121 ohms. I used two phonostages, the Groove at 47k, and another, loaded first at 121 ohms and then at 47k. Both phonostages sounded more "unfettered" at 47k.
I’ve loaded cartridges at 47k for 40 years. With Audio Research, Rowland Coherence I, Klyne, Conrad Johnson preamps, Convergent, VACs. Oh, and the Vendetta Research SCP 2A, Audible Illusions, Modulus 3A. Never had a problem with a cartridge at that loading. This was the first time I loaded one down. Not keen on it.
Many designers, Alan Perkins (Immedia turntables and other items) and Charlie Hansen (Avalon speakers) also argue in favor of 47k. Ralph Karsten of Atmasphere (amps, preamps) believes it is not the cartridge, but the phonostage that needs loading down. Dave Wilson and Tom Evans (the Groove) believe in loading cartridges down. All I can say is that symphonic music (unamplified) - to my ears - more resembles the 47k loading - and I mean LIVE symphonies I attend (Carnegie, Bushnell in Hartford, Davies in SF, Boston Symphony Hall, The Met, Village Voice club, and David Geffen Hall (NY)). I can’t speak as to why anyone hears it better loaded down. But I’ve been going to symphony halls since 1963, so...
I just know that I haven’t heard the sense of realism I hear in life when loading down (I’m sure some cartridges do, just none of the ones I’ve had (Spectral, Benz, Carnegie I, Lyras, Van den Huls, and Clearaudios (Signature, Accurate, Stradivarius, Concerto) and Dynavectors XX2 and DV 20s)). AND, after my experiments over the past two days, playing one phonostage at 100 and 121 ohms, and then 47k, and then immediately playing the other phonostage (the Groove) on the same Mercury Living Presence Speaker Corners lp, both sounded better at 47k. And when I say "better," I mean the instruments "moved" the way they do in real life. Strings across hair. Harmonics rising above flutes and piccolos and spreading outward. Tubas moving large amounts of air. trumpet blasts directional (usually forward, but not always). In other words, the way it sounds on all those records and in real life
So, there you have it. I’m sticking with 47k. I played the Hana for two weeks at 47k, and I couldn’t refrain from playing entire albums - BOTH SIDES, eyes GLUED to the musical presentation.
So, try it out for yourself.