Cartridge for my Rega RP6

Hi folks,

I have a Rega RP6 with the Exact 2.  I like the table, but am not fond of the cartridge, as I don't feel that is reveals enough of what's on the record.

I have what I consider to be a pretty nice front end; Conrard Johnson LP260MSE monoblocks (with 8 KT120's each) and a Conrad Johnson ET5 preamplifier, with an upgraded 6922 tube.  I also have a Pass Labs (solid state) xp-15 phono stage.

I have heard the Rega RP10 with the Apheta 2, and like that sound quite a bit, particularly the simplicity of the operation/installation of the cartridge.

So, I am thinking about putting either the Apheta 2 or the Hana SL (which is a lot cheaper) on my RP6.  Has anybody heard both?  I would expect the Apheta2 (which retails for $1,800) to sound better than the Hana SL (which retails for $750), but rather than make assumptions, I thought I would ask-- who has heard both, and what are your thoughts; price vs. performance?  I know it's a subjective thing, but will the Hana provide 90% of the attributes of the Apheta2?  50%?  Just looking for some insight here.

Thanks for whatever insight you can provide.

Ag insider logo xs@2xliamowen
If you like Classical/Chamber and Opera or Folk, I would get a Clearaudio Maestro Ebony V2 MM ($1200). If you like Jazz and Rock and Blues try a Dynavector 20x2 MC ($995). Either of these would be a excellent match with the RP6. Why you think going from a $1800 Apheta2 to a Hana (low output) is going to be a better thing is odd. I love REGA tables and these are the two cartridges I would buy If I owned a RP6 :-) 

Matt M
Cartridge does not recognize the genre of music, a good cartridge plays all genres of music! This is very subjective point of view to recommend the cartridge for certain genre of music. A good cartridge is neutrial cartridge for all genres, if you like coloration in sound then you might think the one cartridge is for rock and another is for classical. But a good cartridge is abouth truth (what’s on the record, no coloration for specific genre of music). Victor Laboratory X-1 is one of the best MM ever made and it’s NOS (New Old Stock), mega rare Beryllium cantilever and original Nude Shibata stylus invented by Shibata-San for Victor. All info and specs on the link.

ClearAudio uses Audio-Technica generators in their cartridges, but sells them for much higher price than the AT itself, it’s better to try AT-ML170 VM OFC than any ClearAudio MM. Hanna is made by Excel Sound - a well known old Japanese OEM company, nothing special. For decades they’ve been making cheap crap, but now returned to the cartridge manufacturing. Some OEM carts made by Excel sound in the 80s were great. People are victims of the reviews, just because some MC are relatively cheap (like Hanna, on the market today) doesn't makes them superb, compared to others or even to an old MMs. 
Thanks for the responses so far.  I would like to hear more to get a full perspective.

I have the Exact2 cartridge, which I think is the problem on the table (in the entire system, actually).  I was considering the Hana SL because a nice audio store recommended that cartridge over the Apheta 2. I was considering the Apheta2 because I have heard it (on a different table) and liked the sound.  In any case, I would like better sound and look forward to hearing back from  more members.  Thanks in advance for your help.
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Chakster, Do turntables and tonearms all sound the same? Are some better for certain genres of music than others? The answer is YES! And cartridges are no different, thats why they make MM’s, MC’s, MI’s. Cartridges are tiny amplifiers, are amplifiers neutral to all genres of music? NOT. So I dont understand your statement nor agree with it.

Matt M
I also favor MM cartridges as they sound more like tape IMO. Chakster has very good recommendations for vintage cartridges. If you want to get current production, my favorite is the 2M Black by a wide margin. It can compete with just about any vintage cartridge.

My second choice from current production would be AT VM760SLC. 

Both cartridges produce a big, effortless, detailed, layered, rich, cohesive, wall of sound. 
I recently got enough shims to install an Ortofon 2M Black on my RP6.  Had the Exact and was content but curious so installed my backup 2M Black.   Not to knock the Exact but the 2M Black smokes it. 
The 2m Black costs double the Exact (here in Australia anyway) hardly a fair comparison 
I had a Rega RP6 and used a Soundsmith Bohemme with excellent results. I still use it on my Well Tempered Labs Amadeus Mk. II. The Soundsmith Carmen 2 is also a good choice.
The Pass XP-15 a superb phono preamp that will handle a variety of cartridges including LOMC.  I have never listened to the Apheta2 but you have listened to it before. It will be an easy cartridge to mount on your arm unless you want to learn how to align cartridges (which is fun but requires more gear).  Based on what I have listened to on Rega and Audiomods arms, I would recommend a Lyra Delos.  Its just so good at everything. 

Dear @liamowen: The Rega cartridge design was voiced with Rega TT/tonearms so could be the best choice for you, additional you like what you listened with.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
@liamowen - I have the Denon 103 with a ruby cantilever and OC Line contact stylus tweak from Soundsmith
- setup is finicky, but when you get it right it is superb
- cost was around $600
- performs way above it's price point

The 103 R is also very popular

I purchased the modified 103 cartridge from Soundsmith
- they may not have any more in stock though :-(

You could try one of Soundsmith’s own carts, also very good

The 103(r) will play pretty much any type of music competently - I like pretty much anything, but to get this cartridge really rockin’ I play pipe organ music - simply amazing :-)

You may need a shim to bulk the cart’ up a bit, but that’s and easy/cheap tweak. - or have Soundsmith install the cart in one of their wood headshells for even better performance.

My arm is from Audiomods, which uses a Rega Arm tube - so it should be a pretty good match for your Rega TT

Just a thought - Steve :-)