Hana SH vs ortafon 2m Black

Has anyone had experience with both of these cartridges? They will be going on a VPI Scout  run through a rogue cronus magnum  The Hana sounds good but needs quite bit of volume compared to the 2m red I had. Im wondering if the Black is as smooth as the hana without the harshness of the red. Thanks for your input.
I don’t have direct experience with either cartridge, but I *do* have experience with the Shibata stylus, high output MM carts, and (relatively) high output MC carts. I also have experience (from playing guitar) with the characteristics of alnico magnets on speakers and guitar pickups.

I have a phono preamp that has variable gain. It has its limits in that the mfr says it’s not intended for LOMCs on its own. It does, however, easily handle high output MCs, and I have one whose output is around 2mV (same as the Hana SH) and another at a pretty low 1.2mV.

I can easily switch between a 5mV MM cartridge and the 1.2mV HOMC without a problem. I do, however, generally bump up the gain knob a bit for the 1.2mV. I’ve had previous phono stages with no such feature, and I could easily switch between a 5mV MM and a 2mV HOMC with no gain issue whatsoever. Note that the Hana has an output of 2mV.

I assume you have the original Rogue Cronus Magnum and not the Magnum II? The Magnum II has 6dB more gain in the phono stage than the original. The upgrade is $650. Not cheap, but less money than the cartridges under consideration. A Rogue guy should be able to confirm whether the upgrade would be enough for an HOMC with an output of 2mV. I suspect that it would. Here’s the link to the Rogue Upgrade Page, which lists the Cronus Magnum to Cronus Magnum II upgrade.

I think the Hana would have an advantage over the Ortofon in smoothness. The Shibata stylus does make the treble smoother, and both cartridges have that, but the Hana has alnico magnets *and* moving coils, and that should provide two advantages for a more organic presentation. Do you hear any disadvantages to turning up the gain a bit when playing the Hana? If not, I'd just bump the volume and enjoy the music.

In the realm of guitar pickups and speaker magnets, alnico is characterized as the "musical magnet."
Thanks for your response. The Hana is as you described smooth musical low noise. Turning up the volume is fine up to about 75% then I start getting tube rash or something like that and I feel I am pushing the limits of the amp. Now when I have it at that level with my digital side Its clear and very load. Its still not a deal breaker Im keeping my Hana because its getting better and better as it is breaking in. A phono amp with a gain control will work for the right price. Project has one for a decent price Im not sure if it is better then my rogue phono stage though. What brand is your phono pre?
What brand is your phono pre?

My phono pre is a somewhat obscure and hard to find MAGI Phonomenal . I think the new ones run about $1K or maybe a couple hundred north of that. I got mine used in 2014 for $1K. It’s an all tube handwired PTP unit that uses a quartet of 6DJ8 family tubes. I’ve swapped in 6922s and 7308s with various effects, but eventually settled on Soviet Military surplus 6N1Ps, the designer’s recommendation, which lowered the noise floor considerably.

I still think that upgrading your Rogue Cronus Magnum to a Magnum II would provide the extra gain you are looking for to flesh out that Hana.
It might be worth considering a step-up transformer for your Hana cart.  
Parks Audio makes one that is not too expensive and gets good reviews.  http://parksaudiollc.com/index.html#txt_162
SUTs are used with the MM setting on your phone preamp and will provide a nice boost to the MC signal.  If you read what Art Dudley has been writing about SUTs recently you might gain some useful info.  
Benefits beyond the extra gain you will get are lower noise and greater smoothness of the sound.  
"I don’t have experience with either cartridge, but — "

After acknowledging you don't know either cartridge, you offer a decisive opinion of both. How do you do that, it's a skill I'd like to learn...
"I don’t have experience with either cartridge, but — "

After acknowledging you don't know either cartridge, you offer a decisive opinion of both. How do you do that, it's a skill I'd like to learn...
I wrote:
I don’t have direct experience with either cartridge, but I *do* have experience with the Shibata stylus, high output MM carts, and (relatively) high output MC carts. I also have experience (from playing guitar) with the characteristics of alnico magnets on speakers and guitar pickups.
I only claimed some direct and some tangential experience with various elements of the cartridges in question. If you look at my response, I always present it as an opinion based on these tangential experiences.

The problem as presented by the OP is a rare situation that might not elicit any explicit responses. I was merely trying to present some information that might give the OP something to go on for further inquiry and evaluation, and was never intended nor presented as a definitive answer. 

The OP thanked me for my response. And you are ... what, the response police?

I apologize, Johhny. I was venting.

A few things about audio forums really annoy me — such as pompous ignorance and patronizing arrogance. You committed neither, I hasten to add.

Many people read something somewhere, or heard someone say something, and parrot it back as if they truly have knowledge, often with absolute certainty. They don’t what they read or heard was wrong to begin with, and/or they didn’t understand it. As a result they mislead people.

Others may really be experts, able to answer both basic and very complicated questions — but ask them a basic question, and you’re an idiot for not knowing. If they deign to answer you, it’s dripping with condescension. Rudeness dressed as superiority.

The Spelling & Grammar Police are also annoying. They know it’s just a typo, but they feel some need to criticize your spelling anyway — and they know someone is writing in English as a third or fourth language (and doing it very well) but just have to jump on their grammar.

 Here I was being a “Comment Cop”. Thanks for pointing it out.

I have partial experience- but with the Hana EH.
I own a Technics 1210-M5G- had a Denon DL-110 that I grew tired of. I bought a Hana EH. This is all running through my Yamaha RX-A1030 Receiver.

I was immediately floored by just how much sweeter everything sounded. I had AIR, I had separation, I had quiet background, and felt it was an order of magnitude increase in music enjoyment.

Within a couple of weeks- I got a sweet deal on a VPI Scout 1.1(one year old) with Ortofon 2M Black. I was immediately let down as the VPI/2M Black had no life, no separation, and felt dull. I was not too worried- as I felt I needed to understand its alignment, and I was running JUNK interconnects. I have not had the time to play with alignment, BUT I did replace the cables with Blue Jeans- and noticed a huge difference. It was now enjoyable to listen to my table again. Things were no longer dull, and I have decent separation.

I am really comparing apples to oranges- as these 2 cartridges are running on two different tables. Even though the VPI/2M Black combo now sounds great- I feel I got a bigger kick(in musical enjoyment) out of the Hana EH.

I forgot to mention the Hana was very quiet wrt bringing forward ticks and pops compared to the Denon. Along similar lines- the 2M Black is known to be a very revealing cartridge(warts and all) on less than perfect vinyl. I was quite surprised to not hear a lot of imperfections on some of my vinyl.

What I really want to do- is to bring the Hana over to the VPI- but until I have any experience with alignment on the VPI- I'm not touching it.

Bimasta: Apology accepted; very big of you to walk that back. Actually we share some of the same concerns. As I grow older, I've become more vigilant over confusing my opinions with verifiable facts or at least reasonably likely theories.

I've come to realize that being highly opinionated is not the same as being knowledgeable, and much of what passes for reasoning is simply wishful thinking. The latter is often bolstered by the wisps of "evidence" of dubious veracity that you mentioned, which are gleaned from various audio forums.

I also share some of your pet peeves, particularly a condescending attitude. As a career editor, I (usually) restrain myself from correcting grammar, and correcting someone with ESL is simply bullying. I figure if his English is better than my Spanish, Chinese, Portugese, French, etc. (I speak none of those languages) I have absolutely no room to cop an attitude about mastery of such an inconsistent and confounding language.
There are are some good videos on You Tube for setting up and adjusting your scout. I did mine for the first time and got it pretty close. The Hana needed a little extra weight on the head shell to adjust the tone arm weight properly. If thats the case on yours you will need to buy a screw kit for 7 bucks on amazon. The set up was  pretty easy to do. (No caffine) So my Hana sounds good but it needs a big boost in gain going into my tube amp I talked to parks audio as snackeyp suggested. The step up transformer  is only $340. Which is much cheaper then the 2m black and in theory puts me right where I want to be to utilize the full power of my amp.  Thanks again for the good advice keep it coming. If I get the SUT anytime soon I will post the results.
I just got my October 2017 issue of Stereophile, which has their semi-annual "Recommended Components" feature. 

This month, the $475 Hana EL is solidly in the Class B group of cartridges. Most of the other Class B cartridges range from $799 to $1200, with the Ortofon SPUs at $599-659, and some others that hit $8500-9995. The only Class B cartridge below the Hana's price is the base model Zu Audio DL-103, which now retails at $459 (just $16 less than the Hana), and hasn't been reviewed by S'phile for 11 years.

Also, the Ortofon 2M Black at $755 has slipped to Class C status and sits right next to the 2M Blue at 1/3 the price. That's not to say that the Blue is just as good, but when the 2M series came out, the Black with its Shibata was considered the standout. Also, that seems to be the product release that resurrected the Shibata on a large scale. 

I have an Audio Technica AT150MLX, which originally came with a MicroLine stylus. When the MicroLine became harder to find a year ago, I replaced it with AT's new Shibata, so now it's an AT150Sa, and I like it better--smoother yet detailed and organic-sounding treble, and it seems to track the inner groove better, though maybe I got lucky on the alignment this time around.
I have the budgie SUT 10 hooked up now for a few weeks. Its given my hana quite a big boost in gain which now sounds a lot more aggressive and is no longer on the thin side and still remains smooth and quiet.

 The budgie SUT is great value! It is virtually the exact same thing as Bob's devices that retails for about three times the price.