The Story of Micro-Seiki.
A Japanese manufacturer of turntables, used to
manufacture mid and high end turntables and
electrostatic headphones of almost legendary
quality in the seventies and eighties but turned to
the manufacture of high end and reference class
turntables in the 90's.
Company ran into trouble in the late 90's and
stopped making turntables and providing spares for
their older products in 1999 with the exception of a
high end variant of the 8000 turntable that was
made to order well into 2001.
The company still exists as a precision engineering
workshop (much like competitors Avid Hi-Fi and
SME ltd. funnily enough, but smaller) but no longer
seems to be willing or able to supply turntable
More. (Text below found on a German website; I cannot find the website
anymore; please contact me for a permission)
Micro Seiki had several subcontractors such as.
Fujiya Audio, led by gifted engineer Junichi
Okumura (Dragon CT and Accutrac Technology
Developer), MTC, Mito, Denso, Akisawa Seiki and
Saitama Micro, was the world's largest turntable
maker at the other end of the world. No other
company has ever cracked their gigantic numbers.
They were specialists and, in contrast to Dual or PE,
remained a pure turntable manufacturer. It was also
a leader in research and development of drives,
chassis and arms. A DQX 1000 or the BL91 knows
every vinyl fan today. The Nakamichi TX1000 and
Dragon CT were also made by Micro Seiki. But they
only earned money with the big series ....
For many large HiFi manufacturers without their
own turntable production, they offered therefore also
whole OEM lines. For Luxman they have
traditionally designed and manufactured all models.
Mostly, however, they limited themselves to the
supply of entry-level models at renowned hi-fi
companies, such as ADC, Denon, Sharp, Toshiba,
Hitachi, Sanyo, Sansui, Kenwood, Telefunken, Saba
or Scott. They also supplied the mail order
companies Quelle, Neckermann here and
RadioShack in America. Between 1976 and 1983
the beginning of the CD era was the high-time of
these OEM models. Coincidentally, of course, with
the heyday of the vinyl record. There have never
been more and better devices than in those years.
Looking back, Micro probably had three different kits
from which they had assembled these models.
Once the normal direct drives with wooden chassis
and mechanically moving semi or fully automatic.
The top models also with quartz regulation. Then,
from the 1976 developed for ADC "Accutrac 4000"
emerged fully automatic with separate motor for
tonearm and lift control. The TOTL models also with
the developed for the ADC 1500-1700 super
lightweight arms, which were later also supplied to
Linn. The third and absolute entry-level kit is the belt
drive that they built for OEMs. But that was not very
many. All the more amazing the qualities of these
BOTL models. At the end of the 1980s, the use of
cheap plastic in important functional parts such as
arm bearings and bases began the descent into the
junk level of these entry-level devices.
These models are completely undervalued today.
But considering the sheer sound quality, they are all
outstanding devices of their kind. All have in
common extremely well regulated engines. Both in
the Belt Drive models, as well as the direct drives.
This even quartz stabilized with wow and flutter
below 0.03%. The engines Matsushita or Fujiya
Audio have been used in general. The chassis are
almost always closed from wood. built up. With the
ADC variants, Micro has developed a new plastic
honeycomb system with foam damping. Its own is
an excellent decoupling between tonearm and plate
bearing. This is accompanied by a very low-rump,
yet very deep reproduction. All chassis are equipped
with good absorber feet. This concept has virtually
invented Micro-Seiki! At any rate, they were the first
to offer this concept in series. Even today's common
"Absorber Feet" is an invention of Micro-Seiki, who
would have thought it .... Its characteristic S-
tonearm almost always has an open-topped "U" as
the main bearing as the well-known MA 303 from
Solid 5 This 303 from the DD5, is almost always
used as a recessed version (shorter and more static
AK) at the higher quality OEMs. On the simple
models, the micro entry arm of the well-known
MR122, MA101 was installed. In the ultralight
models a square bearing block was used.
Characteristic is also that the tonearm bearing
blocks made of solid metal, often they have been
turned out of the "full", such as. on the Siemens
RW555. Plastic, if any, was used only as a cladding
on the base. Everything that shines silvery, for
example, on the tonearm of the Telefunken CS20 /
STS1 / RS30, is solid aluminum! They have a very
good top storage. If you take a look, for example, at
DQ44 OEMs (2 motors fully automatic) you only
see the best components. ICs from JRC (Japan
Radio Company), such as. also used Accuphase
and Nakamichi. Where "cheapest" microswitches
are installed in German turntables, these can
already pass through here as a "limit switch" of a
production line. Wherever you look, everything was
assembled with great care and diligence. No
Drahtverhau but carefully laid harnesses determine
the picture. The wooden chassis in conjunction with
the good low-resonance, stable tonearms, is almost
ideal in consideration of the 3rd) turntable.
Accordingly, these arms also have an extreme
range of functioning needle compliances. Simply by
choosing a heavy or lightweight headshell, the
depth resonance can be perfectly adjusted. This is
found in this form, very rarely in large series
combinations. The players have "zero" sound.
However, they are vibration-wise not dead, but have
this sought-after, perfect balance between vibration
damping and coupling, which indeed supports the
swinging in and out of the needle, but still causes no
resonance and / or extinction.
Also the qualitative execution is if you look at
important construction details of the finest. The
"creaking" of the automatic, however, has its very
own charm. But they also offered models with
almost silent servo control of the arm as OEM of the
DQ44 ..... The only known shortcoming is the over
time by "not use", to the "Plumpslift" mutated lift.
Here you can easily bring the required 500.000er
silicone oil from the top to the lift bar. You do not
have to disassemble anything.
I once brought together devices that Micro-Seiki has
manufactured as an OEM. Therefore, you can today
cheapest devices of the highest playback quality in
the well-known online markets search and buy. The
few owners know the real manufacturer, let alone
that they use a system that can convey the true
qualities of these turner.....
Genetically, these rotors are based on the Micro-
Seiki rotors, Solid-1, MB10-18, MR110, 111, DD1-
DQ44 ..... The arms are modified loans from
MA101, MA202, MA303 and MA505. By and large,
you have combined the arms of the affordable micro
belt drivers of entry-level, with slightly stripped-down
direct drives of the class. In addition, gimmicks like
Hall sensor-controlled shutdown mechanisms are
simply left out.
Certainly the most valuable ones they had built for
an OEM except Luxman were the turners on behalf
of BSR, as "ADC" and "BSR", including the
individually available arms LMF 1 + 2. The "ADC
1500-1700" with the highly effective cushioning
concept of concrete and PU foam, have been
slightly modified as BSR "Quanta", located below
the more expensive ADC models. Quite often, the
original ADC magnesium headshells and XLM
systems are still found on the BSR Micros.
Rarely expensive belt drives such as the NAD
5020/5040 with the Linn Basic arm for the OEM
were rarely produced. Micro-Seiki was a specialist
for high-end drive concepts with direct drive and
quartz, as well as their pioneering research on the
resonance behavior during playback, which they
incorporated into the BSR and Luxman turntables.
The crowning glory was certainly the exclusive
Luxman turntables from Micro-Seiki. The
cooperation between the two companies has
traditionally been very close. In addition, Linn has
been supplied by Micro-Seiki since 1978: The
tonearms Basics LV-V and LV-X are slightly
changed in various OEM's again.
Another unique feature is the empty groove
detection developed by Micro-Seiki for BSR (ADC),
which was used on all devices derived from the
ADC Accutrac 4000. The Sharp Optonica models
7100 and the programmable 9100 with remote
control were also equipped by Micro-Seiki. From the
ancestor Accutrac 4000 were later also the fully
automatic 2-motors Dreher a 'la Siemens RW777,
Telefunken CS20 and under its own name the DQ44
derived. In which a separate engine copes only with
the arm drive. Before you had only a completely
mechanical automatic version as in the universe
F2095. By the way a synonym for the quality of this
Micro OEM turner is. Mine is always on a small
table, so that you can look directly into the box. For
many other brands, you would see a plate punch,
no matter how small. Not so with this universe,
precise as a Swiss watch, he does not show the
tiniest rash, which could be seen with the naked
eye. I have to chek the times with a micrometer, as
the metrology shows. Also, the quartz control is a
pleasure, even a pressure used plate brush does
not keep the plate from rated speed to keep……