Beyond Turntables-Micro Seiki SZ-1t, SX-8000II & SX-8000

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Utah
#1
We’ll start with Micro Seiki company for the first “Beyond” installment. I don’t have many details about the company’s history but I remember that they hit the ground running in the 70’s with their amazing DDX-1000 turntable. The basic design elements of this table, high mass, high inertia with flexible multi-arm capacity was the basis for the tables that made the company legendary. I’m hoping some of you might know more about their history.


DDX-1000-2-web.jpg DDX-1000-web.jpg




While others only had one Beyond product Micro Seiki had 3! Since all three models share the same design concept and performed at near the same levels I’ll deal with them as one. There are some differences among them that we’ll get to later. Not much information is available regarding the chronology of these turntables but I think the first and the rarest of all Micro Seiki tables was the SZ-1, made in the mid 1980’s. A money no object 195 lbs. belt driven high mass, high inertia Statement turntable with air floating platter and even an air-bearing motor. SZ-1 had two platter options both with vacuum hold down, Gun Metal and Stainless Steel with a total inertia moment of 26t/cm2 (about 28 tons!). To complete the systems Micro Seiki offered a massive foundation designed specifically for the SZ-1 called the BA-100 Audio Base. With air bladders for isolation in the feet.


SZ1-1-web.jpg


SZ1-2-web.jpg



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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#2
he motor itself was another tour de force with its air-floating disc.


SZ1-3-web.jpg


SZ1-4-web.jpg



I can fill up a few pages with all kinds of superlatives trying to describe SZ-1’s sound quality but at this level one really needs to hear it to understand. Everything is there and in the right places. The first time you see the SZ-1, you’ll fall in love with its sheer beauty and impressive features, but then comes the sound. An unexpected tsunami of natural delicacy and realism that draws you into the heart of the music all the way to the original event as captured by the recording. SZ-1 was my very first turntable at the Beyond level when I had no idea what its all about, but everything changed after that first listen. I’m not a writer reviewer and lack their writing skills and probably impossible for me to convey the experience and/or the sound. Maybe the car guys here have experienced this a –ha didn’t know it existed moment in that hobby. Quite a few are familiar with a 911, S model Audi and high end Mercs and BWMs which defined high end. Next level up experienced by even fewer people is the Turbo, RS, AMG and M cars defining the ultimate in each class. All fantastic and at the pinnacle of the automotive engineering but comes along the all out, badass Italian Lamborghini Diablo turning everything upside down and the driving experience to where no Turbo/RS/AMG/M driver ever thought existed. You can see it see it in their faces. Those fortunate to have made the transition or had a taste know exactly what I’m talking about.





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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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#3
SZ-1 innovations where applied to two other legendary Micro Seiki tables by Mr. Nishikawa, Micro’s design engineer. The first was the SX-8000,


SX-8000-2-web.jpg


SX-8000-3-web.jpg


SX-8000-1-web.jpg



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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Utah
#4
The final and also the best known and most desirable version was the SX-8000II+BA-600 which like the SZ-1 and its beautiful industrial design and gorgeous sound robbed you of all senses. As the Borg say, “Resistance is Futile”!


SX-8000II-web.jpg


SX-8000II-3-web.jpg


SX-8000II-4-web.jpg


SX-8000II-5-web.jpg





Would love to hear from others with their SX & SZ tables and see their setups!




david
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
10,989
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Manila, Philippines
#5
Hopefully Jcarr will take his SZ out of storage and set it up!
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
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Utah
#6
Hopefully Jcarr will take his SZ out of storage and set it up!
Don't know about setting it up but he's been threatening to get to the storage since I met him; 13 - 14 years ago….

david
 

BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
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#7
The final and also the best known and most desirable version was the SX-8000II+BA-600 which like the SZ-1 and its beautiful industrial design and gorgeous sound robbed you of all senses. As the Borg say, “Resistance is Futile”!

Would love to hear from others with their SX & SZ tables and see their setups!


david
Hi David, WoW--those all yours!--I don't own any of the TT's but I auditioned the 8000II against the Techdas AF2--it was close both superb but as I've posted before--- I preferred the Old fellow!

Vintage won the day for me anyway:)

BruceD
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
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Utah
#8
Hi David, WoW--those all yours!--I don't own any of the TT's but I auditioned the 8000II against the Techdas AF2--it was close both superb but as I've posted before--- I preferred the Old fellow!

Vintage won the day for me anyway:)

BruceD
Hi Bruce,
Years ago I fell in love with these beautiful machines and bought them when I found one. The old fellow was designed as a no compromise statement piece, the new kid is designed to be no.3 down the pole :)!
 

airbearing

New Member
May 2, 2012
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Munich - Germany
#9
gorgeous tables David! As I am a believer in these tables and the technology MS used in the golden age of analogue I think these are the best belt-driven vintage tables. The units you are displaying are in very fine condition. okay, on the arms you could play around a little but this might be not your destination...enjoy

www.Audio16.com
 
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ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
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Utah
#10
gorgeous tables David! As I am a believer in these tables and the technology MS used in the golden age of analogue I think these are the best belt-driven vintage tables. The units you are displaying are in very fine condition. okay, on the arms you could play around a little but this might be not your destination...enjoy

www.Audio16.com

Thanks airbearing, I know you also have a very fine collection of tables, arms and cartridges too. I stopped using other arms a few years ago and settled on the SME 3012 for all my listening, otherwise with all the tables and cartridges it becomes too confusing to figure out each combination.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
#11
Micro Seiki SZ-1t vs SX-8000II

Micro Seiki SZ-1t vs SX-8000II, a question that's often asked. Is there a major difference between the sound of these tables? Yes there is! Common to both tables is the same air floating bearing design and identical stainless steel platters, but they're quite different in over all mass and size. The SX-8000II is already formidable and of one the very best turntables ever made, period. SZ-1t is Micro Seiki's "Step Beyond". SZ-1t's additional size and mass translates to a more Natural sound. Everything is airier and more open, the music floats up and the bass is more nuanced, both solid and delicate adding richness and liveliness to the already spectacular sound of the SX-8000II...


Last weekend we received a 900 lb. shipment of two very special turntables.


IMG_7356.jpg


One of them is a SX-8000II that I sold a few years ago, now back to us again. I decided to take a couple of side by side shots with the SZ-1t prior setup. Both tables have the same 28kgs stainless steel platter. SX-8000II's base comes in 35kgs, and the SZ-1t tilts the scale at 60kgs. As you can see even the matching system platform of the SZ-1t is on a different plane compared to the SX-8000II's BA-600.


L_004428.jpg



L_004433.jpg


david
 
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jam

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
25
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0
Auburn, CA
#13
David,
Thanks for the photos I am a big Micro Seiki fan but alas I only have a RX-1500....one day when I grow up.
Rumor has it , you own an American Sound turntable pray tell... I suppose it is a story for another thread.

Jam
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
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38
Utah
#14
David

Thanks for taking the time to show us all a little bit of analog history. I would love to listen to those tables.

Paul
You know where I live, welcome to stop by anytime Paul.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
#15
David,
Thanks for the photos I am a big Micro Seiki fan but alas I only have a RX-1500....one day when I grow up.
Rumor has it , you own an American Sound turntable pray tell... I suppose it is a story for another thread.

Jam

Glad you enjoyed the picts Jam! Stay tuned, American Sound coming up in a couple of weeks.

david
 

XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,556
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Sydney
#16
David

We want to see pics of the SZ -1T set up and running :D
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
#17
Here it is, the one in the pictures,

SZ1-2-web.jpg


david
 
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XV-1

Active Member
May 24, 2010
1,556
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38
Sydney
#18
Hi David

very very very nice. I did not realise the pics on page one were of the actual unit you received in the large crate on page 2.

How does it sound with the Max 282 tonearm. Have you felt the need to have the tonearm rewired?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,447
6
38
Utah
#19
Hi David

very very very nice. I did not realise the pics on page one were of the actual unit you received in the large crate on page 2.

How does it sound with the Max 282 tonearm. Have you felt the need to have the tonearm rewired?
Hi XV-1,

The SZ-1t is the same one that I had, what arrived in the crate was the SX-8000II & a 100% mint, like new EMT 927. I was going to change the cartridge in the SZ-1t so I just took the arm out for the pictures. As far as I know I haven't seen any side by side picts of these two tables anywhere and how do they compare is a question that I get regularly.

The Max-282 is a great arm, very natural and musical. I haven't felt a need to rewire it but I'm on the fence with the silicone damping.

david
 

jam

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
25
0
0
Auburn, CA
#20
Drool! :p

What is your choice of cartridge?

I find that silicon damping might be more useful for moving magnet cartridges.

Jam