FLO's journey with the Micro Seiki RX-1500

Florian E.

Member
Oct 9, 2023
9
27
15
23
Germany
This story began on an autumn day in 2017, 6 years ago in Cologne Frechen. More precisely, in the realms of @shakti

At that time, there were all the big Micro Seiki turntables from the RX-1500 to the big RX-8000 to marvel at:


In German, his Micro Seiki comparison thread:

https://www.analog-forum.de/wbboard/index.php?thread/133582-shakti-vergleich-micro-seiki-laufwerke/




At the age of 16, I myself had never heard of Micro turntables before. When I saw this RX-1500, however, I was shockingly enamoured:

index.php






My enthusiasm for this drive, as well as for the different versions, was ignited.

The concept of the RX-1500 is based on the pen of the chief developer Hideaki Nishikawa and is a development from the late 70s, which was brought to market maturity in the early 80s.



The following versions were offered in Germany:



- Micro Seiki RX-1500D (basic version with aluminium plate flanged motor)

- Micro Seiki RX-1500D + RS-1500 (basic version with aluminium plate and external motor base)

- Micro Seiki RX-1500 VG (aluminium plate, with external motor base, air bearing and plate suction)

- Micro Seiki RX-1500G (basic version with brass disc and external motor base)

- Micro Seiki RX-1500 VFG (brass disc, with external motor base, air bearing and plate suction)

Micro_Seiki_RX-1500-19831.jpg


I soon realised that there was also a large but nowadays rare range of accessories for this drive. Beautifully illustrated in this picture:





So I started my search for an RX-1500, primarily looking for a "D" model.

Unfortunately, 1500s are quite rare, but after two years of searching I found my first micro with SME 3009:




This turntable allowed me to gain my first experience in the field of adjusting, setting up and tuning the sound of record players. I became intensively involved with analogue playback via vinyl.

Over time, I had the opportunity to make a further upgrade, but now with an external motorised stand and the RS-10 record weight. I was also able to try out sound impressions from aluminium vs. brass bases on the Micro Seiki for the first time:







Over time, I tried a wide variety of tonearms and cartridges on my micro. For example, I had an extremely rare Fidelity Research FR-66fx:





But I have also been able to compare the sound of other tonearms such as the Schick 9.6, Fidelity Research FR-64fx, Fidelity Research FR-54, SME 3009R and SME 3012R on my micro.

That's why I've been able to familiarise myself intensively with the different concepts of the developers of Ikeda san and co:




The wide range of experiences and the exploration of the most diverse combinations led to increasing professionalisation. Ernst Acoustics was born. In short, this was a development that took years.



But that's not the point. I would rather emphasise the profound importance of the Micro Seiki RX-1500 for my personal development. All my experiences with analogue playback and my enthusiasm for analogue are based on this model.



In this day and age:

Today's record players from TechDas, a company founded by Nishikawa a few years ago as the "successor" to Micro Seiki, are based on this original concept of the RX-1500 and bring the developments of that time into the 21st century. Due to my deep familiarity with Micro Seiki, a good friend asked me to install a TechDas AirForve V at his place:


I also regularly look after a customer with a TechDas Airforce 3, which is based on the basic idea of the Micro Seiki RX-1500 VG.

Most recently, I had the great and rare experience of listening to a TechDas Airforce Zero with the serial number 1 in Bangkok. This drive represents the pinnacle of Nishikawa's developments and is a sonic experience.

Nevertheless, the basic sonic DNA of a micro was quite perceptible:



IMG_3605_11zon.jpgIMG_3609_11zon.jpg



As you can read, I have a great attachment to these machines that are used purely for playing records.

So it was all the sadder to read recently that Nishikawa has passed away. I deeply honour this gentleman for his record players, which never cease to inspire me.



Yesterday I had the opportunity to acquire another very rare machine from the pen of Nishikawa and to make the next major upgrade. But more on that in the near future.

I'm now getting ready to set it up so that I can enjoy it with an alcoholic drink in a few hours.



More in the days to come...





Audiophile greetings,



Florian
 

Attachments

  • IMG_3620_11zon.jpg
    IMG_3620_11zon.jpg
    926.3 KB · Views: 25
Thank you for this chronology!

In general -- if it is possible to generalize -- do you prefer the sound of the vintage Micro Seikis turntables or do you prefer the sound of today's TechDAS turntables?
 
In my opinion, Techdas is located above Micro seiki.
But it is very understandable for me. Nishikawa was able to incorporate the decades of knowledge he gained at Micro Seiki into the TechDas drives. The sound of a TechDas is unique. Stiff, rich in lustre and with a lot of drive in sound.

Audiophile greetings,
Flo
 
In my opinion, Techdas is located above Micro seiki.
But it is very understandable for me. Nishikawa was able to incorporate the decades of knowledge he gained at Micro Seiki into the TechDas drives. The sound of a TechDas is unique. Stiff, rich in lustre and with a lot of drive in sound.

Audiophile greetings,
Flo

Thank you.
 
Unfortunately I haven't got round to writing much yet, but here's a spoiler from last evening. Tonearm no. 2 is now mounted on the new turntable. A SME 3012R was already mounted, now the shorter brother, a SME 3009R, is taking its place.

You can perhaps already see which Micro has been moved in


Impressions to follow!


Greetings,
Flo



 
I've been a Micro Seiki adept for over 40 years now and still enjoy my multi arm belt drive turntable.
 
Unfortunately, time has been in short supply for me the last few days...

But now I've been able to try out various cartridges and draw my first conclusions.



First of all, it turned out to be a Micro Seiki RX-1500G, as some have already rumored.

The condition is fantastic for a 40-year-old device.






According to web research, only around 25 units of the G were delivered in Germany in the 1980s:


As a difference to the normal "D", the "G" always came with the external motor stand RS-1500 (6.6kg), the additional weight for the frame RW-1500 (6.6kg) and the brass platter (9kg).

Due to these additions, the drive weighs almost 40kg.



This also resulted in the following new prices:

While an RX-1500D was already available for around 2200 DM at the time, the RX-1500G cost almost twice as much - 3750 DM - at your local dealer.


At first I gave the turntable an SME 3012R, together with the Ortofon SPU #1E.

I really like the little SPU, especially when it comes to timbre.













I put on the first record, the Tron reissue by Daft Punk.

And lo and behold, the SPU now has more drive and better trimming in the sound image.



In general, however, the sound impression was very close to the RX-1500D.

Good stability, little resonance and drive in the sound.



The RX-1500 series is like a good base on which to build a monument.



But I was so impressed that after listening to a few records on the side, I switched to the Phasemation PP-200.







Here too, transients seem to me to be reproduced better and more clearly. The RX-1500G also conveys a bit more calm and stability in the sound image.

The sound signature is the same as that of the RX-1500D, but small micro information seems to be picked up even better.



It seems to me that the increased mass moment of inertia due to the brass platter compared to the aluminum platter plays off these small advantages.





In the meantime, I'm still looking around for some accessories, so I'll probably go into more detail about that soon.







Yours sincerely,



Florian







 
Hi Peter,

probably 30 years between those two designs with the TechDAS more alligned to todays preferences.

Bestr regards, Tony
 
Hi,

BL-91, BL-91L, RX-2000 and the full RS, RY, RX & SX-1500 range use the same S-1500 bearing.
There is an adapted version for the vacuum versions though, still very much the same.

Best regards, Tony
 
  • Like
Reactions: denonfans
Hi,

BL-91, BL-91L, RX-2000 and the full RS, RY, RX & SX-1500 range use the same S-1500 bearing.
There is an adapted version for the vacuum versions though, still very much the same.

Best regards, Tony
I have a 1500 Full Chiice with the aluminum platter and the full air setup in my sights. I too am looking at Phasemation with a possible le Glanz tonearm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lynnot
I agree there is much time between the designs and they do sound quite different. I do not think all of today's preferences would choose the newer design.

I agree, one of my friends has the Micro 8000, and another one has a 8000 MK2. I have also auditioned the AF1 a few times. I much preferred the two Micro, as well as my Rockport Sirius II, to the AF1.

But the AF0 is another story, simply the best TT I have auditioned. To my ears the AF0 is head and shoulders above all TTs, maybe with the exception of the Rockport Sirius III. However, since I have not auditioned a Sirius III for many years, I can’t really say how the two TT compares. I just had similar jaw dropping experiences when I auditioned the two TTs for the first time!
 
  • Like
Reactions: leyenda and Lynnot

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing