Micro Seiki MA-505LS tone arm, anybody familiar?


Looking for anybody who is using or has used a Micro Seiki MA-505LS tonearm.
This is the long version with silver wire.
Interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions on this arm and what carts you ran on it or think is best suited to it.
This is mounted on a very solid plinth containing a Garrard 401.
Thank you.
6db47fb2 f8db 415d a4f7 49a7b6ed12b0Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz
Great tonearms.  In my experience the L versions had more quality control issues than the shorter versions; maybe because they didn't manufacture many?  Also, there is some debate whether "S" versions actually existed or what the moniker stood for.  I have owned two Micro Seiki MA-505 "S" arms and neither one of them utilized silver wire.  One did have silver-coated copper, though.  But I prefer copper anyway so it wasn't a big deal for me.

As for cartridge compatibility, almost any good medium compliance will work great on these tonearms.  My reasonable cost go-to MC was the late great Benz Ace L (Red) but I also enjoyed Grado Reference and Platinum models and most of the Soundsmith line.  I had an old Sumiko Talisman S retipped and it was sublime on the MA-505 MkII.  Finally, while I wasn't a big fan of the Shelter sound I had a matched set of 501s (stereo and mono) that sounded quite good on the MA-505.

There does seem to be conflicting information as to whether this came with silver wire.
However this one certainly does as it has been rewired with cryo Litz silver wire.
It also is set up with an ebony bodied DL103.
Think can do much better than that cart though.
I do have to hand a Scheu SL which is basically a Benz.
And a number of vintage mm carts.
I did not find the MA-505 (or any dynamically balanced tonearm) to be the best match to the DL-103 cartridge, standard or R version.  I would try the Scheu.

You might try a brass plate on the top of head shell, with the denon.  Had a regular 505 for over 20 years.  2 of the best mods where brass counter weight and bypass the detachable head shell connections.  More of a pita to swap head shells.

Enjoy the ride
Tom

Thx Tom!
The modded dl103 is included in the deal, seller says it sounds REAL good but I will be the judge of that ... Lol.

I have a few other carts to try out for sure.
So I have had the 401 cw the ma505 arm for a couple of days now.
Really was not over keen on the dl103 sound.
My collection of vintage AT and Shure carts were ok.
ATM I am running the Scheu Analog SL cart which is the best I have so far although I fear is far from the best I can get.
Now one more part of the puzzle is that my phono has max gain of 60db which is a little low for the really lomc out there, the Scheu is just about ok.

Are there any really good recommended carts out there that are middle lomc, say 0.7 to 0.8mv output?
I was looking at the Sumiko Blackbird or the Grado Statement, anybody familiar with them or any other similar output carts?
Consider some of the SoundSmith Cartridges. 
@uberwaltz,

Just from an listening perspective, I agree with drrsutliff. My Sussurro MkII is the most enjoyable cart I’ve ever owned.


EMT TSD-15 is actually 0.9 mV . They used other record to
measure output and got different (low) output. 
Excellent cart for a modest price. 


Thx Nandric, I will research them.

As to the Soundsmith carts as suggested.

Always been on my radar to try, should have bought one when certain dealers were having a 50% off sale!

Ah well......
Will be trying the Denon DL103R cart again through a Denon CU-320 step up that I acquired for peanuts.
This unit has a good reputation so we will see how that pans out on this arm on the 401 TT.
The Denon au320 SUT worked out really well ONCE I had set the Chinook up correctly ... Lol.
Thx Rick.....

Set up at 45db gain, 47k loading and 50 capacitance.
Using the 40ohm setting which is approx 20db gain pushes total gain to 65db approx.
Much better dynamics with the Scheu and the noise floor has dropped like a stone, so much so that I am listening at lower levels as no background hash to compete with the music.

Now this has opened a new can of worms because if a cheap SUT can have such a good effect what might a better SUT achieve.

And down the rabbit hole we go.....

Ps, still do not care for the 103r....
It’s a deep dark rabbit hole...  need a setup day to play.