Micro Seiki MB-18

I'm looking into buying a turntable for the first time in 20 + years and have found a Micro Seiki MB-18 in mint operational and cosmetic condition. I've done a bit of research on Micro Seikis but couldn't find much info on this one other than the fact that it is an entry level belt driven table. I really love the way it looks and the brand seems to have a good reputation. I don't consider myself an audiophile but do appreciate quality equipment, listen to music often and plan on re-starting a (mini) record collection. Any opinions or additional info would be appreciate it. Thank you
I was a Micro Seiki dealer in the 80s but don't remember this one; but they didn't make any bad tables. Put something like a Denon 110 on it or a good MM and as long as your expectations are reasonable you will be fine. Stan
In my former days as a Micro retailer, the MB-18 replaced their MB-15, in 1981. Unfortunately, we could feel some 'slop' in its tonearm bearings compared to the solid-feel of the MB-15's arm.

If you have not yet purchased an MB-18, I would recommend the MB-15 model instead, such as the one currently on eBay. Another excellent choice would be a Harman/Kardon T-30, having less rumble than a Micro MB-15/18 and a better arm.

The direct-drive version of the Micro MB-18 table also underwent the same tone-arm switch. While I do not remember that one's model number, the original one with the same arm as the MB-15 was called the DD-20. One could hear it had less rumble than the MB-15, and was our most popular Micro.

If you do have the MB-18, I would recommend a 'high-compliance' phono cartridge for it, both to suit its low-mass arm and also to put less demand on that arm's bearings.

Here is a link to a flyer on the MB-15 and DD-20, where you can see how their tonearm compared to that on an MB-18: Micro Seiki Literature. Have fun!

Best regards,
Thanks both for your valuable tips. Roy, as per your recommendation, I just bought instead the HK T-30c online, supposedly in pretty good shape, with an Ortofon OM-5E phono cartridge. I can't wait to getting back to record playing. Best regards
Congratulations! I think you will really enjoy it. Consider setting up the cartridge via an Arc Protractor when you get the H/K: Google Arc-protractor search

Best regards,
Better Arc-Protractor info: Arc-protractor, as this company offers to make them for people.

Best regards,
I am wrong to state that the Galibier company will make an Arc Protractor for any TT. I think they can advise on how to get one made for most TTs. Sorry for any inconvenience.

This is the first time I have jumped in on any thread for any reason but here's why I am now..I just won a Micro Seiki MB-18 for $90 bucks that is supposedly the same as NIB..After reading what was said about the less than normal "Micro Seiki quality" tonearm is the MB-18 no better than your average entry level TT's like say a Kenwood KD-2055? And what about changing the tonearm to a higher end one from another Micro Seiki model? Was the rumble sound something that could be heard audibly or was it the kind of thing only an audiophile with an acute sense of hearing would be able to detect? As you can tell I am pretty new to this hobby and still have much to learn..I have learned to stop trusting sellers on these online classifieds sites just because they "Swear to God" and "Promise" and item is in like new mint condition.
Regarding internal tonearm resonances, the MB-18 is likely better than the usual entry-level turntables of the time, that is, more rigid and more dead. The complaint we had at the time was that we could feel some slop in the tonearm bearings- no worse than other entry-level TTs, but not as tight as the previous S-arm version (MB-14 and 15).

To avoid aggravating that slop, we would use a high-compliance cartridge in it. The idea was those cartridges would send less vibration into an arm. Fortunately, the arm on the MB-18 was lower in mass than their previous tonearm, which allowed the high-compliance cartridges to work properly on warped LPs.

The rumble could be heard, but not until one played the music quite loudly on a good record- but the Micros were always better in this regard than the other entry TTs. Its level of rumble, though, precludes putting on a better tonearm.

What we found at the time is a) its level of rumble was low enough most folks were happy, and b) its low-friction and low-mass tonearm allowed the use of a decent phono cartridge so one's LPs did not get mistracked.

At your purchase price, you will someday be able to re-sell it with no loss to then obtain a fancier belt-drive by Micro, such as a BL-51 or BL-91 with or w/o tonearm, or one of their DD models, such as a DD-33 or DD-40 which came with their great MA-505 arm.

I would not recommend their DDX-1000 model. When we first sold them (and I owned one, too) their platters could be felt to wobble under one's touch, and we never did get great low-bass from it. This was likely fixed in its replacement, the DQX-1000, but I am speculating as I never got to use that one. I would up with a BL-91 and MA-505II arm, and am still pleased with that combo although I own others.

I will add that using an 'arc protractor' for your cartridge's alignment makes a lot better sound than any other method of cartridge alignment. There are methods to produce one on your own printer, but I do not know the links for that on this site. Perhaps that's found on the Vinyl Engine, and would require one to enter the tonearm's length and offset (I think that's all).

Also, we really liked the sonic improvement of a platter mat called 'Platter Matter'. There were other brands with similar names, but we felt this make was the best. It still comes up used once in awhile here, eBay and on Canuck Aadio Mart for $35 to $65.

Best regards,
A separate question for Roy. The weight on my MB-15 tone arm just slides onto the arm. The adjustment for needle pressure does not seem to be doing anything as the whole thing is just loose on the rear of the tone arm. Even when I take it off and turn the adjusting dial attached to the weight I can't see any mechanical change or distance between the dial and the weight when I turn the setting dial. Can you explain how this is supposed to work? There is a small hole in the weight itself through which you can see the plastic sleeve that it sets on. The weight slides freely about a half inch on that sleeve.
Hi Guitarman,
Look up the Manual for the model MB-14 on the Vinyl Engine website.

In it, I see that one slides the weight onto the arm until neutral balance is achieved.
Mark that Zero point by turning just the numbered ring to Zero.
Then grab the rear of the weight assembly ?? (can't remember) and crank it until you get your desired tracking force readout on the numbered ring.

There is no set-screw to lock that weight in place, but back when we sold these, I don't remember the tracking weight adjustment being a hassle for anyone (33 years ago, sorry).

I recommend a Platter Matter record mat for it or perhaps an AudioQuest one.

Best regards,
I owned an MB-14, and Royj's description of setting tracking force is spot on. However, based on what I observed then and know from far greater experience now, set the antiskating at no more than half of the indicated value. In fact, if you have the time and the ear, start at zero antiskating and work your way up in small increments. Micro Seiki, along with nost of the turntable manufacturers of the day, grossly over-estimated the amount of antiskate needed. The MB-18 should sound great when tweaked for modern sensibilities.

Good advice, David, thanks.
I did not realize the anti-skating was that far off on that arm.