Micro Seiki, or TW AC-1


I'm trying to decide between Micro Seiki RX 5000 and TW AC-1.
They are approx. the same price used (about $10K)
Both are belt drive.
Unfortunately, I don't have a first hand experience with either of the tables.
You can see my current set-up in my system page.
The reason, I want to make a change from DD TT to belt drive is just to try a different approach.
Also, I have a feeling, that the bass would be one of the areas, where MS and TW might have an edge over my current DD Technics SP-10 MkII
My endeavor into analog is fairly new, so I'm not sure what my final choice in analog would be, unless I try it in my own system.
What I'm really interested in is the following:
Sonic differences b/w MS, TW and Technics SP-10 MkII
Reliability
Service availability.
maril555
Maril: I can't answer your question, because I have no hands-on experience with either table. I'd also ask about the 8000, and there are a few owners of both Micro Seiki tables here who could tell you the differences. They would seem to be tweakier but you are probably prepared for that.
I'm bothering to comment because we share similar systems in fundamental ways. I will tell you, without shilling for the table I use, that a heavyweight table, set up properly, seems to disappear and the faint 'halo' that people seem to associate with vinyl playback, pretty much disappears.
I also have an SP-10 (albeit a Mk1) that I have owned since new, but hasn't seen use for decades; I'll probably revive it someday. I'll be interested to see responses, particularly from those who have hands-on experience with BOTH tables you mention, because I'm sure each has a loyal following.
Whart,
Thank you for your response. Our systems are indeed very similar.
It's so happens, that I know owners/ designer of your Veloce linestage. They are both members of our Philadelphia Area Audio Group.
One day I will try to arrange an audition of Veloce in my own system. I heard it many times at various shows, but in the context of unfamiliar system.
Anyhow, back to our sheep, I mean turntables.
I completely agree with you about the "heavyweight" turntables being a different animal, compared to my DD Technics, and that's the main reason, I want to try one in my own system.
J.C. Verdier Platine seems like another interesting choice, as well, as Transrotor tables with magnetic drive, and Kuzma.
I'm a little leary about heavily investing in a 25 y/o Micro Seiki, though they have a great reliability record, but with the company being defunct, one is left to a mercy of random suppliers, or DIY in case of malfunction.
I have a friend with a Micro Seiki. Wonderful table but it does need tweaking and labor - almost constantly. He has the table down well over 50% of the time as he waits for parts, etc. Finding parts are becoming an issue for him.

The TW AC-1 is a table that I own (owner discretion here!). It is a fantastic table. Labor free once set up. It is a high mass table, tons of tight deep bass compared to my VPI Aries 3 I owned before. It is also very delicate and incredibly detailed. I love this table and you can always upgrade it with extra motors, tonearms, feet, etc as you would like.

Highwater Sound is the importer for TW Acustic in the US and are fantastic to deal with whether you purchased new from them or bought used. TW is a great company and are always back-ordered, so their business is strong.

Don't see how you could go wrong with a TW AC-1.
These turntables show indeed huge differences in Performance, but it depends
on knowledge of the owner (perfect reproduction of the sound of real music
performed in a real space or: "good" sound is whatever one likes)

Micro Seiki
5000


The Japanese made more right 25 years ago than most Manufacturers today.
Together.
Very reliable, no coloration, adjustable motor, but some care is needed when
buying one, some owners have the remarkable ability to ruin everything

Platine
Verdier


That is an original one from the 80's with Magnets from France, a Legend in
Europe, sonically really outstanding, no longer available in that configuration

Kuzma XL

Was compared side by side with a Seiki 5000, after 5 min. the owner made it
ready to sell...but overall a good Turntable

Raven AC

Like a Linn LP12 but "in black & heavy"
No matter what you do, it will sound always different...great for Reissues

Kuzma 4P

Soft dynamics, great compensation for very analytic sounding Systems, here it
is used with a Raven AC from one of my friends.
The pic is a bit old, a new one would show a lot of dust onto, the user doe not
use it anymore ...left side is a Kuzma Airline
Dear Thomas / syntax,

We all love your expert's assessment about vintage turntables. As well do we respect your marginally less knowledge about modern record players. Cobbler, stick to thy last. ;)

Yours sincerely
Blam!

P.S. Is that a picture of kha's Raven from 2006/2007? You have a very good long-term memory...
As you have a Porter plinth and Albert's former reference arm, the SME 312S, you may want to check out his latest comments on his system page about his new tonearm. It may change your bass performance.

I would also think you could add some superior isolation like a Vibraplane to your existing table and hear quite an improvement. This would cost you much less money and you could always use it under your next table to which Syntax could attest.
Peterayer,
I know exactly what you mean, but at the same time I want to try a totally different approach- High Mass BD, vs. DD.
Vibraplane, or Minus K is the next step though.
I'll echo Peter's point. I recently added Minus-K platforms beneath my medium-mass Clearaudio (60 lbs) and high-mass Lenco (115 lbs). The improvement was remarkable in both cases, not merely in focus and microdynamics, which I expected, but in bass authority and tone, which pleasantly surprised me.
Adding my 2 bits for the TW AC. Call it owner indulgence or what ever, it's a superb TT and completely set and forget.
Enjoy the ride
Cheers
Pradeep
Syntax,
Could you make any comments on the reliability of the Micro Seiki RX-5000. What are the most common problems, that MS owners encounter, if any?
And what to pay attention to, when buying one?
Also, do you have any input on Transrotor TTs, especially the models with magnetic drive. Since you are in Germany, I would imagine you are more familiar with their products.
I only heard them at the shows, so no opinion here.
Thanks
After purchasing the Raven One/TW Acustic 10.5 combo, having
Tom Tutay restore my Air Tight ATM-3 amps while providing iec
capability for changing power cords, and also re-discovering
some extremely fine power tubes, I've found a level of
musical enjoyment never experienced before. For me, the TW
front end has proven to be nothing short of fantastic.
Listening is fatigue free, exciting, and always something to
look forward to.
Another high mass belt drive worth considering in the $10-15K range is the new SME 20/3. I have not heard one, but reports are that it is fairly close to the Model 30, though you would not be able to mount your 12" arm. Perhaps a used SME 20/12. Great sonics and little fuss from a very reliable company.
Hello Maril555,
in the last 3 years I had some contact to Seiki owners and all of their units (25
years old) were running perfectly. The prices for 5000 series are continuously
raising in the last 4 years...the test of time was successfully done long ago.
The table itself has to be moved always without the heavy platter, otherwise the
bearing will be damaged. Normally this is common sense, but you know...:-)
Motors are very impressive, what 'generation' of controller chip have the Ravens
now? 5th? The one from my Buddy started backwards sometimes :-)
I listened to some Transrotors (and Clearaudios) but none of them gave me any
kind of information which made me to sit longer than 5 min in front of them.
They are show pieces, nice to look at, but when you want something which
really moves the sonic curtain, do yourself a favor and look somewhere else.
But it depends on your knowledge about music reproduction. When your
priority is fun only, buy whatever you can reach. All is great then ...
maril555
i have a TWAC3 and a Miro Seiki RX1500, i bought the 1500 new in the '80's. the TW i bought 3 years ago.
different tables of course. the sonic difference is the speed and detail that the TW displays. it has authority that the 1500 does not have. the 5000 may do this better than the 1500, but my issue with them is the metal platter. the TW has a polymer platter that is warmer and faster that metal.
i would compare the micros with TT Weights tables. they are very well made, look nice and sound ok. the european tables have the same high quality machining, but their performance is head and shoulders above the tables that are just machined well, lacking the finesse in sonics that the europeans strive for. i read somewhere that the designer of the TW's tried 150 different materials for the belt alone, just to get the sonic signature that he was looking for. you know that back in the '80's when micros were made, that didn't happen!
i have never had any issues with my micro in the 30 years of ownership. if you want a true reference table, go for the TW.
Hi Maril555,
When I set out to buy a TT about 10 months back, I auditioned a long list of TTs and that includes the TW Raven One, Raven AC, Microseiki RX8000, RX8000 MK2, SME 30, Avid Acutus, Brinkmann Bardo and quite a few more. Among them also was a Platine Verdier. Initially I was quite disappointed after listening to many TTs because a lot of them didnt do much to me even though I was buying my first TT and expected to be blown away after all these years with digital. In the past whenever I have listened to TT it was on one of those vintage DDs and I always liked the analog presentation to even the best digital I had heard. So, considering that now I am ready to invest upto $10k it was natural that I thought I will be blown with every audition. But that did not happen, rather I was shocked just how many of these expensive "well engineered" TTs screw up the sound. Few of them clearly sounded like CD!! Anyway, among the tables that we are discussing here:

1. Micro Seiki - I have not heard the RX-5000, while the RX-8000 sounded nice, it had the natural flow we associate with analog music reproduction, the resolution we look for in high end analog with a solid foundation.

2. TW Acustics: It has all the ingredients that we associate with "high-end" sound and I can understand why so many people like it. Tons of details, resolution, very huge and stable soundstage, a touch of warmth, overall balanced sound. BUT, to me it had an artificiality/coloration in the flow of music. The notes did not naturally bloom, hold and decay the way we know it should. There is a "rush", a little too much leading edge and not enough time to bloom. There was also a colouration in the timbre of the instruments as if to artificially make it sound "rich". Basically it felt like I am hearing something cooked.

3. Platine Verdier: Finally the sound that I had imagined a high end analogue player would have! The Verdier had the best rendition of tone and timbre among all the players I had heard. It also had the best flow, something very continuous and liquid I havent heard in any other TT. Couple that with a full frequency spectrum music and incredibly 3-dimensional soundstage. It was one of the most natural music reproduction I heard that day. There was nothing cooked. I normally dont give a lot of importance to soundstage tricks but what caught within the soundstage of a Verdier is the fact that every individual instrument sounded 3 dimensional, full blown and proper. It was just too good to pass but it was too expensive for my wallet. So, I bought the Nouvelle Platine Verdier, the Auditorium 23 revision which is suppose to be at the same level as the big Platine.

The other TTs I liked were the Avid Acutus, SME 30 and EMT 938.

Seriously how can one tease out different turntables performance from the whole chain which involves different cartridges, arm,phono stage, pre/amp, speakers/room from listening to different setups at different times?
Must be gifted eh or...
Ups, a Member of Anonymous Audiophile Assassinators here... say hello to
the Raven Fanboys :-)
Jaspert raises a real point here: short of setting up several tables in the same system, using identical arms and cartridges, it would be impossible to discern these differences in any absolute way. I suppose that if you heard some of these same tables in enough different systems, you could suss out what the table seems to contribute to the proceedings, but that is imperfect. You are relying on sonic memory to some extent. That said, folks seem to be able to identify the sonic signature of a Linn or VPI by certain characteristics. The Verdier is not a common table here in the States as far as I know.
I'm going to remain agnostic here, other than to note that the very well made Kuzma Reference, using a Triplanar, and Titan i, was dwarfed by its much more massive big brother, using the same cartridge in the same room and system, albeit with a different arm. The high mass turntable seemed to have bottomless bass and a far less noticeable 'aura' around the sound. In a word, it was just quieter, something I did not notice until the 'halo' disappeared. (The best analogy I could give you is like the ambient noise of a quiet central air-conditioning system- you don't really notice it until it shuts off). Not shilling for Kuzma here, as I said, but I do like what a big, high mass table does.
I heard the TW Raven One and AC on four different arms and carts. All in the same system and at the same time. My impressions about the TT did not change. Some things are too foundational and if it comes through, you know it is the TT. The same room also had a Dr.feickert woodpecker and Nottingham Analogue hyperspace, I also auditioned them and they did not exhibit the issues I noted with TW. Of course they lacked behind the TW in some other ways. It was just an observation. For me it was relevant enough to pass the TW even though I was getting an amazing deal.
Pani,

You have me surprised as I owned the Hyperspace & Raven AC. The characterization you have given the Hyperspace is way off. And it contradicts reviews as well. If any turntable has a characteristic sound the Nottingham would be it. I still feel it is a great table but it does shed TW character through everything and you must choose the right cartridge to get a more balanced presentation. I just can't trust what you are saying.

And Syntax, let me just get everyone on the same page. Your mission in life is to bash a few brands and give your biased opinion about products you get deals on. It is well documented here so why don't you let it go. H I forget you can't. You have nothing better to do. Not even listen to music. I wonder why.
Pani's take on the Raven TT : "BUT, to me it had an artificiality/coloration in the flow of music. The notes did not naturally bloom, hold and decay the way we know it should. There is a "rush", a little too much leading edge and not enough time to bloom. There was also a colouration in the timbre of the instruments as if to artificially make it sound "rich"."

I hear things differently with the TW Raven One partnered with the 10.5 tonearm in my system. Varieties of strings, horns and woodwinds do not sound artificial, but very much like I hear them in live concerts. Double basses and cellos especially resound with marvelous tones. I've also never heard percussion instruments like piano and cymbals reproduced with as much accuracy as I presently do. There is richness and bloom as well, with neither of those characteristics sounding artificial to my ears. Regarding the assertion, "...there's a little too much leading edge...", that is an interesting point. Before I learned to make the proper kinds of adjustments to the 10.5 tonearm, I was indeed hearing too much leading edge. That arm is quite sensitive to very slight movements. I don't know if Pani had the opportunity to hear it coupled with any of the Raven tables he auditioned. Even if he did, it's possible it was not ideally adjusted for lps of various thicknesses. My experiences making adjustments with this arm, aided by markings I have affixed on pieces of painter's tape have enabled me to "dial in sounds" that run the gamut from too much leading edge to dull edge. Yes, I can get lps to display the kind of balance that to me is indeed accurate AND musical, UNLESS a particular record was simply recorded badly one way or another to begin with.

Jaspert's statement above bears repeating because it rings with an air of truth: "Seriously how can one tease out different turntables performance from the whole chain which involves different cartridges, arm,phono stage, pre/amp, speakers/room from listening to different setups at different times?" I would also re-iterate the need for experimenting with and making adjustments.
Someone has asked for a suggestion out here because he wants
to put his hard earned money into it, just like I did few
months ago. That is the reason I wrote as honestly as I
could what I heard with "reasonable" conviction.

However, it is interesting that more people out here want to
tell me I was wrong because of XYZ reasons. If one cannot
hear a TT's contribution in a chain of TT-Tonearm-Cartridge-
phonostage then I suppose there is no reason for audiophiles
to ever go for a TT demo, neither should dealers have any
demo room for TTs! I am not saying it is as simple as
auditioning a pair of speakers. But if one spends enough
time in the demo room and that too comparing three different
TTs and multiple tonearms, it is not all that difficult to
point out the characteristics which are glaring in a TT.

I commented strongly about the TW because it was one of the
serious contenders in my shortlist, I took multiple
auditions of it through multiple chain of electronics just
to ensure the validity of my concerns and it so happened
that the character that bothered me was too strong and
present. Even simple Norah Jones track sounded zippy. I even
took my AKG headphone setup to the dealer to clarify this.

In hifi equipment selection, isnt it as necessary to figure
out the compromises one could live with as it is to know the
strengths ? I am more concerned about construction and flow
of notes while someone else would bother about soundstage
construction or frequency extension. Why is it so difficult
to believe that TW had its own share of weaknesses which
occurred to me because I am more sensitive to it ?

Regarding Nottingham TTs, I did not say anything about it
because it is not a TT under discussion. It had other issues
due to which I did not buy it either but it did not exhibit
the problems I noted with TW. TW's problem was quite unique,
that is why I mentioned it the term "cooked".
I have no dog in this fight, other than that I'm sympatico with the OP because we share certain system attributes. I don't doubt Pani heard what he heard and will admit that the only time I've heard the AC table (I think it was the Black Knight) was courtesy of Jeff @ Highwater in show conditions. I think we'll all acknowledge that turntables at any level~ and here, we are talking about a pretty high level of performance~ will sound different from each other. My suggestion is that the OP contact Jeff when he is back from Rocky Mountain, and be candid about his interest in a used table. Take a trip to NY and hear the darn thing, presumably Jeff can set it up as well as anybody. (Ideally, he'd use a cartridge you are familiar with or willing to consider buying).
The Micro Seiki seems to be a little risky in trying to get support if you have problems, assuming the OP could source a good one without issues. The Platine- very cool table and one I'd certainly consider in this league if available in the States. It's been around a long time, and is still made.
Does that make sense? (I'm not encouraging abuse of a dealer here, which is why I suggested candor- Jeff, who I don't really know well, but have talked to a couple times, is one of the best folks in the business).
Let us address the myths espoused above -
I have a friend with a Micro Seiki. Wonderful table but it does need tweaking and labor - almost constantly. He has the table down well over 50% of the time as he waits for parts, etc. Finding parts are becoming an issue for him.
Utter rubbish - I know many micro owners from the 1500 up and they have run without issues for over 20 years.
I'm a little leary about heavily investing in a 25 y/o Micro Seiki, though they have a great reliability record, but with the company being defunct, one is left to a mercy of random suppliers, or DIY in case of malfunction
Replacing a motor and drive on a verdier or micro seiki is easier than trying to work through a direct drive motor board packed to the gunnels with obsolete chips.
my issue with them is the metal platter. the TW has a polymer platter that is warmer and faster that metal.
Poppycock - the speed of sound through solids is directly dependent on the Bulk Modulus and Shear Modulus. It is dependent on the stiffness, resistance to compression, and resistance to shearing. Polymers such as Delrin generally are significantly slower than metal.
TW's tried 150 different materials for the belt alone, just to get the sonic signature that he was looking for. you know that back in the '80's when micros were made, that didn't happen!
Thats because the Japanese did their homework and got it right first time. Do you realise the big micro's are thread drive, they dont use stretchy rubber bands like the Raven. They are far more speed stable. There is at least one member on this forum who dumped the top Raven Black Knight for a Micro.

Probably the biggest myth of all - "because I own it it must be good". This is the most common assumption on the forum.

My observations -
Dont own any of the above so I am not biased. I own a Final Audio Parthenon which I prefer to any of the above.
I have heard most of the decks mentioned, have 2 friends with SME 20's and one with Raven/Raven arm. Also have 2 friends with Technics SP10mk3's, 2 with L07D's.
The top 2 are as Syntax stated are the Platine Verdier ( when used with the ball insert option to ground the platter ) and the Micro Seiki 5000 - preferably with the ringy bell platter issue addressed. Either of these, provided they are well maintained and set up properly will stomp the Raven in speed, articulation, noise floor and provide a much more substantial foundation to the music. Both of them are legacy products that will last a lifetime and are easy to maintain.
Dear Maril555: +++++ " The reason, I want to make a change from DD TT to belt drive is just to try a different approach. " +++++

IMHO from that approach you can choose any decent BD alternatives out there and you will hear a different performance, not better but different.

MS is a " heavy " regarded unit in a wrong way because has no merits for it. It has a decent bearing with a decent Panasonic/Technics motor, power supply and control unit are very bad and needs to be rebuilded for it can achieve top performance, all its platters are way resonant and like all havy mass TTs ( vintage or toady units designs. ) are way colored because you can't control the heavy platter mass internal resonances when in movement. High mass TTs are very good for the " eyes " and for the audiophile " rookies " but not the best for real music lovers and persons that has a decent music sound knowledge level.

Your SP-10 could gives you a better performance in " naked " fashion, this is with out plinth.

I favor the Peterayer adivise on the SME 20/3 that even that is a BD design is not a heavy mass design and even that was not designed for the " eyes " has very good performance: accurate and neutral one, very low colorations. Same for the SME 30. These SME designs were always under-rated because are " ugly " to the eyes but IMHO are way better that almost all the units named here.

I think that sooner or latter we will learn that we have to pay for quality performance in TT and not like today where many people pay for: kilos/kilograms!!
Is here in audio high-end where the price of a kilogram of metal ( aluminum/steel and the like ) has a price higher of a kilogram of real gold!! Sometimes some of us shows or our ignorance or our stupidity or our wealthy status where no one of these characteristics has no relatrionship with quality music performance level trhough an audio system. Yes, as you see it I showed my ignorance on that subject because I own MS and HML BD designs that today I almost no use it often.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
And Syntax, let me just get everyone on the same page. Your mission in life is to bash a few brands and give your biased opinion about products you get deals on. It is well documented here so why don't you let it go. H I forget you can't. You have nothing better to do. Not even listen to music. I wonder why.

And Dgad, let me just get everyone on the same page. Your mission in life is to support brands and give your "enthusiastic" opinion about products you get deals on.
And both we know very well, that no matter what I write, you'll never get it, not in this life, nor in the next. And internet "documentation". Please, everyone with a normal working brain knows, to rate something you should have information from ALL sides. But "your enemy" is my enemy point of view is childish. Wake up baby, we are not in Russia where you are sent to Siberia for a different opinion.
Say hello to all other Fanboys but a Democracy has different rules. Didn't you realize that after all those years?
too bad these threads always seem to get personal. someone has to quote someone else and then bash or "poppycock" what was said.

maril555, i do own both tables in question. they are side by side on my rack, not at a friend's or at a show or somewhere else. the fact is, the TW is a better table. i would not recommend spending $10k on the RX5000. you would be farther ahead with a raven 1 and the matching 10.5 arm.
speaking of arms, i did have the micro max 282 on the RX1500. sold it as soon as i bought an old breuer 5C. the breuer cost me $1500 used and i sold the mint max 282 for $3700. it was dull and lifeless compared to the breuer, using the same cartridge. so don't get caught up in the micro pricing. you're paying for the collect-ability there also.
the micros are great tables, please don't get me wrong. some of the models are just overpriced for their performance.
Maril555,

besides of following a church-approach if DD or BD is better or even Idler-Drive I may recommend the MS.
I have all drives and tested them very intensively. While the DD has some advantages a real Top Class Performance you reach with a well equipped big Micro-Seiki (BD) or an EMT 927 (Idler Drive). While the latter is very rare a fine MS-5000 is reachable. So why going for a new design rather than the masters of performance. Pls. forget the remarks some guys made on Mass-Turntables. I guess our friends have no even an idea what kind of performance these TTs are able to show in a good setting.
If you are open to Idler drive then you could also consider the EMT 930. It is well within a reachable budget and can be had with warranty from one of the ex-EMT engineers here:
www.EMT-Profi.de
good hint Pani - excellent machine!

www.audio16.com
Dear Thuchan: +++++ " . So why going for a new design rather than the masters of performance (MS ). " +++++

Masters of performance?, IMHO MS on TT does not deserve that title. I know you like the MS heavy colorations but that does not means is a top performer by today standards, as I said designed for the eyes and nothing more. Has more problems that it can solve.

Yes, DD/Idler has not only lower lower distortions but different " colorations " that maybe does not goes with you but I think that your " world " is IMHO only your " world ".

Thuchan higher moving mass on TT means higher distortions/colorations. Till today IMHO no one high mass TT design was designed with the " right " blend materials to " disappear " the self/internal resonances on heavy moving mass designs and the MS was one of the worst down there.

Why do you think that the vintage DD designs ( Denon, Technics, EMT, JVC/Victor, Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony. ) IMHO outperform almost any vintage and today heavy moving mass BD designs? because the drive kind of design?

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Dover,
What is "the ball insert option"? on Platine Verdier, you've mentioned? Never heard of it.
Thanks
maril555
fwiw, i use a living voice mystic mat over the integral copper TW mat. i also use the mystic mat over a copper mat on the 1500 platter. i find the TW sounds great with a furutech record weight and the 1500 prefers the bdr weight.
Corby,
Your input is just priceless to me, since you have both tables in the same system.
One question, though- did you hear "the leading edge" problem without the Living Voice Mystic mat on TW?
Analog bloodsport in the ego coliseum. So thrilling.
Maril55 -
The verdier platine comes with an option to use a ball and thrust plate. Essentially this means the platter is grounded, and provides an energy path to ground for unwanted energy or resonance. In this mode the magnetic repulsion is still employed, but it means the tt has a high mass platter, but the grounded bearing only sees a fraction of that weight. This is a very elegant solution and is used in the Continuum. I prefer this mode, the grounding tightens and focus' the sound, increases resolution and articulation if applied properly. The weak point of the Verdier is probably the motor, and there are aftermarket mods available. The battery supply version is gutless.
In my own Final Audio the motor drive system uses oscillator preamplifiers that regenerate the power supply and provide precise sine and cosine waves to the 80wpc power amp that drives the ac motor & 20kg platter.
Micro ringy platter - if you look at the cross section of the Micro Seiki platter it looks like an upside down plate with a lip. ( upside down U ). This rings. The ringing is ameliorated by using a heavy copper mat - the combination of the 2 metals, gunmetal and copper, acts as bimetallic dampening. There are probably other alternatives to getting rid of the platter resonances - eg use of heavy polymer mats such as delrin or lexan for example.
The Micro 5000 is significantly better than the 1500/2000/3000 models and comparisons should not be used. I have never seen a failure in the Micro power supplies so cant comment on what goes wrong if anything.

Maril...I'd like to make a few points in response to your concern with the "leading edge" issue. I've already indicated I use the Raven One, and like Pani, initally heard what he did. In fact, a short while ago I posted a thread seeking some assistance in acquiring a cartridge with less leading edge and more trailing end information. That was prior to having my monoblock amps restored to their original status after previously having them modified quite a few years ago, newly inserting them with iec capability enabling choice in power cord selection, changing their 12ax7 and EL34 tubes with different brands and making vta adjusments to my TW Acustic 10.5 tonearm. Collectively, these measures enabled me to effectively eliminate the excessive edge issue without even changing my Dynavector XX2 cartridge. Incidentally, I have not used nor do I presently use any mat with the Raven One platter. I also have not modified either the feet or the foundation or stand on which the table rests. So yes, I initially experienced a bit too much leading edge, but was successful in achieving system synergy and overcoming it. Obviously, I cannot speak for others regarding whether they have faced the same issue, and if so, whether they have managed to optimize their systems to their own satisfaction.
I don't post much anymore because of exactly what is taking place above is just tiresome but here is my 2 cents for the OP.

I have owned numerous TW Acustic tables, all one has to do is look at my previous posts and read.

-Raven One
-AC3
and lastly TW's reference FLAGSHIP table the Black Knight.

It's going to come down to a personal judement call but in my own set-up side by side "BK vs MS 5000" I GREATLY prefer the MS 5000 with mod by far. My MS actually has the upgraded Stainless Steel platter which comes with the 8000, I might be the only person with such and there is no ringing.

I also have the same floating platter mod as Sytax

I can go into detail but why, so many individules take such personally so no need to upset anyone, just enjoy listening to your music with what ever it may be.

I feel very fortuante to have learned what I have and to been able to do a side by side comparison without any presure.

I'll give you just one small but VERY IMPORTANT difference the MS has over any TW tables I owned and that is it's accuracy for speed, no matter what speed set for or music you are playing non of the TW tables I owned could keep a 100% accurate speed. This has a dramatic effect on rhythm & pace, which has an effect on the music being played over all.

Here is another test to do, with your stylus down on a record playing or not tap anywhere on your TW table, stand, isolation and you will hear the thud threw your speakers, do the same with my MS dead silence, nothing. Air born frequencies are a enemy for any vinyl lover and that's why we hear dramatic differeneces sonically using isolation so just imagine the positive effects as what I have wrote above with no negative effects.

These are only a few areas
Dear poppycock, the two tables in question are the TW AC1 and the Micro Seiki RX5000. You own the TW AC3 and the RX 1500. There are significant differences between the RX1500 and the RX5000. With regard to the comments above, it would be helpful if you did your homework before responding. Please reread the post and do some google searching, you might learn something.
I own the TW AC-3 as well as Exclusive P3 & P10.

There is no doubt in my mind the dd P3 has a better controlled, tighter and more coherent bass compared to the AC-3. This opens up the mids for better transparency. The AC-3 has a really nice top end with better air than the did P3.

The TW needs an effective support IMO, whereas the P3 has a sophisticated one built in. I am sure if I replaced my SRA platform (which I have been too impressed with) with something better the AC-3 might have better bass speed and control.if I got my P3 arm re-wired, the upper frequencies would probably be more extended.
I used to use the TW with the mystic mat, but now with the bare brass aka MS platter.

Which one is better - neither, they are both great tables and frankly having multiple tables is the best compromise of all. There is some music that sounds better on the TW and some the P3.

Jasper is 100% correct. The rest of the system will have a larger stake of what will sound better than perhaps what the tables will bring. This is one reason why Raul does not like the MS imo. His system is all ss, so MS is too revealing.
My all tube system may also be the one of the reasons why I feel the TW bass is a bit slow.

There are no bad products at this level, only good or bad matching with the rest of one's system.
Btw copper platter, not brass, before anyone corrects me :-)
Pani, as a matter of clarification:
You said: "There is a "rush", a little too
much leading edge and not enough time to bloom. There was
also a colouration in the timbre of the instruments as if to
artificially make it sound "rich". Basically it
felt like I am hearing something cooked."
And then you also say: "Even simple Norah Jones track
sounded zippy. I even
took my AKG headphone setup to the dealer to clarify
this."
From other posters I kind of had an impression, that TW is
somewhat dark and warm sounding TT, but you obviously heard
coloration, that is usually associated with bright sounding
components.
I read in some older TW posts, that "naked" TW
platter does indeed emphasizes the leading edge, and using
mat could alleviate it.
Could you extrapolate on this issue, please?


Maril555, it is good to know that you have auditioned the TW
already and not exactly going to buy purely based on the
outcome of this debate:).

Regarding your question whether TW sounds coloured as in
bright, the answer is NO. It is not a bright TT at all. As
you said it is rather somewhat dark but not overtly.
Colouration can be on either side of the spectrum. The
timbre colouration was towards the richer-darker side. But
more than tonal colouration (which is there in many hifi
products), it is about the construction of the music note.
It feels that there is less time for the note to get
properly constructed, so before you could enjoy the note, it
has passed.

Secondly, I said it sounds "cooked". Think about
it, what does a chef do when he has messed up a recipe he
was cooking, he tries to manipulate by adding other
ingredients so that the flaws in the taste becomes less
prominent or gets diverted. To me, the TW sounded something
like that. First there was too much leading edge, to
compensate that there was some warmth "added", but
the warmth should not eat into the highs so the body was cut
short so there is less bloom and so on and so forth. In the
end a dose of richness was added so that all this together
feels tasty. It is somewhat like telling one lie to hide
another. This is not natural sound to my ears. I would not
have bothered so much if it was digital playback, because in
digital there is always some cooking up. But if analogue
playback is manipulated this way then the purpose of
listening directly from the record groove is lost.
Pani, with no ill will or bad feelings intended, I don't hear certain things the same way you do with Raven. At least you indicate "...somewhat dark but not overtly." I've read comments from a few others on Agon where the description they have given has simply been "dark", as in a blanket sense. Perhaps that is exactly what they've heard in a particular system configuration. Frankly, I've not heard any significant degree of darkness in my system. Maybe a touch, but that's all. And a touch is okay with me since I slightly prefer that. Some call dark romantic, but to me the Raven sound tends more toward "neutral", a term I've never been particularly fond of in audio, because I hear coloration not just in reproduced but live music.

Otherwise, you say,"It feels that there is less time for the note to get properly constructed, so before you could enjoy the note, it has passed." I hear the opposite, and for what it's worth, so do a number of others who have reviewed the Raven in various configurations. Just offering a different view here. In any event, I do wish you the best of luck and enjoyment with your personal choice of table[s].
Pani and Opus88,
Thank you guys for taking your time elaborating on your previous statements.
It all makes sense to me, other than the fact, that you disagree on some positions, but hey, we all hear differently.
Other interesting piece of information about Verdier Platine, that I gleaned in AudioAsylum- someone reported, that "it's oil bearing leaks small amount of oil, it is designed that way"??? really? is it true?
Thanks Opus for taking my comments in the right spirit.
I've had the pleasure of hearing a MS table and as Dev has pointed out the speed accuracy is pitch perfect, can't say that about many of today's tables, unfortunately.
Dev, are you saying that you can tap the armboard or the spindle on the MS table while the needle is resting on an LP and hear nothing through the speakers? If so, that would mean the platter and tonearm are incredibly inert. Very impressive. I've not seen another table pass this test.

Halcro has also commented in other threads about the speed accuracy of his Raven.
Thanks Dev for the informed comments. They tally with what I've heard in terms of the superior speed, articulation, noise floor of the Micro 5000 v the Raven AC1.
Rsf507, Do you mean to say that you can perceive perfect speed accuracy without the aid of any measuring device? (This is different from saying you have a perfect sense of pitch, which may well be the case.) With all respect, I doubt it, but maybe you had a Sutherland Timeline or similar device at hand.
Lewm you are correct it's a perceived feeling of perfect pitch and yes this was hard to initially tell until it was heard and then it's easy to understand. It's like most people don't understand or hear polarity but once understood I can tell if a song is in or out of phase.
Listen to an SME 10 then a Lenco or most DD tables and you begin to understand having a correct speed is extremely important to the sound of a piano. I'll be the first to admit I never understood this until I moved away from a belt drive table myself and with the help of others opened my ears and it all became clear.