Micro SX-8000 II or SZ-1

Does anybody know if there is a mayor difference between the Micro-Seiki SX-8000 II and the "flagship" SZ-1?
A friend told me I should look for a SZ-1 because it offers a better motor. Having a SX-8000 II I am not shure whether it is worth looking for a SZ-1 or only for another motor-unit?
I can't imagine the SZ-1 having a better motor that the RY5500 motor on the 8000-2, but then again, I have never heard or seen a SZ-1 in person. The 8000 is my all-time favorite MS table. I think that your friend is just playing with an audiophile's insecurity. Awesome table!
I have no personal experience with any of the Micro, but they look like an engeenering feat. Especially the SZ-1

Here is a link for some more info on the Micro's.


Not much info on the SZ-1 and almost impossible to find outside of Japan.
Thanks for your answers and the link. Looks like the suction section is part of the motor unit in both machines, but it looks to me that the 8000 motor unit is of better built quality and the design is nicer (at least in my eyes)
If you've never seen an SZ-1 in person, or since you have probably never taken either motor apart, how can you tell? The motors may be identical, but the SZ1 motor may come in a fancier chassis to match the rest of the turntable. If you can find an SZ-1 go ahead and buy it. It will probably make you feel better. When you do, I would like a chance to buy the 8000.
The SZ-1 motor has a built-in flywheel (which helps to make the motor box 6kg heavier than the SX8k2 motor unit) which also has an air bearing, and the floating flywheel is supposed to make the drive even smoother. The flywheel, will of course, raise the overall moment of inertia a bit as well (though not by a lot).

note: I am not sure where the VK gets their moment of inertia number. 26 tons/cm2 is way too high. Given the size/weight of the platter, you'd be physically limited to about 4t/cm2 - which is still pretty good (the biggest direct drive tables were less than half that, but they had torque going for them too).
Dear T bone: You are right, the number is 3.5 tons/cm2 for both: the 8000 and the SZ-1.

regards and enjoy the music.
The required figures are in the link provided above.

The motor / flywheel has an inertia of 5.1 x 10^-3 kg.m^2.

It turns at 750 rpm, so the inertia referred to the platter is multiplied by the square of the gearing ratio.

22.5^2 = 506.25 so the total moment of inertia = 506.25 x 5.1 x 10^-3 kg.m^2 which is 2.58 kg.m^2.

In the perfectly ridiculous unit of tonnes.cm^2 this is indeed nearly 26.
Thanks Raul. I remember that number now (which I bet is for platter only; the motor flywheel would add another 8-10% to that number for the SZ-1). I think the Verdier and the highest-end Final Audio tables may have a higher moment of inertia (as would the table that Dertonarm put together a while ago) because of slightly massier platters, but it wouldn't be too much bigger (in the case of the Verdier at least) and I could probably suffer through ownership of the SZ-1...

Wonder why more people don't build dual-voltage motors (one high-voltage motor rim drive motor for start-up and another for maintaining speed on a belt drive). If you did that, you could run a VERY big flywheel and use the outside of your flywheel as your belt pulley, which would mean that you'd largely eliminate the belt tension issue (which Mark Kelly has written about). And this, in turn, makes me think back to the big thread about massy platters, belt drive vs DD, and alternate drive mechanisms that got reasonably technical.


The problem with that idea (besides complexity) is that you lose most of the advantage of running an external flywheel because your gearing ratio is much reduced. Using the effective mass analogy as given above, a 5 kg flywheel of 150mm diameter coupled "outside to outside" would add about 3 kg of effective mass to the platter.

As a contrast, the motor arrangement in the "Saskia" table adds an effective mass of about 85 kg.

In any case there are other ways of addressing the limitations of belt drives regarding creep (which is what I assume you mean by "the belt tension issue". There will be a completely new take on the issue exhibited at RMAF come October if everything goes to plan.

Mark Kelly

The system seems to have eaten the post on equivalent mass, so I'll do another.

The idea is analogous to the method of calculating equivalent mass for tonearms and the calculation is the same: divide the moment of inertia by the square of the radius of action, the result being an equivalent mass.

Using a standard radius of action of 150mm, the equivalent mass of the flywheel arrangement for the Micro Seiki is 2.58 kg.m^2 / (0.15m)^2 giving 115 kg.

Note that due to distribution of mass, a TT platter would have to be about 200 kg to achieve this equivalent mass.

Mark Kelly

Lewm, of course you need to see both units in person to have a better decision-bases. Nevertheless the solid buttons of the RY-5500 II and their haptics are a statement of High-Quality engineering and machine building I do not see at the SZ-1m so far.

The link Pcosta provided gives a very good picture of the unit and of the buttons. What matters more than taste of design is the in-built fly-wheel concept and the air bearing of the SZ-1m which T-Bone has described. Maybe I should look for an extra fly-wheel unit for the 8000.
Thanks for posting. I had not seen your first post when I wrote and i had not looked at the VK page linked. I was noting the mass moment of inertia of a solid with zero angular velocity (which is the way all Japanese TT specs historically have shown their mass moment of inertia spec - which if I'm reading your idea correctly, reconciles with your recalc above because the coefficient of the square of the gearing is... 1.

When I think about it, when my Exclusive P3's capacitors went, it was probably going something like 750rpm too (until I shut it down). If I could harness that and use the spindle, I could have gotten something like 1000 tons/cm^2 (a lot more weight and much bigger r^2).

I will go away and digest some of this.

As to the Saskia, I had previously read the 'effective mass of 200lbs' bit on the OMA homepage, but as there is no other information, and I have not seen any other info on the table elsewhere, it is difficult for those of us less in the know to understand how that comes about. I will assume (and we all know what people say about that), that the
tightly controlled external rotor motor when combined with the turntable's heavy platter results in an effective mass of well over two hundred pounds
means that "because it is rim drive not belt drive, when combined with a platter of X mass, we get effective mass of X+Y mass." There is so little information on the OMA page that anyone with a modicum of info could probably see where I am wrong on this too, but I couldn't quickly find any info months ago when I first looked.

T Bone

The equivalent mass given by OMA is calculated according to the method I used.

It's not the mass of a platter equivalent to the total inertia of the system, this would be even higher (around 400 lbs). IIRC Win decided to use the more conservative figure - he's a big believer in understating and over-achieving.

Mark Kelly
Mark, I understand the calculation but do not understand (from reading the webpage) where the 'gearing coefficient' comes from - higher speed flywheel providing gearing vs 33.3? rim-weighted platter increasing effective rotational inertia when compared to solid mass?
Let's not turn this into a discussion of Saskia, it's meant to be about the Micro Seikis. I used it as an example only.
Thuchan, there is a standalone Micro Seiki product called the HS-80, which was a high-speed inertia unit (made to be added to the 1500/5000/8000 series models). It would probably give much the same effect to the SX-8000 as the motor on the SZ-1 accomplishes. When they come up in the market, they are seriously expensive, but they are probably easier to find than an SZ-1.

You can see a picture here (about halfway down the page).
t bone,thanks a lot for your good advise. I put all my Katagana and Hirgana together (the Kanjis are all gone...), very interesting and I will definitely go for it.
thanks a lot
The last few I have seen go through the internet auctions in Japan have been in the area of JPY 150-175,000 (call it US$1500-1750). I would say they come up about 3-6 times a year.
T-bone or others, what do these 2 tables sell for? I would imagine that they must be quite pricey. A friend of mine bought the 5000 recently and is telling me (he lives far away) that he has not heard anything better. Has anyone compared them to the rim drive tables like the garrard 301 or the Lenco? Bob
Most of the 5000s which are extant are the RX-5000. The "RX-" designation is a solid bearing. There exist some SX-5000s as well. The "SX-" prefix denotes an air bearing turntable. The SX-8000 and the SX-8000 II are roughly similar, but the SX-8000 II is physically more 'integrated', and it usually comes with a vacuum hold-down platter. The SX-8000 tends to go for less than the SX-8000 II but I have not seen an SX-8000 II for sale for many moons (last one I saw went for something like $15-16k if I remember correctly). The SX-8000s I have seen recently (last 18mos or so) have gone for $9-15k on Japanese internet auctions, in varying condition. There seem to be a fair number more of them out. I have never seen an SZ-1 for sale, though I imagine if it came out, it would be more than the SX-8000 II.

I have an SX-8000. I have compared it to the best Japanese DDs of the era but not to rim drive tables. I have not heard a table before or since which digs as much info out of the groove as the SX-8000 with a MAX-237 arm (don't have a 282) and a ZYX UNIverse. When perfectly dialed in, it is a very smoooooooth sound. The large DDs (Exclusive P3, Technics SP-10Mk2 & Mk3, and Sony PS-X9) are also quite good, and you 'feel' the drive which you don't get with the Micro, but the Micro is soooo quiet.
Here are two Pics from this HS-80 (from Kipdent System)
in Action
HS-80 MS
it is passive
or that way
RX-5000 special

those Micro Seiki are rare now, the 5000 model is more common and sought after, because it is very reliable and easy to go. The 8000 series was always rare, sometimes you can find them in Japan.
The later ones were made in a time when Analog Business was reaching the End, not many around.
I have read that many consider the RX-5000 superior to the SX-5000. One would think the reverse to be true but I have not the pleasure of hearing either turntable. Bob
T_bone, Are those Goto transducers in the photos? I heard a complete Goto system locally in northern Virginia, driven by Kegon plus two other amplifiers and using Goto preamp and electronic crossover. And I was underwhelmed. Good but no goose pimples. Sorry for the OT comment.
I have always been intrigued by the HS-80. I believe the recommended way to set it up is so that it is directly opposite the motor. In this way the forces on the platter due the belt should cancel each other out and there should be minimum force, and thus noise, on the platter bearing.

The disadvantage, as I see it, is that you have greatly reduced the contact area of the belt with the platter. With a thread the contact area with the platter is already very small and with the HS-80 it is further reduced.

The "HS-80 MS" illustration avoids this but does not minimize the forces on the platter bearing.

It is an interesting choice of trade-offs. Set up would be critical. There are variety of formulas for pulleys, belts, contact area, wrap angle, coefficients of friction, and so forth but they were a bit overwhelming to me.
Syntax, thanks for pointing out the 'local' photos. Should have remembered that system.

Lewm, the photos appear to be the reviews of items which different people have brought into the system. The top photo is a set of Ale Acoustic compression supertweeters. About a quarter of the way down there are some Goto supertweeters. I didn't see any other Goto stuff (the super big horns near the bottom are DIY efforts, as are a bunch of the brass supertweeters).
I am considering now buying a second SX 8000 II because it should be the best solution for the inertia function. Means: the RY-5500 II motor unit drives the first SX-8000II, and the SX-8000 II drives the other SX-8000 II as shown in the system of Syntax on the two RX-5000. Based on the platter if it is 1:1 (same size) the speed should be no problem and the SX-8000's platter (or 1500, 5000) is heavier then the HS-80's small plate -this should lead to a more stable and wider sound stage. Also another four tonearms could be mounted on the second SX 8000 II. The first SX-8000 II absorbs variations from the motor then driving the second SX-8000 II. Sound will have an 30% improvement in comparison to the one set SX-8000II + HS-80.
Syntax, is that true, can you prove those assumptions?

Regarding the question what is the difference in sound quality between the air-bearing and non air bearing big Micros some people and me too think that it is an improvement of around 15-20%.

A realistic price for a SX-8000 II in a very good condition is around 25.000 US$. But I have seen offers of 40.000 US$ too, just recently. Everyone has to decide on paying such an amount...
I'm flattered pictures of my Micro Seiki RX-5000 system ended up on this thread!

I'm not nearly mathematical enough to place a percentage on the improvement I hear with the HS-80 inserted, but it is noticeable, particulalry in the nature of the lower octaves. Also, I am keenly aware its position in my system is severely compromised, and I am working on a rearrangement of my gear to allow the in-line layout of the motor, platter and HS-80. If accomplished, I will post more pics.

I'll reiterate that I have not had as much fun listening to vinyl in my entire life than with this Micro system. Yes, I could dream about an SX-8000 series 'table, but I'm not itching for one. I'm extremely happy with the RX-5000.
Thuchan, I'm still thinking about it, but I think Quiddity's earlier point was that the high speed of the flywheel in the SZ-1 motor (and therefore, probably similarly, the HS-80) offers more theoretical inertia than a (second) heavy platter does if the second heavy platter is spinning at 33.3rpm. I cannot deny that the second SX 8000 would be able to mount 4 tonearms, but then again, so could an SX1500, SX5000, or SX8000 without the "II." I don't know where the 30% number comes from or how one would calculate it. Personally, I've never been able to compare a table to another and come up with a 'percentage improvement'. Best of luck in your quest.

I'd like to confirm T-Bone's opinion.

Two sx8000s chained together would be about 1/10th as effective as the high inertia motor assembly of the SZ-1, from the point of view of inertia alone.

The two platter solution would however result in far less belt creep. There is no solution for this dilemma within the compliant belt drive paradigm.

Mark Kelly
Good! You answers make me rethinking the whole approach and maybe returning to the HS-80 solution.
The percentage thing is just to give a clue via distance what it could be about, it is personal and vague.
I myself had the opportunity to have the SX 8000 II as well as the RX 5000 in my chain, the latter for a very short time because it was promised to go to a friend.

As the RX 5000 is an excellent big Micro and even better than most of its modern copies the air bearing concept brings a bit more smoothness and brilliance in the picture - in my opinion.

Assuming that question was directed at me;

I think it's an interesting contrast with the Micro Seiki approach. The MS product shows a level of design sophistication and engineering input which is well beyond that achieved by VPI.

This is reflected in pricing too.
There is currently an offer for a used SX-8000 II on www.audiomarkt.de for 35.000,00 €
Yes Quiddy, The Micro product is well designed. But regarding prices they are quite on the same level. The latest HS-80 in Japan was sold for Yen 140.000 and the VPI double drive goes for around US$ 1.500. If you use the VPI dual motor flywheel in connection with the Synchronous Drive System (SDS) for additional US$ 1.000 do you think it might be a good solution for a big Micro?
Has anybody else experience with the VPI system?
Dear Thuchan: I think that Jean could help you about:

Regards and enjoy the music,
Thanks Raul, very impressive setting Jean has.
My "flying doctor" arrived today, monday evening ordered in usa, this wednesday morning delivered - we get really global now. you see a pic under "my system".
i`d like to thank all of you who advised me in this journey of improvement...Eckart
I promised to tell something about the flywheel concept I have choosen. You see it under my system pics. After one week of testing I regard the VPI flywheel double motor and the SDS (Synchronous Drive System) as a real support for the Micro`s drive. I realize some more dynamics when running both motors at the same time - but I hear a more stable sound picture too. Believe me it did not sound bad before. The fine speed control provided by the SDS is a nice feature.
Thuchan: regarding your initial question. A former friend of mine has upgraded from SX-8000 MK II to SZ-1t Ultimate and found it sounding better. Can´t tell you if it´s the drive only, but the SZ-1M is much more sophisticated that the RY-5500 MK II
There currently is an SX-8000 I on Audiogon for sale. Our state's Lotto is tonight--with luck, maybe I will be able to purchase this 'table! ;-)

As pointed out earlier on this thread, my original arrangement of my RY-5500, RX-5000 and HS-80 flywheel was less than ideal. Last weekend I rearranged the equipment as suggested by knowledgeable members here, and you can see this realignment at:


Make sure you scroll to the bottom of this page to see it.

I have also tried to post updates here to a few pieces of Micro Seiki literature with some difficulty, but the moderator tells me I may post this interesting tidbit: The Micro Seiki thread drive instructions with a knot-tying graphic. I have uploaded both a Japanese and English version. It's fun for historical purposes, too:


Finally, I wish to let everyone know I have posted an updated and cleaned-up ENGLISH version of the RY-5500 / RX-5000 manual, but am not allowed to post it here. Please visit the Vinyl Engine and search for it there.
there are not so may units of the SZ-1M around here. Frankpiet if you ever find one pls. let me know. I will give you a present, honestly.
I do think that Kipdents arrangment should work pretty well. Let me try a suggestion: Why do you display this fantastic arrangement in the lower compartment - if you put it on top of a wonderful table like from Copulare or HRS or one made by a good carpenter you might love it much more. Any obstacles? Thanks for the knotting advice, very helpful.
With this kind of air-bearing turntable, you may care to experiment by using the motor to drive the flywheel, and driving the turntable platter with the flywheel. In this arrangement the flywheel will function as a filter for motor irregularities, and in my experience this may give you a smoother yet more detailed sound. The experiment will require that you exchange the locations of the flywheel and turntable, but won't cost you anything, so why don't you try it as a Saturday afternoon project?

hth and cheers,
I decided to get that SX-8000 - wait 'till my long suffering wife finds out - may cost more in legal fees or a trip to the shop that sells the smallest rotational movements! LOL

Anyway, this will be the uber ultimate step up from my RX-5000 and as a result I will have to let my prized Oracle SE Anniversary go up for sale and my SP-10 Mk2 shortly. The RX-5000 has already been sold.

Wish me luck!

Wow, Steve--and congratulations! What an amazing 'table. Please let us know how it sounds once you have it set up--us lowly RX-5000 owners want to know! ;-)
Thanks Kip. The reason I sprung for the SX-8000 was really down to recently great results I finally got from my fine tuning the RX-5000 set up. In particular using the Machina Dynamica spring system and a special vinyl table mat I found in Germany to damp the gunmetal platter while retaining the inherent qualities. I had gone thru all types of mats previously and this is the best by far! I can send an ebay link but you have to work in German. Cost was around 50 euro plus shipping.
I would love to learn all I can about fine tuning the RX-5000. I just was a very lucky ebay winner by scoring an UNUSED Vibraplane 2210 for pennies on the dollar--it even has the original manual, air pod wrench and blank warranty card! What else should I be thinking about? I have to say I have not felt like pursuing a mat--I've never heard music like what I'm hearing now right off the platter. But, I suppose I could be convinced... :-)
Kip, cograts on that vibraplane - I looked it up on ebay, you got a great deal. I would only make one change at a time in a system, so let me now if you want to think about a mat later. BTW, I heard from Asian audiophiles that the Micro-Seiki Cu-180 copper mat does not elevate the performance of the RX series, but does have a positive impact on the SX series as an alternative to using the suction on the platter. I hope to have that SX up and running in a couple of weeks and will report back.

Steve, you´re right. The Micro Cu 180 platter brings a lot more dynamics and clear details. I don`t use it on my Micro (because of the lips!) but on my Nakamichi. Nevertheless using the Cu platter you might need an additional very fine and light mat to give additional stability for the sound. Both are worth a try!
Hallo Tuchan. Ich kenne jemanden, der sowohl einen kompletten SX-8000 MK II sowie einen SZ-1T Ultimate anbietet. Bei Interesse kontaktieren Sie mich einfach unter meiner privaten email-adresse.
Beste Grüße aus München/Berlin
I am considering now buying a second SX 8000 II because it should be the best solution for the inertia function. Means: the RY-5500 II motor unit drives the first SX-8000II, and the SX-8000 II drives the other SX-8000 II as shown in the system of Syntax on the two RX-5000. Based on the platter if it is 1:1 (same size) the speed should be no problem and the SX-8000's platter (or 1500, 5000) is heavier then the HS-80's small plate -this should lead to a more stable and wider sound stage. Also another four tonearms could be mounted on the second SX 8000 II. The first SX-8000 II absorbs variations from the motor then driving the second SX-8000 II. Sound will have an 30% improvement in comparison to the one set SX-8000II + HS-80.

Thuchan, had the configuration that you proposed with 6 arms and used a second platter as inertia buffer. I can testify that it did not make sense. The 8000 is fine-enough itself and the actions-result ratio with what you willing to do it very low, in fact there is none. I do not know what you are trying to accomplish (OK, I know) but I assure you that I was there and it was not worth it. Sure, you can do whatever you wish...