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Micro Seiki MA-505

Dynamic-Balanced Universal Tonearm

review this tonearm (7 reviews)

Micro Seiki MA-505


The MA-505, an ideal dynamic balance type tonearm, permits tracking force to be applied linearly during playback.

The spring tracking force application system which allows linear tracking force adjustment between 0.25-3g, is totally uninfluenced by factors such as turntable location conditions or record pressings.

Furthermore, at low tracking force settings, the tracking is exceptionally stable - resulting in unsurpassed performance with high compliance cartridges.

Precision spring and tungsten wire ensure long life and unchanging accuracy.


Type: Dynamically balanced universal

Effective length: 237mm

Overhang: 15mm

Height range: 42-86mm

Height fine adjustment: 6mm

Cartridge weight: 4-10g

VTF range: 0-3g (direct reading)


flyer  English

instruction/owners manual  Nihongo

installation instructions  English

operating manual  English

service manual  English

template B (not to scale)  English

mkIII instruction/owners manual  English

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Micro Seiki MA-505 owners manual, service manuals and schematics are for reference only and the Vinyl Engine bears no responsibility for errors or other inaccuracies. The PDF files are provided under strict licence. Reproduction without prior permission or for financial gain is strictly prohibited. This website is not affiliated with or sponsored by Micro Seiki.


A "real review"

I installed a MA-505 Mk1 on a home-built turntable using the templates provided with the arm as available on

The arm itself is a very clean design with straightforward controls. It is easily installed and the set-up can be verified using the original headshell. The hole toward the rear of the headshell lines up over the platter spindle. The forward hole in the headshell centers directly over the stylus. That sets the arm and stylus position. The stylus alignment is then just a matter of checking the cantilever angle against a set-up grid. The basic installation from the templates lined up precisely with the hole in the rear of the installed headshell.

VTF is quite easy. Just balance the arm and dial in the VTF using the spring-loaded system. Anti-skate is automatic and based on the tracking force and the stylus type. I verified the tracking force to be accurately set using a Shure Stylus Force Gauge.

VTA is set in two ways. First that arm post is raised or lowered using a set-screw type of adjustment. Loosen the set-screw and raise or lower the post. The arm post in my arm is quite tight and needed considerable leverage to get the post to move. Once the arm is level with the platter surface, the set-screw can be tightened. Then there is a VTA-on-the-fly adjustment lever that can be loosened to allow finer VTA adjustment. One hint on set-up would be to center the VTA fine adjustment arm in the middle of its travel when raising or lowering the arm post while the set-screw is loose. This will allow VTA fine adjustment both up and down equally.

I mounted a Lyra Clavis Da Capo into the headshell centering the stylus beneath the forward hole. When I checked the position against the cartridge set-up grid, it was dead on. I set the tracking force to about 1.75g verified by the Shure SFG. Anti-skate was automatically set by the arm.

After about 12 hours to break in everything, I started critical listening.

As reported elsewhere, the arm is dark. The tonal balance is shifted down. This doesn't mean there isn't any treble, but the overall sound is warn and lush. Hardly what would be expected from a Clavis D.C. which always seemed to me to have a very nice overall balance. There is no lack or want for treble details, the presentation just doesn't have the [sometimes false] sense of air or high frequency splash as other arms. The perceived darkness might be partially a result of years of listening to an AT-OC9ML with its rising treble response.

All the detailed spacial ques are there. The soundstage is wide and deep, well-layered and accurate, the musicians are stationary in space with good height to the soundstage. Nobody is moving around except when the engineer spotlighted an instrument in the recording lab.

There is great tight, well-defined bass, very deep bass. I would characterize the bass as seismic, seemingly without limits to how deep it will go. I had previously measured my system response down to below 20hz. The table / arm / cart combo seemed to test this limit.

Midrange is warm and wet. No dryness or thinness with this arm. Voices are warm with a good sense of how much chest resonance contributes to a singer's presentation. Cellos are warm and musical. Horns are clean. Woodwinds are sweet and the column of air is well defined, reed starts and stops are detailed and clean.

Treble is recessed a bit and gives the overall presentation a mid- to back-of-hall perspective. That is particularly obvious with the Clavis D.C. which I feel is quite well-balanced. It's quite routine to hear the slight start transient on bowed instruments, the hf transient of a triangle strike and the hf sweetness of massed strings.

Dynamics are tight with very good snap. Not "in your face" unnaturally hot, but lifelike.

This arm would work quite well with more aggressive cartridges like an AT-OC9ML with its slight rising response. I think it would be a poor choice for Koetsu cartridges. For those who really like that "Koetsu" sound, this arm would be provided the opportunity to get that lush tonal balance with a wide variety of other cartridges. This is definitely an arm that would help tame zingy, tizzy sounding cartridges.

I would recommend this arm to anyone interested in improving their set-up or to someone who is interested in moving from a high-compliance mm or mi cartridge to a lower-compliance mc cartridge. This arm would provide really good sweet performance if the user recognizes the tonal balance of the arm and mates it to a cartridge that might have a rising response through the high frequencies.

Right now, I'm quite satisfied with the arm.

Headshell recommendation

I have a MA 505 II. Anyone have a recommendation for headshell?

Weight of 2nd counterweight for Micro MA-505 Mk. III

I just bought a Micro Seiki MA-505 Mk. III (straight tube). It did not come with the second 'sub-weight'. As fate would have it, my Benz is just heavy enough to require it. Anyone know the weight of that second weight? I am able to machine something to work but need to know that in grams. Thanks!

specifications for lateral weight for micro seiki 505

hi does anyone have the specifications for this lateral weight (micro 505) weight, thickness.... it is hard to get might as well try to make one

Lateral Balance Weight for MA-505

There were two types: A (lighter) & B (heavier).
I suppose B weighs double of A.
The specification of my weight B (as I thought being second-hand):
inner hole diameter 3mm, outer diameter 13.8mm, thickness 7.5mm
Weight 8.43g as measured.
Maybe the material is brass painted with black.

But as user of MA-505 I never meddled with this balance weight
simply mounting it nearest/shortest to lateral balance shaft. Also manual says as follows:
"When the player unit is perfectly level there are no problems whatsoever regarding lateral balancing". Hence better check your plinth with spirit level meter etc.

I hope this may help you somehow.


lateral weight for micro 505

thank you josh. i believe i`ve had the smaller weight originally. this stuff just gets into your head and you know the arm is not complete that`s all....

MA 505 wire replacement

Hi,regarding the wire replacement of the tone arm, where can i get them from? like via online stores or is there any companies distributing them in Singapore?
Hope to hear from you soon.


MA 505 wire

Hi Ymansiu,

You may want to try copier corona wire. It is available in various sizes, and most is gold plated tungsten. Years ago all copiers used this wire, and replacement was routine. There are still vendors around who have it. Maybe even a local copier shop will have some, or be willing to get it for you.


hi, everyone, does anybody

hi, everyone, does anybody know where i could get the latteral balance weights for micro tonearm 505? i have managed to break one somehow
regards & thanks