11 March, 2015

Review: Elekit TU-8500 Full-Function Preamp, Part III

Review: Elekit TU-8500 Full-Function Preamp, Part III
Brief Review: Micromega CD-10

See Part I, Part II, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

The Elekit TU-8500 came back for the last few days. I just kept on listening, much as in Part I.

Effect of Tube Change In Systems B and C, the change (from 5965 to 6189) was pretty much like in the old reference system described in Part II.

As Buffer In System C (see Part I) I switched the TU-8500 to unity gain, then control the volume by the Flying Mole's volume knob. I was hard pressed to tell the sonic difference between 1x and 3x gain, effectively indicating the TU-8500 works beautifully as a buffer.

Day 6 Elekit Meets Western Electric
Serendipity! I got a few hours to myself and lost no time in putting the Elekit into my Reference System A (decribed here):

CDP: Micromega CD-10
Preamp: Kondo M7
Amp: Western Electric 124B (original)
Speakers: Yamaha NS-1000

The Elekit TU-8500 preserved all the tactile quality of the Micromega and all the sinuous quality of the WE124. Just as in Systems B and C, this attests to its transparency. To hear the guitar solo's of Keith don't go (track 5) in Nils Lofgren's Acoustic Live to to marvel yet again at the rhythmic prowess of the WE124, inimitable in my experience. serving to remind one how wrong much of modern hifi is.

Micromega CD10, CD20, and CD30 CD Players (Hi-Fi+)Micromega CD-10 (official link; you should read the technical details). Here I welcome yet another member of Micromega into my family. Launched quite a long time ago (I commend Micromega for not changing models often), it has been well reviewed (I particularly like HiFi World and the ever-reliable Alvin Gold in techradar; for comparison of the whole line, read HiFi+ or in Chinese only u-audio)

The CD-10 (as do the CD-20, 30) uses the ever-reliable AD1853 chip, in contrast to the Cirrus Logic chip used in products meant for CAS (see my reviews of the fantastic MyDAC, Part I, Part II). The amazing thing is, the sound is like deja-vu: very much alike! And that is all to the good.

Just like the MyDAC, the CD-10 delivered all the important things in music, the venue, the tactile quality, the timing.

Part IV shall be back to the old house.


  1. This recent evaluation by Stereophile is certainly disheartening.


    After their fiasco in the late 90s that nearly bankrupted the company; one would think they would place a paramount on quality control/reliability.

    1. Thank you for your link! You must be a careful reader to find this link from 2010.

      Their problem in the 90's are largely related to Philip's CDM12 mechanism, which plagued not just them but others as well, though they certainly suffered the most. They sounded great though.

      There is something curious about Micromega indeed. These full-size CDPs and amps have been in their lineup for many years, with no new models I know of coming down the pipe. They don't sound dated, and I respect and prefer companies that don't change models often. But after your comment I now wonder if there are other reasons.

      Their recent efforts are on the mini My Range. These products sound very very good.

      I hope the reliability thing is only an occasional occurrence.