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Micromega CD players


Bourney
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I've fancied one of these for years and bought one earlier this year. I'd read that they are flakey etc but generally they seemed well thought of sonically. I've struggled to get away from using Rega CD players. I just like the way they operate and feel but I have to admit to being pleased with the Micromega. It is the stage 2 model.

These go upto stage 6 but I believe the higher numbers are newer versions of the lower 'stage' models?

Are these still fixable and is the 3 or 6 better than the 2?

at first I thought it was a little dark sounding compared with the Regas but I now love the solidity the bottom end and subtle but clean mid and top which is particularly good with electronica. A lovely bit of kit for pennies.

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The stage 2 must be 20 odd years old now. I think 4,5,6 replaced 1,2,3. Micromega are certainly still on the go so why not email them and see what support they can give.

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The best of Micromega is the transports & DACs of that era, stylish and great sounding. Very hard to beat at the price. My favourite ones are the Duo Pro 3 transport and T-DAC or Duo Pro DAC.

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The 3, or 6 as it later was when Micromega tried to distance the models from the terrible transport problems they had with the 1, 2 and 3 players, is a seriously good player.

Yes, there were many problems, but there were also fixes (many problems were grease related, as Philips made a bit of a booboo). The mechanisms themselves are now more difficult to source, but these players could be kepy going for some time to come, IMO. It depends whether or not you can give them the commitment that they might demand!

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Micromega are a completely different company now. The brand was sold off after all the older stuff broke.

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Hi, I have over the years had several of models 2 3 and 6. I believe that the 1,2 and 3 differed from the 4, 5 and 6 by the power supplies.

The main problem and I have repaired a few over the years was that the grease that Micromega used hardened either by the laser sliding up and down or as I suspected, it was due to heat.

I never had any trouble with the stage 6 which I sold on here some time back. In my opinion try and go for stage 3 or 6. I thought they sounded noticeably better.

If I remember correctly the laser was a Phillips CDM 12.4 and I obtained one from an electronics supply company in Wembley whos name eludes me.

I have heard that there is quite a few copies of the CDM 12.4

Fairly easy to replace but have a set of Torx bits. The ribbon connector is a little tricky, small hands would help.

Good luck.

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I have the Stage 6 having started with the 1 and upgraded to 5 then 6.

The difference between 1,2,3 and 4,5,6 was the EU regulation power saving that was required by law. Some argue that the 3 was infact better than the 6 that replaced it. They used a standard Phillips design but really worked on the clocking and powersupply. It paid off. I always meant to get a DAC and separate DRIVE but the DRIVE was a bit of a rip off as it was more than the STAGE 1 with less in it!

I had the bad mechanism and skipping but the Musical Design Company fixed that for free when I upgraded. I've had to replace the belt on the CD drawer and re-grease but it still works well although the mech is fussy on CD-Rs and favours Verbatim disks.

Remote died on me years ago but it is standard Phillips bit so I use a Naim remote on it now.

It is a very musical player and I am stuggling with what streamer to replace it with. I suspect I will go down the Leema route as they have a sound that seems similar, they just need to get on and make a streamer.

The current incarnation of the company has nothing to do with the old one.

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Micromega was founded by Daniel Schar, who was the real wizard behind the company, and whose great input was first truly acknowledged by the arrival of the modular Stage series CDPs in the early '90s. these were the Stage 1, 2 and 3 players, which differed mostly in the re-fittable main board that contained the most sonics-responsible PSU and DAC parts. the sudden fall of the firm began when, after several months' flawless service, almost the full range of CDPs they had sold started to skip CDs - all in the warranty period. apart from clearly realising there was some problem with the Philips CDM12.4 mech or laser, they first belived there was something also wrong with the electronics side of things somehow counteracting with the mech, so they re-designed their integrated CDP range, and issued the Stage 4, 5 and 6 players. these new CDPs were based on their predecessors using the same DAC chip (TDA1305T, doubled in the Stage 2 and 3, and in the 5 and 6) but the younger siblings contained less components, and in the case of the 3 vs. 6, minus 2 transformers. also, the sonic presentation was different, as well, in that the newer models were IME more dark-sounding than their older counterparts and, IMHO, some music in the process went ashtray, too.

since these CDPs also used the Philips CDM12.4 mech, these strated to go wrong, too, thus making an enormous expenditure for Micromega to repair the thousands of CDPs that arrived monthly to their HQ in France. moreover, as they didn't locate the cause of the real problem soon enough, customers who received back their repaired units started to experience the same problem soon again, thus failing to trust the products, which led to a big financial and market loss of Micromega. this couldn't be cured even after realising that all the nuisance was caused by the grease in the mech that, during normal use, started to stick, resulting in CD skipping and drawer sticking, and in spite of the introduction of the new Premium range of CDPs, they in the end had to close their doors. though the firm was re-started some years ago, as others above correctly stated, the present Micromega is not what that good ol' Micromega was at all.

but now, Steve, if you like the Stage 2 and want to go further up the ladder regarding integrated Micromega CDPs you should buy a Stage 3 to hear why the company, and their machines, were so much loved and cherised for. good luck, mate - and welcome in the club :-)

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Interesting take on it.

By the time I had my 1 upgraded to a 5 they had fixed the mech issue and I was told the redesign was also to conform with the tightening EU energy usage laws. The Stage 4,5 and 6 draw less current overall. I would agree that they do not necessarily sound better than their 1 - 3 counterparts.

For me the look of the player has held up very well and it doesn't seem dated. No silly CD logos on it and the display switching off is nice as it doesn't distract you. The other annoying thing with the 4, 5 and 6 is that they take 1-2 minutes after switch on before they let you use them. This is intentional but largely pointless I feel.

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I picked up a NOS stage 1 a few years ago now. I bought it with the knowledge that the CD draw was very noisy in operation so I was able to pick it up at silly money.

I went to work with some silicon grease around the runners of the draw and have had no problems at all since then.

A lovely player although a bit 'quirky' in it's operating system.

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The instantaneous track skip was very impressive at the time. It read in the Table of Contents when the disk was inserted so it could skip tracks a lot faster. The downside of this is that any errors on the CD are more likely to be picked up right away if there is an issue with the ToC.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a Stage 3 that developed the skipping fever :) Fix took about 10 mins when a friend who repaired electronics took it apart, cleaned the CD sled of the sticky grease and after applying a different type of grease it played without a hitch for another two years before I sold it. It was a superb sounding player only bettered by the replacement - a Njoe Tjoeb CDP, Marantz 4000 with a tube stage and clock added by some clever Dutch guys.

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I had the Stage 5 then upgraded to Stage 6, purchased brand new. I still have the player in my second system. Lovely sound, warm and airy. Had problems with it initially (skipping tracks) and had to send it back to Micromega factory in France for repair. No major skipping problem thereafter.

About 10 yrs ago, I did an A/B against the Stage 2 and 3 and can say that the Stage 6 is better sounding player as it has a better DAC. Very very easy listening.

Only downside is my Stage 6 developed a mechanical hum in the transformer. I did some research and it turns out that this is a fairly frequent problem with these players. Last year I contacted Micromega factory (the new one) and they sent me a new transformer for Eur 80. Could be happier.

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