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Robert Koda's Takumi MC One Reference Phono Stage



  • Dear Robert,

    When you have obtained the patents on this technology, please do share more.  I want to relate this piece of technical elaboration with the realism of the music playback via MC1.

  • Marvel, I will be in HK soon and look forward to talking with you. I will do my best to explain the technical rationale behind the Takumi MC-One in person.
  • Robert,

    I admired your MC1 phono stage after the phenomenal performance of it at the recent AE show. It is very detailed and open.  Lots of emotions generated when I was listening to the violin.  Very well done!
  • Thank you! It would be a shame if I built these devises for personal enjoyment only! When we can sit together and enjoy the recreation of a recorded event, our souls will be touched.
  • Robert I think your ITC is using the power supply reverse and you implement / apply current sources in the topology - therefore you can use such a high PS-voltage, correct? Have you as well experimented with transformer coupling? Yes I know it does not have the frequency range of cap-coupling, especially in the high frequency range. But maybe a current source owns more complications / interactions compared to interstage transformers.
  • Robert,

    Your MC One phono is one hell of a masterpiece too! I have one too playing in my den. It is very high resolution and yet emotional.  For your information, I have 3 systems here. Practically, I have purchased mostly AE stuff. I don't like to play the ABAB comparison game too much. But my friends always like to do this comparison game. 

    It is a pure grace and joy - thanks for bringing us MC One. 
  • Jeff,

    When its right, you will know its right – No need to abba...

    I am delighted that you so enjoy MC One.  

  • Hannes,

    I am not shy of transformers even though they may not always measure well.                                                                     For sure transformers can bring upon merits in the right (and very carefully controlled) circumstances.

    Perhaps we should not delve too deeply into the technical core of design but I will say -                                             While most engineers love current sources as active loads and understand no harm, not all is that simple...

  • How do you define super amp, Robert?  What is your idea?
  • Robert 

    I would like to know "aging of transformers" in MC One would take how long?
  • The MC One is very direct, transparent and very coherent.  Your original work on a novel approach to RIAA equalisation curve clearly pays off.  The competitive edge is the original work on RIAA distortion minimisation more so than the overall S/N ratio of the unit, it seems to me this is the case.  But many recordings sound like new to me.  I should say sound very very vivid and lively.  I am especially floored by the dimensionality of the mass string section on many symphonic scores.  It does very well with Etsuro's Red flagship cartridge.  Well done. 
  • Emperor, I am delighted that you are enjoying our MC-One and many of your recordings are sounding like new!

    I would like to present the subject of “Dynamic Noise Floor” to our readers. There is much confusion in both audiophile and engineering circles... So I shall say, there is noise floor, the static one you can measure with ease. It is static, and unless very high in level, benign and unimpeding to the enjoyment of music replay.

    Static noise floor is one of those measurements manufacturers present on their spec sheets and ask you to believe in its relevance with blind confidence. Indeed even the cheapest digital systems can excel in such specifications, leaving the most advanced analog systems far behind.

    Then there is “Dynamic Noise Floor” as coined by Robert Koda – DNF. Not so much a noise but rather a gritty and shifting ghostly shadow, a clogging mush that is changing in a continuous and dynamic way yet somehow related to the music in a sickly fashion.

    It stems from the music its self when passed thru a piece of electronics or system. It is the ultimate corrupter and its nature is a direct result of a multi fold of complex interactions occurring within the make up of the circuitry. It may manifest its self in transients, or perhaps decay. Specifically in every event and every moment of music. It is our opinion that DNF is the single greatest contributor to the inferior sound of a components that otherwise “measure” so well. DNF is perhaps the Achilles heal of modern electronics...

    Much, if not all of the DNFs make up is spread across the time domain – An occurrence in the past effects the result of the near future. As you can imagine, the effect has catastrophic consequences on music replay!

    Robert Koda realized the existence of a musically modulated and ever changing Dynamic Noise Floor decades ago. Within the past eight years or so in particular we have endeavoured to understand the underlying mechanisms of DNF. Indeed this has become one of the keys in our Research and Development program and has almost certainly resulted in the (sonic) success of our K-10, K-15 and now MC-One.

    I hope this short note has given you greater insight into the “Whys and Hows” of Takumi MC-One.

    Best regards,


  • Robert

    Thanks for introducing DNF to us which is totally unheard of.  Can you share more about what has been actually deployed in the Takumi electronics to mitigate this as a result of the research and development.

    I will soon be a blessed owner of MC1 pairing with Lars which is transformer based amplification.  I look forward to understand more about this master piece!


  • Marvel兄,

    我始終覺得Takumi MC One 不夾JMF系統。當天聽MC One最靚是夾Zanden宙光和長空,佢地始終是單㟨缐路。 Zanden 仁風,在AE太過短暫,未能完成感受到最終極表現,而且當日是不是放在SRA架上。Raymond兄認為Zanden仁風應配合Etsuro旗艦唱頭,因為因為Madake Snakewood中音極度美麗,和Zanden音色有少許重叠,我也有同感。

  • I basically agree with your observations.  

    PT lately recommends me to experience the AKIRA animation soundtrack.  It is a LP with great sound effects.  Playing it through the Takumi MC One is very direct and explosive. Stage is very wide.  I am not a fan of soundtrack.  Not a fan of Japanese animation either.  But this soundtrack is quite interesting.  
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