ELAC Miracord 50 Review

by crackler01

Today I will present to you ELAC’s legendary turntable in a new review – ELAC Miracord 50 Review.

ELAC Miracord 50 Review – Intro

ELAC returned to turntables releasing the beautiful model Miracord 90 Anniversary, and then introduced other designs, a bit cheaper – Miracord 70 and 50. This is not the end, because at the May 2018 event in Munich another Miracord – 60 was presented. Meanwhile, I will present the cheapest model but the number 50 has its own history – it was the Miracord 50H, which was offered in the 1960s and 1970s, that is considered one of the most important achievements of German turntable technology and an example of German reliability because many 50H units are still in use.

ELAC Miracord 50 Review

ELAC Miracord 50 Review

ELAC has established the style of its modern turntables with the Miracord 90 Anniversary. A high, bulky plinth is characteristic, resulting not only from the design idea but also from the good insulation of the electronics hidden there.

The Elac Miracord 50 is much more modest, but you can see a similar approach. The plinth is rounded at the edges, the finish of the sidewalls, the front and back are matte (silver gray), and the top – is black high gloss.

The platter is beautifully cut off from it – with a shiny silver rim – and at the same time, it is in harmony with the rest of the base. The tonearm is a structure based on a straight tube with a socket and an angular head with an openwork spine screwed into it. The tonearm has an effective length of 223.6 mm (8.8 “), and the bearings are made of stainless steel. The base of the tonearm is fitted with a convenient anti-skating adjustment with a small knob, which is typical of many Japanese turntables.

Elac Miracord 50 - tonearm and cartridge

The arm is a straight tube with a socket into which we screw the angled head; the openwork ridge allowed to reduce the mass and obtain the optimal resonance frequency of the system.

ELAC Miracord 50 Specifications

Turntable Section:

  • Drive System: Belt Drive
  • Motor: DC Motor
  • Selectable Speeds: 33-1/3 and 45 RPM
  • Motor Servo: Speed Rotation and Servo System
  • Rotation Speed Variation: +/- 1%
  • Wow and Flutter: 0.1%
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio: -67 dB or higher (A-weighted) -60dB or higher (unweighted)
  • Platter: Aluminum die-cast
  • Platter Diameter: 0 in / 300 mm

Tonearm Section:

  • Type: Aluminum tube, static-balanced
  • Effective Arm Length: 8in / 223.6 mm
  • Stylus Pressure Range: 0 to 4 g
  • Cartridge Weight Range: 3.5 to 6g
  • Effective Arm Mass: 27.4 g
  • Overhang: 18.6 mm
  • Offset Angle: 25 degrees
  • Anti-Skating: Adjustment Supported
  • Main Bearing: Stainless steel

Cartridge Section:

  • Type: Audio-Technica AT91 moving magnet
  • Stylus Construction: Bonded diamond
  • Mount: Half-inch
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Channel Separation: >18 dB
  • Channel Balance: 2.5 dB
  • Vertical Tracking: Angle 20 degrees
  • Stylus Pressure: 2.0 g +/-0.5 g
  • Cartridge Weight: 5.0 g +/-0.5 g
  • Stylus Pressure: 2.0 g +/-0.5 g
  • Headshell Weight: 0 g (including screws, nuts, and wires)

Phono Equalizer Amplifier:

  • Type: Moving magnet (MM)
  • Phono Output: 2.5 mV (1 kHz, 3.54 cm/sec)
  • Line Output: 140 mV (-17 dBV)
  • Phono/Line: Switchable
  • Supported Load Impedance: 47 kΩ

General:

  • Connector: RCA pin jack including RCA cable accessories
  • Voltage: 100 to 240 V AC / 50 to 60 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 1.5 W (less than 0.5 W at standby)
  • Dimensions: (WxHxD) 5.5 x 16.05 x 14.20
  • Weight: 12.10 lb

You can download the manual here->ELAC Miracord 50 Manual

Elac Miracord 50 Review – Construction

Elac Miracord 50 is a fully manual construction, without any electronic accessories. The plinth has a multi-layer structure to dampen vibrations. The die-cast aluminum platter is damped on the inside with a layer of thick rubber.

From the DC motor, the torque transfers the belt to the inner, smaller plate collar. Inside the plinth, a sensor is installed that reads the rotation of the main bearing (on which the platter rests, and therefore the plate). At this point, the rotational speed should be ideal (according to the selected standard).

In the coupling system, the sensor transmits data to the microprocessor on an ongoing basis, which makes the necessary corrections. There are two rotary speeds (33.3 and 45 rpm), set by a knob, the central position of which switches the drive off.

ELAC Moiracord 50 speed selector

One knob is used to turn on the turntable and select the speed. Miracord 50 will play 33.3 and 45 rpm records.

Elac Miracord 50 Review – Assembly

Today, turntables without complete factory equipment and at least partially calibrated do not exist on the market of popular devices. ELAC provides absolutely everything you need.

Unpacking and assembling the turntable is a matter of a few easy operations. First of all, the assembly of the headshell (with the cartridge), the counterweight, and the platter. In the additional settings, however, ELAC declares that the tracking force of the needle was factory-set; but, of course, you can change it, as well as anti-skating.

ELAC Miracord 50 Turntable, Glossy Black with Silver Base (MRC501-GB)
ELAC Miracord 50 Turntable, Glossy Black with Silver Base (MRC501-GB)*
by ELAC AMERICAS LLC
  • Superior isolation is achieved with a chassis designed to minimize the sonic effects of vibration and feedback.
  • A low-noise DC Servo motor drives a die-cast, High-inertia aluminum platter with special record mat via a rubber belt, resulting in Stable speed and minimal wow and flutter.
  • The tonearm is a static-balance, straight-tube design with precision bearings, built-in anti-skate adjustment and removable bayonet-style head shell.
  • The Mira cord 50 comes complete with a built-in defeat able phono preamp for correct RIAA equalization. No costly phone stage to line-level preamps.
  • Styled to complement any interior, the Mira cord 50 is available with a silver chassis and gloss-black plinth. A hinged, Tinted dustcover is included.
Prime  Price: € 351.39 Buy now at Amazon*
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping
Last updated on 02/07/2022 at 09:59 - Image source: Amazon Affiliate Program. All statements without guarantee.

The cartridge was screwed to the headshell, and the whole thing was precisely adjusted. Due to the safety of delicate elements, it is not possible to transport the turntable with a screwed counterweight (although some manufacturers have redesigned this element so that it also works). The hardest part can go with the dust cover hinges (and this is not an isolated case) that fit tightly. Increasingly, inexpensive turntables are equipped with integrated correction preamp modules.

Probably due to the reactions of the users (when the turntable did not have a preamplifier), who were surprised that the sound was not as it should be, they did not know why, and when they found out (or not) … they felt betrayed. So the ELAC Miracord 50 has a preamplifier. The rear panel looks very classic (as in many competing turntables), there is a pair of RCA sockets with a grounding pin, a power connector (the power supply itself is an additional, small, wall cube), and a mode switch (with or without equalization).

ELAC Miracord backside view

Miracord 50 is equipped with an external power supply. On the rear panel, in addition to the RCA output, there is a switch for the built-in preamplifier.

Elac Miracord 50 – The Cartridge

For the so-called first assembly, Elac chose an Audio-Technica MM cartridge, the AT91 model, officially discontinued, or at least not available in retail sale.

Perhaps Audio-Technica still offers it to OEM customers, or perhaps the manufacturers themselves have their own stocks. In terms of construction, the AT91 is a cartridge with a replaceable needle with a basic conical cut.

The output voltage level is the standard 3.5 mV (according to Audio-Technika), Elac himself defined this parameter as 2.5 mV. Perhaps we are dealing with some special edition (a different magnetic system?), Or maybe a harmless mistake.

It doesn’t matter, anyway, the cartridge will work flawlessly with almost every phono preamplifier. The AT91 is a very similar design to that used by Denon in the DP-450USB.

This model of the cartridge is now replaced with an ATN91 cartridge.

Audio-Technica ATN91 Replacement Conical Turntable Stylus for AT91
Audio-Technica ATN91 Replacement Conical Turntable Stylus for AT91*
by Audio-Technica
  • Replacement stylus for AT91 and AT3600 cartridge
  • Conical stylus
  • Bonded round shank construction
List Price: € 29.00 You Save: € 4.92  Price: € 24.08 Buy now at Amazon*
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping
Last updated on 02/07/2022 at 09:59 - Image source: Amazon Affiliate Program. All statements without guarantee.
ELAC Miracord 50 with Audio-technica AT91 cartridge mounted

The cartridge was selected from the Audio-Technica offer; it is the basic MM model, but – what is important – you can replace the cartridge itself, which costs only a few dozen dollars.

Looking at the arrangement of many elements of the Elac Miracord 50 turntable: tonearm, drive, connection panel, and also (or maybe most of all) the packaging, I think of a few other similarly built turntables: from the Teac, Reloop … and you would probably find more.

None of them are exactly like the Miracord 50, but the similarities suggest that production takes place in the same factory. This is by no means a reason to be ashamed, the next NAD C558 was in turn made in the Pro-Ject factory, from where the turntables for Music Hall come from, and McIntosh orders its designs from Clearaudio…

ELAC Miracord 50 Sound Test

The general assumptions of the Miracord 50 sound are similar to those of the Denon DP-450USB. There is nothing extraordinary about it, many turntables in this class implement the well-established “analog” presentation.

Also in the Miracord, the midrange is important, compared to the Japanese competitor, even smoother, sweet, creamy, “caressing”, and at the same time stable and well saturated, smoothly connected with the low registers.

The Elac Miracord 50 is great at focusing vocals (and other foreground sounds), focusing attention on the most important sounds. A slight push of the leader forward, a general outline of further plans – and we have music at our fingertips, friendly and pleasant on practically any material.

ELAC Miracord 50 Turntable, Glossy Black with Silver Base (MRC501-GB)
ELAC Miracord 50 Turntable, Glossy Black with Silver Base (MRC501-GB)*
by ELAC AMERICAS LLC
  • Superior isolation is achieved with a chassis designed to minimize the sonic effects of vibration and feedback.
  • A low-noise DC Servo motor drives a die-cast, High-inertia aluminum platter with special record mat via a rubber belt, resulting in Stable speed and minimal wow and flutter.
  • The tonearm is a static-balance, straight-tube design with precision bearings, built-in anti-skate adjustment and removable bayonet-style head shell.
  • The Mira cord 50 comes complete with a built-in defeat able phono preamp for correct RIAA equalization. No costly phone stage to line-level preamps.
  • Styled to complement any interior, the Mira cord 50 is available with a silver chassis and gloss-black plinth. A hinged, Tinted dustcover is included.
Prime  Price: € 351.39 Buy now at Amazon*
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping
Last updated on 02/07/2022 at 09:59 - Image source: Amazon Affiliate Program. All statements without guarantee.

The snare drum and percussion tones are even quite dynamic, and the guitars are vibrant, and when needed – strong and distorted. The Elac Miracord 50 can cope not only with delicate recordings, but it is especially fond of them.

Here, however, it is worth paying attention to the influence of the built-in preamplifier. With its operation (i.e. when the turntable is connected to the line input of an external amplifier), the sound is soft in the midrange but short on the bass – economical, with good control, and without low extensions.

Other (external) preamplifiers have shown that this can be changed, achieving a more massive, abundant, and free sound. It must be admitted, however, that the built-in preamplifier is surprisingly good in terms of transparency, this cannot be easily improved.

The output level (with the equalization turned on) is low – this is not a problem in the case of an integrated amplifier with standard sensitivity (and at least average output power) and we should not be bothered by the desire to adjust the volume knob to areas much further than in the case of a CD player.

Final Verdict

The cheapest model in the Miracord family, but keeps the style of the prestigious 90 Anniversary. High and elegant plinth, belt drive with electronics stabilizing rotation, straight arm with an angled headshell. The set includes a basic MM cartridge by Audio-Technica.

The sound of the ELAC Miracord 50 turntable is potentially strong and spacious (with a good external preamplifier), with a built-in one – lighter, but always with a dense, sweet midrange.

ELAC Miracord 50 Pro & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to change cartridges
  • Sound is well rounded

Cons

  • Pretty low output
The Miracord 50 from Elac is ideal for anyone who wants to dust off their old record collection or is looking for a solid turntable at an affordable price. The quick assembly is particularly impressive. No special vinyl knowledge is required here. Thanks to the integrated phono preamplifier, the ELAC turntable is compatible with any system. This saves money that you can invest in a higher quality pickup. Then the Miracord 50 plays a little more powerfully and with more dynamics. Worth a recommendation in this price range.
Facebook Comments Box
5/5 - (1 vote)
crackler01
Follow me
Latest posts by crackler01 (see all)

You may also like