Kuzma StabiR/4Point9/Ortofon-Anna D
Copyright 2020 © Troels Gravesen

Go to: 2023:

A friend asked me to come and hear his new Sikora turntable. The result can be seen below. Not at all what he had bought, but the result of months of speculation and reading reviews. I'd seen and heard the Kuzma products several times in Munich and had always been taken by their solidity and non-pretentious design.
The 11" 4Ppoint and 9" 4Point9 tonearms have gotten rave reviews everywhere and I've seen people, whose sonic judgment I deeply respect, use the StabiR and 4Point/4Point9. If they can live with it - I felt confident I could too.

My friends system is very different from my own, but from the first record I could hear calmness and control from the 80 kgs turntable. The turntable itself that should always be the solid foundation upon which we place our tonearm, our cartridge, our cables, etc., all the way to our speakers. What resonances may originate from our turntable will end up amplified in our speakers. Not least when we start out with something like 0.2-0.4 mV from our  MC cartridges.
I'm pleased with the performance of my Maglev/SME and Denon DP67L/Moerch DP8 turntables - but this Sikora convinced me it might be possible to extract even more from our vinyl grooves.
My recent purchase of My Sonic Lab EMINENT EX cartridges for both turntables had brought new levels of quality to my systems, but what if...
Thus, I took the plunge and ordered StabiR turntable and 4Poin9 tonearm with Cardas Clear Cable with Silver Bullet RCA plugs from Gert Lindgreen at High End Sound/Denmark. Delivery, despite the pandemic, was surprisingly fast, less that a month. These Kuzma components come from Slovenia.

I sat up the StabiR/4Point9 with the EMINENT EX cartridge and put on a troublesome piano record and here it was. That last bit of treble shimmering I had noticed on my other turntables - on a few piano recordings - was gone. In addition to this that background calmness, I don't know any other way of describing it, that struck my mind at my friends' system was apparent.
I don't excel in long sonic descriptions, but record after record - an ease of listening. I'm sure we're susceptible to minute levels of distortion on an unconscious level and we may even praise certain types of distortion. Only by trying out other components and combinations can we sometimes be lucky and discover things we thought was how it should be - but turned out to be - nonetheless - distortion. We really only have that level of relaxation as a guideline for picking out components. Components all have sonic signatures and we can set up systems in numerous ways that makes us feel comfortable and one system may be as right as the other. Matter of taste - and "pick your poison" as someone cleverly put it.

This turntable has pleased me so much I bought a 2nd unit for my workshop system - here with a Jelco TK850S tonearm. Read here:


Anna D:
The Ortofon Anna D was not bought just on the recommendation of Michael Fremer/Stereophile, although that review leaves no doubt he likes the Anna D - a lot! Download article here.
You hear stuff here and there and you try to value the statements given by people having been in touch with this cartridge - or even own it. So, another plunge and the Anna D was on my 4Point9 tonearm - and I wasn't disappointed. This cartridge does whatever other cartridges may do well - all together in one package. I can't pinpoint one single thing where I would miss specific qualities from other cartridges. Read MF's review and I can subscribe to every single statement.

One really weird thing is that this Anna D has made me hear numerous vinyls pressed in the 60'ies and 70'ies. A lot of these 2nd hand records I have considered worn and despite careful cleaning on my ProJect Vinyl Cleaner I mostly listened for sake of curiosity. The Anna D tells another story. What the heck is going on I can't tell, but this cartridge has the ability to extract the best and not focus on all the things that may have been lost over the years due to bad cartridges, poor handling and general wear. A lot of these vinyls also have a distinctive 60'ies voicing, where a modern mastering would increase bass and try reducing some sibilance. The Anna D let me forget about their shortcomings and fully enjoy the music. I'm really puzzled by this - or maybe the Annas "special polished Nude Ortofon Replicant 100" tip just digs into places where no needle ever was before. Who knows?


Unpacking and setting up is half the joy




Next in line for an investment is a rock-stable rack for my turntable and pre-amp.
See my rack here.

For once I'll keep track of actual hours on the cartridge with this Stylus Timer :-)

I later found out this Kuzma clamp is a must-have. Just works great with only a few turns to tighten the record firmly to the 1 mm Origin Live mat. The clamp is not easy to find on the Kuzma website, but here it is:


By the way!


As much as I'm pleased with the Kuzma StabiR/4Point9, the finger lift on the headshell just plain sucks! A tiny 2 mm pin meant for dwarfs. This modified SME finger lift and an M2 screw does it. This is made for a grown man's fingers and you feel safe and in control.


The Anna cartridge has three elevated points for coupling to the headshell. The front point exactly fits into a hole in the Kuzma headshell, thus does not mate properly. So, from 2 mm aluminum sheet a small plate was cut to fit the dimensions of the headshell. A splash of black paint and it's ready to go. Aligning an Anna cartridge on a Kuzma headshell is not easy.

Platter with Origin Live mat. This mat is quite a PIA in the beginning due to static electricity - sits firmly to the record when lifted. Seems to diminish over time. I have ordered a zero-stat gun to see how that works.


2023: 4Point (11)

Above my StabiR with Kuzma 4Point, the 11 inch version with VTA on-the-fly.
Now, the story is this: I had an old arm for testing, added the Schick headshell - and it bettered my beloved Jelco arm. Dammit! So, I took the 4Point9 to my workshop system and mounted it on my Stabi-R turntable with my MSL cartridge and they did a really good match and brought enhanced transparency and solidity to the midrange, so the Jelco had to go and be replaced my my 4Point9.
So, what about my living room system? Hmm.. I really like the Kuzma stuff and knowing the 4Point is one of MF's reference tone-arms together with the SAT so why not? I ordered the 4Point. Being more than pleased with the 4Point9/Anna-D combo I wasn't expecting much of an improvement, but I was surprised to find a further increase in the level of transparency and soundstage solidity. This 4Point-11 really is a phenomenal arm and would the SAT really be an improvement?