Deciding on which of my cartridges to go on Origin Live and Kuzma arms

I have a Kuzma Ref 2 and Ref 313 VTA and I’m considering the purchase of a Feickert Volare w/ the packaged Origin Live Silver mk4 arm. I own a trio of cartridges that include a My Sonic Hyper, an EMT Tsd 75, and a Charisma (Denon) 103. I’m trying to figure out which cartridge to mount on each of these arms. I’m not the technical sort, but for those who are, I was hoping for some guidance. Here are the specs I have gathered:

Kuzma 313 VTA- Effective Mass: 13 Grams. Has played all 3 of my cartridges well.

Origin Live Silver mk 4- Effective Mass: 12 Grams. I read the OL Silver may be better suited to low/medium compliance cartridges. I believe my EMT is High Compliance.

My Sonic Lab Hyper: weight: 9.5 grams......Compliance: 10 X 10-6cm/dyen

EMT Tsd75: weight: 12 grams...... Compliance: 12 UM/mN

Charisma (Denon) 103: weight: 8.8 grams.....Compliance: 7 UM/mN

I’m aware it’s best to mount and compare each cartridge, but my goal is to obtain an educated starting point. I also noticed the Compliance spec on the My Sonic appears different than the other two, so hopefully this can be translated for comparison. One of these cartridges will be a backup, and will likely reside on a spare head shell I have for my 313. Any thoughts are appreciated. It’s been a fun ride.


I am currently running a Charisma Signature One on an OL Conqueror and am happy with the results. As a Charisma owner you probably know they make a bunch of carts at different price points which are stellar performers. I’ve also heard good things about the EMT HSD 006 which is very close to your TSD but in a traditional body style—check the specs though. Lastly, you didn’t ask so forgive me for offering—you might want to take a look at one of the the Pure Fidelity tables instead of the Volare. I demoed the Feickert at Andy Singer’s shop and it IS a nice piece of equipment and when paired with the OL Silver and excellent value. However, I ultimately chose the PF which is similar in many ways but better built and the new Conductor speed control unit resolves my only complaints about the unit—the Maestro it replaced was small, not robust, and difficult to handle. I have two weeks on the Conductor and it is a gorgeous piece—well made, easy to use and, more importantly, delivers superior PRaT, which was my only quibble with the sound of the Harmony. I’ve got an OL Conqueror mounted with the Charisma and am getting the best sound ever when spinning records. 

You want to put the MSL in the Origin Live arm. Sell the other two cartridges 

None of the tonearms is ideal for the Charisma/Denon, but you can add mass by using a heavy headshell like the Ortofon LH9000.

dodgealum: The PF tables look gorgeous. I prefer the looks to the Volare, but that new Walnut Volare is quite nice. I actually started this quest in the $2K range. The Marantz TT 15 was the top choice until I opened my price range to $4K. So while I'm sure the PF tables are wonderful, I have to stop somewhere. (-:

mijostyn: Are you suggesting the My Sonic is better suited to the OL arm than the Kuzma.

lewn: No question, that the specs indicate the Charisma Ruby cantilever/wood 103 isn't a good match w/ the Kuzma.... but go figure...I'm quite happy with the sound.  

I just thought I'd make it clear...I have a Shindo/Altec setup that is in my system profile. But the plan for my next table is to play it into my Naim XS which is driving my Harbeth C7's. 


Here's a thought from a fellow Kuzma Ref 2 owner.  Rather than change out the entire setup, instead take out the 313 and replace it with a 4point11.  Nothing against the Dr. Feickert TTs and I certainly would have them on my short list if my Kuzma needed replacement but I believe you and your cartridges would be better served with a 4point11.  As for your question, I've not heard any OL arm with your carts but optimal results are going to be totally driven by personal taste.  Read the Korf blog as it relates to matching of arm to cart.  It's a fairly scientific approach to the topic.  I ran an SME V for many years and then replaced it with an AMG 9wC.  Although in theory it was not compatible with my Dynvector XV-1s, the combo worked well is my system.  In fact almost as well as the same cart and the 4point11.  The 4point arm excels in the quality of the machining, engineering enabling easy and consistent repeatability of setup.  You know this from your 313 VTA.  Any way, just another view.

This is certainly true as far as what shouldn't be a good match sometimes is. I've heard of two Volare/OG users having great success with a Koetsu Black. So while in theory it shouldn't work, sometimes it does. I've thought of a 4 point, but at the moment my budget is $4K max. Not only that, a second turntable allows me to complete a well balanced second system with the above mentioned Naim integrated and Harbeth speakers.