I can't speak to the "R" but I've owned a Kuzma Reference and still use an XL, which has a bonded fabric mat of some sort. My suggestion is to talk to Franc and to Scot Markwell (if you are in the States, he is the U.S. distributor). Both may have ideas to help you, though presumably chose the mat that came with the table for good reason.
I did change out the factory clamp on the XL for the Stillpoints record weight a number of years ago. I find it more "pacific"-- there was an upper bass bump using the factory clamp that gave a propulsive aspect to the sound. Compared to the Stillpoints, less prominent bass, more relaxed sound. I adjusted other parameters, including the woofers, to accommodate the clamp change. I've gone back and compared factory to Stillpoints a few times since and still prefer it to the factory clamp.
Franc does make an ebony record weight which I haven't tried. Not as crazy expensive as the Shun Mook but still pricey.
Good luck, Franc does nice work, is a nice man and I've found his support for the products to be second to none. If I ever get to Slovenia, I'm gonna visit him.
i have heard that table / arm w Kuzma CAR-50…. very nice. I don’t recall a mat, i can ask. Ed at Audio Ultra in Seattle would know - his table. I have a Brinkmann which has a screw down clamp and a Denon DP-75 w a SOTA reflex, i get great results with both.
As for Ebony….i think the really big $ are Ebony ROOT…. so i plan to dig deep, just not in the wallet… ha
Best to all in music
It all probably comes down to tuning what you’re hearing in a well treated room. Recording dependent and user dependent.
@karl_desch , the mat on the Kuzma is similar to the mat on the Sotas. It has a durometer matched to vinyl. The clamp is critical. It is a reflex clamp. It literally flexes the record into the mat to flatten it. SME uses the same system. It is not just a record weight. The only clamping system that is better is vacuum driven.
Do not play around with the Kuzma it is a well engineered table. If you want to improve its performance put it on a MinusK platform and have a hinging dust cover made for it. You can also mount any arm in the world on it, get a Schroder LT!
What phono stage are you using with your SL? I just got my Atlas SL and am getting use to it.
I would not at any time deny myself the experiences and learning that can be had from the introduction of different materials as a Platter Mat.
The Platter Mat is only a interface, a separator of a Platter from a Material that has a data etched into it.
There is a lot that can be discovered, as to how a particular material used for Platter Mat, offers a change to the perception of a replay when used in different environments.
Additionally, there is the learning of how a particular material used as a Platter Mat, can contribute to increasing/decreasing smearing, which when present and detrimental in its effect will mask the micro details. Quite possibly not enabling a very well engineered Cart' to stand out too much for its qualities in comparison to a lesser Cart'.
Creating different interfaces by using differing Types of Materials for a Platter Mat does not come with a considerable expense and a exceptional material can be found for not too much monies.
A friend with a Belt Drive TT, stuck loyal to a Manufacturers Mat for numerous years. I brought to them a selection of mats in different materials and the one they chose over their long time used one was a 5mm thick foam.
The foam mat was bought as part of Group Buy at approx' £8, it is the same material that is used for a Branded Mat that sold for over £100 as a 3mm foam.
In my system the 3mm foam was rejected, the 5mm was much more successful, this proved the same for the Belt Drive TT.
I have a large selection of Platter Mats to be used for demonstration and loan purposes.
Four of the Platter Mats I have, are selected for regular use and are each having a unique and desirable influence on the SQ. Three of the Four Selected Platter Mat Types are Branded Models and have a combined retail of approx' £700+.
It is not too difficult to understand that a £8 mat is the other in this selection of Platter Mats.
Another forum member picked up in a commentary I had offered in the past on the 5mm Foam Mat, and inquired how to acquire one. They informed me at a later date, the mat has now become their main used mat, superseding a £300-400 Gunmetal Mat.
@pindac, I think Krank Kuzma knows enough about platter mats to put the most desirable ones on his turntables. The mat is also part of the reflex clamping system which is mandatory for pitch consistency. Ideally, a mat must have the same durometer as the vinyl. A mat that is too soft will vibrate under the record and instead of passing it to the platter reflects it back at the cartridge.
A turntable should have no sound of it's own. If it does then it is defective in some way and that sound is distortion. As @rauliruegas says, "Listen to music not distortions."
@mijostyn I have learnt a lot from you over recent periods, unfortunately not of any significant value in relation to the subject enjoying musical replays and HiFi Equipment in general, the most important lesson adopted is to avoid content put on this forum by you.
Any Threads contributed to by yourself will be the indicator it is my time to exit the thread.
I don't need to see the insulting attitude you show toward the majority of Forum Members using the Analog Section, who have a desire to work outside the ideas conjured up as a result of your narrow mindedness any longer.
As for distortion free, or as distortion free as can be, I don't see anything in place from the so called Guru's that are making a distinct difference to any other methods being utilised, by the established users of Vinyl as a Source.
I also am very aware and am witnessing that long-term and very well respected users of Vinyl as a Source, especially the one's who seem not to constrained by budget, are 'not' expressing any intertest or proclaiming the need to adopt any methods proposed by the very few in number Guru's / Megalomaniac's.
@mijostyn I wish you the best with your future endeavours.
@karl_desch Apologies for the place chosen to have a 'not usual' say for myself. Good Luck with your inquiry and keep a very open mind on Mats and Clamps/Pucks, keep in mind your own listening environment is quite unique and benefits from being identified as such.
There is not a ubiquitous method to to match add on ancillaries to suit all environments.
I appreciate the advice from all. @mijostyn makes a good point though about how this flexible mat is designed to work with a reflex clamp. Others have indicated that Kuzma makes an expensive ebony clamp. But I’m going to assume Incan start with a different one. SOTA?
@mijostyn I am using a Pass Labs XP-27. The Lyra SLs are amazingly resolving without being harsh. I’m sure yours will work well with your current based phono pre. When my ETNA needs a retip I’ll send it for the Lambda update for sure.
Hey @karl_desch !
I'd suggest asking Franc his thoughts on screw-down clamp vs. Sota Reflex or other options. FWIW, I landed on the Reflex when I had an SP10mk2 with a custom copper/alum 2layer platter mat. This after trying dozens of combos of mats & weights/clamps. The Kuzma wood clamps may be intended for other platter/mat types.
Now I use the Reflex on my Sota Nova as they intend. You could easily sell a Reflex if you wanna try it. Cheers,
So the Sota Reflex doesn’t require a threaded spindle? What reflex clamps work best with a threaded spindle?
BTW, the Stabi R is on a Vibraplane which I think functions very similarly to a MinusK.
Dear @karl_desch : I think that the best reflex alternative comes with the Basis Audio clamp. I own several clamps including the SOTA one and Basis reflex is excellent.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Deasr @sbank : Nice to meet you.
Do it a favor and try the Basis clamp in your Nova, you could listen the differences.
@karl_desch, @sbank, The Kuzma screw down clamp is a reflex clamp. There is absolutely no reason to change it. I do not think you can unless the SME clamp uses the same thread. The Sota and Basis clamps are not for turntables with threaded spindles. Their clamping mechanisms might roll the thread and ruin the spindle. Spence, isn't your Nova a vacuum unit? If so you don't need any clamp at all! If you have to use anything a plain record weight is fine. My lead filled Cocobolo weight is just for show. I like looking at wood. Sota tried to sell me a reflex clamp also. Donna, bless her heart will try to sell it to everyone. The Sota tables are designed with the weight of the clamp in mind. My Cocobolo clamp weights exactly the same as the Reflex clamp for that reason but, I do not have to fiddle with a mechanism. The weight just plops on. @rauliruegas is right. The Basis clamp has a better mechanism and is beautifully machined but it is twice as expensive. it is however a pretty thing.
Karl, Which Vibraplane are you using, the 2210? The MinusK is the gold standard but I see no reason why the KSI shouldn't work and you can't beat the price. It is great that you are keeping this in mind. Now all you have to do is make a dust cover for the whole affair. As long as the dust cover is not attached directly to the turntable you can use it during play and further isolate the cartridge from the environment. Keeps the table nice and clean also.
@karl_desch The Sota Reflex isn't threaded. So agree that it wouldn't make sense w/ your threaded spindle.
@rauliruegas thanks for the Basis clamp suggestion, I'll check it out if I get a chance to try it. Cheers,
I had the Stabi R a few years back. Nice turntable - got it with the wood trim upgrade, but at the time was only limited to one tonearm, hence sold. The Stabi R clamp that came with the turntable worked great. Also tried the ebony clamp which is not a screw on - not worth it IMO.
@mijostyn I am using the 2212 Benchmate version that Steve at Sounds of Silence sells. (Awesome alliterations). It works great and as Fremer noted in his review long ago, even better with a Symposium Svelte shelf between the Vibraplane and the table. I’ll update system pictures soon.
@sbank How is the Audiomods arm treating you these days?
Ok - now I recall, I had to pay extra for the threaded clamp. $400 back in 2019.
@rdk777 . Did you move on to a Techdas after the Stab R?
Stabi R --> Artisan Fidelity SP10 Mk2 ---> TechDas AFVP.
Thom is a true gem of a guy with very extensive experience and very importantly emotionally intelligent to know….. he does not know everything…. i greatly enjoy working w him. Per my comments about the screw down Brinkmann clamp, strongly suggest you try Fraz similar but not identical design… for me, night and day sonic improvement.
Also, another vote for experimentation…. it tends to sort out the know it alls from those who are on a life long learning path…..
My best to all
@sbank How is the Audiomods arm treating you these days?
@karl_desch I still am enjoying it along with the Sota Nova VI vacuum version and Dynavector XX2MkII. I'd send it to Jeff for the latest update, but don't want to deal with a trip across the pond & back. I appreciate every day. the obvious care you gave it. Until I am in a position to consider a 4Point9, Schroeder, etc. I'll be keeping it.
Agree with you @tomic601. Thom will be testing out a Kuzma reflex clamp in a couple weeks. I’m sure he will let me know what he hears.
I should also be getting a Car 50 from a friend to demo. That should also be interesting.
@sbank Glad you are enjoying the Audiomods. There are tangible, audible improvements to be had with a 4Point but that Audiomods arm lets plenty of information through and is a joy to use. Upgrade in due time.
@karl_desch I've heard the CAR-50 cartridge many times at a dealers but recently he got in 2 different MSL cartridges that just blew me away. The Gold Sig and Platinum Sig. To be honest I found the Gold the more musical cartridge. Yes slightly more than the CAR-50 but if and it's a big if I'd save up for the MSL. Just a thought.
For reasons that escape me, I haven’t picked up Kuzma’s reflex clamp, but one is arriving shortly. I think it has something to do with being in "recovery" mode from handling our 6+ pound Anvil weight over a decade ago. Scroll to the bottom of our "Museum" page for a view of that beast:
The first time I played Kuzma’s turntables (both Stabi S and R), I was surprised at how effective Franc’s choice of mat material was. It’s remarkably close to our Carbon Fiber TPI top plates on our turntables, and in all modesty, I think we set a high bar in that regard.
Clamps and weights are funny beasts, and you never know how they’ll interact with your rig. While I agree with most of Franc’s turntable build philosophy, I’m equally prepared to be pleasantly surprised as I am to be disappointed.
... Thom @ Galibier
50/50 shot at sonic satisfaction in the high end sauce of science / sorcery / soup is good work if you can secure it… ( that’s 8 ).
I have been very pleased w my CAR-40, probably should have stretched into the -50…. Etna was unobtanium a few months back…. I think at levels being discussed, it’s MUCH more about the system ( and setup ) Isolation > Power > RFI > Cables > ( TT + Cart + Arm ) > Phono Pre….. Very rarely do we see extensive two variable changes executed and evaluated ( e.g. cartridge + setup ).
Best to all in the quest, the shared quest along different roads…
Dear @tomic601 : CAR cartridges 40-50 were made by Shelter many years ago an today cartridges make a better job.
I very happy with my three main low output cartridges (Lyra Etna SL, SoundSmith Hyperion, Koetsu Rosewood Sig. Platinum). I am going to demo the Car-50, because I can, not really in the market for a new cartridge. Just having fun with the new turntable and exploring all things Kuzma.
I would also love to listen to a MSL cart in my stereo. Don’t think I’ve heard anything negative about those cartridges (other than the obvious, price).
There is some secrecy and debate about who in Japan make the cartridge sans body for Kuzma. I don’t really care as it sounds great on the Triplaner. Like the OP , i have a few cartridges, a blessing really. It also helps to have frequent listening access to all of the Lyra line as well as all the Kuzma w exception of -60. My neighbor who runs Audio Ultra 3 minutes away has both a Dohmann and Kuzma, including Safir…. how fun
One cool thing about spending a bunch of the year in So Cal….is there are many nice cartridges/ TT, etc to hear…. MSL is on my list….
Best to everyone.
Im jealous that you have access to such high end audio products so close!
I’m curious of yours thoughts between the Dohmann and Kuzma tables.
Don - I will pm ya with extended listening impressions so as not to hijack thread, already good to great thread by OP.
Thank you so much.... I'll look forward to your PM.
My apologies to the OP!
Best wishes to all,
I think it’s unanimous - Franc Kuzma knows what he’s doing!
I think he is unique in that all of his offerings are World Class without subscribing to any one specific dogma - very refreshing to say the least!
I use a Stabi S12 table, and Ref 313 arm....on my table I find the German Pathe mat (rubber&cork) to be excellent. I am running an Airtight PC-7 thru my Modwright Ph 9.0.
I sometime prefer for some lp's no mat but somehow in my system this works best often with the mat.I have used many other mats in the past including the Boston Mat 1 (carbon fiber) and Funk Firm 3mm , I believe it depends upon your system, room and musical tastes......agree Thom is amazing and fun speak to on all things analog.