Kuzma Stabi Reference vs Avid Acutus

I have a Kuzma Stabi Reference with 4 Point arm and Dynavector XV-1S cartridge. I like this combination a lot. I have been through a few high end turntables before ending up with this set up, including the full spec Linn LP12/Ekos SE/Radikal/Keel, the AMG Viella and the Rega RP10. The Kuzma is to my ears a clear step up on all of these turntables and sounds extremely good.

But I've had the turntable for a few years and that is a long time for any component in my system. I tend to lose interest in components after 2-3 years - and often a lot sooner - and start looking for something else. I have found myself listening to more digital than vinyl for some time (I have the excellent Lumin X1 streamer). I have therefore been giving some thought to trying a different turntable, and perhaps something with a bit more character than the very neutral Kuzma. I am willing to trade off some accuracy for a "musical" sound - one which is fast, dynamic and tonally rich - and can tolerate some coloration or inaccuracy. 

The Avid turntables seem to be very highly regarded, and I am thinking of the Acutus or even the lower priced Sequel SP (I have read that some prefer the latter). I would probably keep the 4 Point arm. 

I doubt that the Avid turntables would be a real upgrade on the Kuzma in absolute terms. But would it be a significant enough change of direction, and would it be the right direction?

Getting a demo against my Kuzma is going to be difficult, so I would be interested to hear from anyone who has heard both the Kuzma and Avid turntables and can comment on how they differ. 

Showing 5 responses by rossb

Thanks for the responses. 

Mike, have you heard the Acutus and can you comment on how its presentation differs from the Kuzma?

lewm, I'm sure you are right that I would have to spend significantly more to get a genuine upgrade on the Kuzma, rather than just a different flavour. The three you mention are way out of budget - the Acutus would be the upper limit financially. But I don't necessarily need "better" - the Kuzma is certainly good enough - but would like to try something with a bit more character and a bit less accuracy. 
Good point, vortrex. I was considering a PTP Solid 9 at one point. What are you currently using?
Thanks for the suggestion, but I suspect a VPI turntable would be too similar to what I have. 

I have also been through a lot of cartridges over the last few years - Lyra Delos and Etna SL, Phasemation PP1000, VDH Black Beauty, Grasshopper and Colibri, Benz Ruby and LPS and one or two others. The DV XV-1S is my favourite so far, and I have sold the others (although I regret selling the Black Beauty, which I also loved). 
I spent some time listening to the Kuzma last night and it really is a fantastic turntable. I'm starting to agree with the comments that it would be virtually impossible to improve on it without spending ridiculous amounts of money, and the turntables I have been considering are almost certainly not upgrades.

On further thought, I will keep the Kuzma and possibly add another - cheaper! - turntable/arm with a totally different character, such as a PTP Solid with maybe an Audiomods arm and a good MM cartridge.
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.
Thanks for your thoughts. I've actually shelved the idea of replacing the turntable. I think it was just a moment of idle boredom. I have been listening to it quite a lot over the last week after a long period of listening mostly to digital. The Kuzma turntable and arm still sound excellent - there really is nothing missing in terms of musicality, and it remains the best turntable I have owned.