I've heard the older Technics side by side with the Kuzma. My preference is the Technics. In both cases the arm was a Triplanar. Both machines are excellent but when the arm was on the Technics the soundstage had a 'locked in' feel that I am used to only hearing with reel to reel tape. Very nice.
Definitely SP-10R, this brand served audiophiles and industry professionals with SP-10 mk2 series since the ‘70s and those models like SP10 mk2 and mk3 are still very popular (used).
You can’t go wrong with new SP-10R ! It can be your last DD drive and I’m sure it will serve you for the next 40 years. The drive is beautiful, just choose the right plinth and tonearm.
The Stabi R is not the Kuzma to get. You want the Stabi Ref 2 or the Stabi M. Of the two above it's a toss up. Both tables are not isolated. You've heard from all the direct drive crowd. I'm a belt drive guy because they are the only drive you can get with an isolated sub chassis. I also have this thing about big pulsing magnetic fields under my tiny little vibration magnification device. The Ref 2 is more expensive but worth every penny. There is a whole world of vibration and noise that won't be able to get to your pick up. The Ref 2 is a tank vs that tinny, fly weight aluminum SP thing. I would also rather support a drunk Lithuanian than what is left of Tojo's forces. Buy American!
@chakster , hey! How did I do? Didn't mention Sota once:-)
I see strong opinions on Kuzma and Technics tables here. Some say the belt drive tables have more layering of the sound stage and are more spacious then direct drive tables. Some say the direct dirves are more dry sounding then belt tables but on the other hand speed stability are in the direct drives favor so I guess it all comes down to choices.
The Stabi R is not the Kuzma to get. You want the Stabi Ref 2 or the Stabi M.
Where did you hear a comaprison of the 3 Kuzma TT's or is this a fantasy in your head like many of your posts.
In actual fact the Stabi R and the Stabi M are the new generation Kuzmas with the new DC motor and controller. I know of at least one Kuzma owner who has "upgraded" from the Stabi Ref 2 to the newer Stabi R with a 4Point and is very happy.
The Stabi R uses the same motor/platter/bearing from the M and is exceptional value for money. Yes the M is better than the R at a much higher price point.
Also note that Kuzma now has an active antivibration platform in their portfolio that you could add to the R.
Personally I prefer the Kuzma to the Technics - for me the Technics are too digital sounding - its like like going to the dentist.
Thanks Dover for the reply, I hear the Technics tables have a exciting leading edge with lots of impact and Franc Kuzma tries to intragrate the best of idler, belt and DD into his tables so I hope he is right because I have yet to hear one.
Last year, I chose the Artisan Fidelity SP10 Mk2 over the Stabi R with the 4P 11 in arm. I felt that the Technics was able to retrieve more detail from the record and overall presentation was slightly better, Not the SP10R, but thought I'd share my experience anyways. Both good turntables. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
I really enjoy your comments and it helps to hear what people think about these two tables because I will not have a chance to hear the Technics SP-10R in a Acoustand plinth or a Kuzma table before I buy one because of the distance I will have to travel to listen to one.
Thanks for your opinions.
I have a very early SP-10 (mark I)- not the desired motor, heavy platter or speed control) that I have owned since 1973 and had Bill Thalmann restore it. I also have a Kuzma XL with Airline arm, which was the big daddy of the line originally. Not a fair comparison in the sense that my SP-10 is not in the league of the mk II, let alone the mk iii or the new model, but I will tell you I’ve had that table for what? almost 50 years and it still sounds great. Ditto the big Kuzma, which is a commitment, partly because it requires more measures to isolate effectively given its mass. I can tell you Franc Kuzma is a very good guy. I’ve had overnight turnaround on some stuff from Slovenia! Crazy (that was when I lived in NY so it was an easier flight than to Austin, TX where I live now). And if you are in the States, Scot Markwell is a pleasure to deal with and actually knows what he is talking about.
You should try and audition the tables. I think the sound of a turntable is hard to discern without a controlled comparison involving no other variables. Pretty tough to do but possible if you are in a place that is audio-heavy. Austin is a backwater compared to NY, but NY isn’t what it was during the ’80s for hi-fi. Depending on where you have to travel to hear these, it might be worth a round trip ticket, I dunno. (Oh, flying sucks right now, sorry, but I'd travel to hear something if I knew in advance that the necessary arrangements were made to set up a meaningful comparison).
Oh, flying sucks right now,
It sure does! But car rental isn't a thing right now either- flying is a lot cheaper if it goes well. If you fly you stand a good chance of having luggage going missing, missing a connecting flight and spending hours on the phone trying to get the mess sorted out while staying someplace you didn't plan on, and then having to make a claim against the airline(s) down the road, and somehow hoping they'll reimburse you for the expenses caused by their current ineptitude.
My recent trip on the Colorado Trail was bookended by airline horror...
My vote is for the Technics but personally I would wait until I could hear the tables in question before I bought anything. Otherwise I would never know what I was missing, if anything.
@dover, in my head? Do you mean my imagination? That is pretty insulting dover. Turns out I just purchased a new turntable and listened to all the Kuzma's except the XL and the S. The Ref 2 is a better sounding turntable than the stock R. Would an isolation platform change that evaluation? I would think so but I have no idea how much. I think you put way to much stock in motors. They are either quiet and accurate or not.
The Drives in both the R and Ref 2 are more than adequate and neither is affecting the sound of either turntable. The Chassis however is a different story. The Chassis will determine how much pollution will get to the cartridge and that is major. You are entitled not to think so and that is your problem. Mass is not enough to protect a turntable. I the whart will testify to that as he put his XL on a MinusK platform. Frank Kuzma is a very interesting guy. It seems he wants to satisfy everyone. So, he makes one of everything. He has his moments of genius as exemplified by the 4 Points but then he goes and makes a unipivot arm. Then, for the tangential crowd he makes the air line. The Stabi R is a turntable for those who want to use multiple tonearms. If you were looking for a table that could take 4 arms in that price range and could afford an isolation platform to go with it along with a dust cover that could cover the whole show then it could be the perfect table for the job.
In my case it came down to the Stabi M vs the Sota Cosmos Eclipse Vacuum. I prefer vacuum clamping, am comfortable dealing with Sota, and there is no competition regarding price.
I can't help it dover if you think I have a vivid imagination. Perhaps if i do another gummy it will go away....or get worse.
Dover is unable to express an opinion of his own without throwing in a gratuitous insult along with it. The OP has opened up a pre-existing can of worms. The vinyl world is divided into those who advocate direct drive turntables and those who prefer belt drive turntables. The better those two drive types get, the more they sound the same. I would advise the OP to make up his own mind by going to whatever lengths it takes to have a listen to the respective turntables. Then he may be able to decide for himself. But before you do anything please discount the other BS that Mijostyn cannot resist repeating every time he comments on a direct drive turntable, the bit about the “pulsating magnetic field”.Designers of direct drive turntables know full well about the potential for EMI sourced noise. They are not idiots. The tables of best quality are well shielded against such interference. Just as some of the very best belt drive turntables have taken into account the phenomena of belt creep and belt slippage, and the other speed anomalies that can plague a belt drive turntable.I will freely admit that I am in the high quality direct drive camp, but if I were to purchase a belt drive turntable, at a reasonable cost to me, it would most likely be a Kuzma. I think those are very intelligently designed. In short, if you want to close your eyes and choose one, you really cannot go wrong with these two.
Wouldn't Brinkmann be in the same conversation as the above mentioned turntables? And yes, I am well aware that the OP didn't include Brinkmann in his comparison. Just wondering.....
I am taking every thing into account all of you have said about both tables. After all that has been said both tables are good to go and if I get the Kuzma I plan to put it on a HRS M3X2 isolation base as I have talked to Mike at HRS and he knows how to get the best sound out of almost any table with his bases. Yes Brinkmann is also a very good table.
Which Brinkmann? They make both types.
An HRS or SRA or Townshend platform is a must. Currently I lean toward the Townshend Podium. Kuzma is a great TT but Technics is a major company with extensive R and D and a well deserved reputation to maintain. And you might consider a Triplanar arm.
@lewm, Just because I have a psychological problem with big pulsating magnetic fields doesn't mean that everything I say is BS. Most maybe, but not everything.
Buy SP-10R and if you don’t like it sell it to me with huge discount :)
Not that there's anything wrong with your obsession over big pulsating magnetic fields, Mijo. Not at all.
what TT does the OP have now, or recently….?
i asked this on the newer thread…also…..
@lewm, I just do not like them under my cartridge. Aluminum will not shield magnetic fields it takes a plain steel late to do that. If there is no steel between the cartridge and motor there is no shield.
There is not one single high quality direct-drive turntable that I can think of that relies solely upon aluminum as an EMI shield. For one example, the Kenwood L07D uses a 7mm thick stainless steel platter sheet under the LP (~5 lbs of stainless steel), and in addition the coreless motor itself is totally encased in shielding. Also, do you think that belt-drive turntables which place the motor under the chassis usually adjacent to or even under the platter would necessarily be free of the issue with which you are so obsessed? Most of those motors in mid-price belt-drives are totally unshielded, though I am sure there are exceptions. Furthermore, belt-drive motors are running at much higher RPM than does any direct-drive motor, which might further enhance EMI radiated from them. But that is not my major theoretical objection to the average suspended belt-drive turntable, and you know it, because I have mentioned it before, but I had decided to keep mum on this thread for Sota lovers.
Typically, the chassis, including the platter bearing and the tonearm pivot are suspended, but the motor is anchored to the plinth. Thus when the suspension is activated, the platter and tonearm are isolated but the motor is static. This will inevitably result in stretching and relaxation of the belt, which will inevitably result in speed instability. That seems like a bigger more insurmountable problem than EMI and how to avoid it. The Doehmann and other very high end belt drive turntables do avoid the issue by mounting everything on the suspension, which is a MinusK in the case of the Doehmann. I owned both an AR turntable (at the beginning of my particular Oddysey in the 70s) and several turntables later a Star Sapphire Series III, with vacuum (1990s). As you know, I realized in retrospect that my SSS had significant problems with pitch stability. I went from the SSS to a Nottingham Hyperspace, an unsuspended belt-drive. Once I added a Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller to that turntable, I was made aware of where the SSS went wrong. I don’t want to rain on SOTA, because I believe they have taken steps to rectify this problem, although I am not sure exactly what. To be clear, I am sure the Cosmos and Millenium are fine turntables.