Kuzma 4 Point 9

Marcus

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Oct 5, 2012
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#2
Congrats rossb. Looks very nice. Are you satisfied with it's performance? What tonearms have you used in the past?
 

rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#3
Congrats rossb. Looks very nice. Are you satisfied with it's performance? What tonearms have you used in the past?
Thanks, Marcus. Aside from the Stogi Reference, I also have an Audio Origami PU7 and a Jelco SA-750D for mono cartridges. I have previously owned a Linn Ekos I and II, and Ekos SE on my (former) LP12, an SME IV on my Orbe SE, a Micro Seiki MA-505 II and a Moerch DP-6 and UP-4 on my Nottingham Ace Spacedeck, and one or two others.

I am still getting a grip on the sound of the 4 Point 9. It is very detailed, very transparent and fast, but a shade less dynamic than the Stogi Reference and PU7. But the Stogi Reference is also a little rolled off on top and has tubbier bass. The PU7 is probably just as neutral, a bit more dynamic, but not quite as transparent. It is still early days, since the internal wiring is still running in.

Edit: I forgot to add I also had the AMG 12 inch arm with my AMG V12 which preceded the Kuzma, and a Naim ARO on my LP12 betweek Ekoses I and II.
 
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Marcus

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Oct 5, 2012
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#4
I am still getting a grip on the sound of the 4 Point 9. It is very detailed, very transparent and fast, but a shade less dynamic than the Stogi Reference and PU7. But the Stogi Reference is also a little rolled off on top and has tubbier bass. The PU7 is probably just as neutral, a bit more dynamic, but not quite as transparent. It is still early days, since the internal wiring is still running in.
Yes, those wires need time. Thanks for your report and keep us posted on developments.
 

rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#7
Also i am interesting in PU7,
i think that at that price there is anything better
While I haven't heard everything at the price, the PU7 is an excellent arm. It is better in some respects - neutrality and timing - than the similarly priced Kuzma Stogi Reference, although I do like the Stogi Reference as well. I certainly prefer both to the SME IV I owned some years ago.

Hi,

Nice to see someone with same turntable :)

I am using the Triplanar VII with mine.

Best,

Bill
The Kuzma/Triplanar combination is said to be an excellent one. I haven't heard the Triplanar but would love to do so one day. I believe the designer of the Triplanar uses the Kuzma Reference turntable in his own system.
 

Marcus

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Oct 5, 2012
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#8
The Kuzma/Triplanar combination is said to be an excellent one.
It is. I used to have this combo for years and was extremely satisfied with it. But when I bought the XL4, Triplanar was unfortunately no longer good enough or was not a good match. So I bought the 4Point. Need to listen and compare this new baby to the 4Point 11 one day...
 

rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#9
Well, the 4 Point 9 has been boxed up and is being returned to the dealer. After living with it for a week, I decided it wasn't the sound I was looking for. This is not a criticism of the 4 Point 9, which is a great arm. It is certainly the most neutral, detailed, holographic arm I have heard. It just lacks the dynamics, impact and density of my Audio Origami PU7 and the Stogi Reference. The Stogi Reference is noticeably less transparent, has a tubby bass and a rolled off top end - and yet sounds dynamic and engaging. The PU7 has most of the good qualities of the 4 Point 9, but adds tonal density and dynamics, so that is the arm I plan to use with my Stabi ref 2.

I'm fortunate that my dealer will let me exchange the arm for something else - probably a Kuzma cartridge.

 

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rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#11
Primarily the Van den Hul Black Beauty, but also a VdH Frog, Benz LP-S, Ortofon Cadenza Black and Shelter 501.
 

Marcus

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Oct 5, 2012
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#12
Well, the 4 Point 9 has been boxed up and is being returned to the dealer.
Now that was quick. Are you sure you gave it enough time? Don't think the tonearm cable show it's best in a week unless it's been trough a cable cooker...
 

rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#13
Now that was quick. Are you sure you gave it enough time? Don't think the tonearm cable show it's best in a week unless it's been trough a cable cooker...
You are right that the cable will not have fully run in. However, I don't think the issue was to do with the cable. I have been doing this long enough (around 30 years) that I have a pretty good idea when something is not going to work out. As I said, it was a very good arm. A few audiophile buddies who heard it thought it sounded fantastic and better than my two other arms. The same day I boxed it for return one of them came round to hear it and described the Stabi Ref 2 and the 4 Point 9 as his "end game" turntable. However, with experience we all know what works for us and what doesn't, and unfortunately the 4 Point 9 did not suit my musical priorities.
 
Jan 28, 2015
256
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Wales, UK
#14
You are right that the cable will not have fully run in. However, I don't think the issue was to do with the cable. I have been doing this long enough (around 30 years) that I have a pretty good idea when something is not going to work out. As I said, it was a very good arm. A few audiophile buddies who heard it thought it sounded fantastic and better than my two other arms. The same day I boxed it for return one of them came round to hear it and described the Stabi Ref 2 and the 4 Point 9 as his "end game" turntable. However, with experience we all know what works for us and what doesn't, and unfortunately the 4 Point 9 did not suit my musical priorities.

Yes we all have different tastes or priorities as you put it. I have a Kuzma XL dc with a standard 4point and ref 313 similar to your stogi. I find the 4p more dynamic than the stogi although the stogi is more forgiving, a bit less revealing, although I think it is an excellent arm especially for the price.

I think in part it is a combination of cart and arm, at the moment I use a Lyra in the 4p and have a colibri in the 313. I had a couple of Benz Ebony LPs (not S) in the past ( with linn LP12 and ekos) which I liked but I found to be rather soft and lacking transparecy when compared to the colibri, initially in a sme 20/2a and then XL4. However the colibri can sound bright, exaggerating sibilance - my air tight PC3 and shelter harmony have a much better balance overall.

I have found the 4pt shows up any inaccuracies in set up (vta azimuth etc) - it took a while for me to get the Lyra to sound of it's best, this is my favourite combination now.
 
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rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#15
Thanks, interesting comments, and your system is very impressive. I understand what you mean when you say that the 4P is more dynamic the Stogi - it is certainly faster, and handles transients better than the Stogi, and is noticeably more transparent. The Stogi is definitely more forgiving, giving everything a smoothness and richness which is perhaps a little artificial, although it is very musical.

I notice you are also from a Linn/Naim background, and I went through this phase, owning an LP12 for 20 years and a full spec Naim system for some years around 2000. At that time I had a period with a Naim ARO on my LP12, which is the arm the 4 Point 9 most reminded me of. Like the ARO, it was very articulate, great sense of flow and speed, and very detailed, but still lacked something I was looking for. In the case of the ARO, I went to the Ekos II. I guess I just prefer the sound of traditional gimballed arms for some reason.

I was thinking of upgrading my Stogi Ref to the 313 VTA but was wondering whether it would be too heavy for my VdH Black Beauty, but as you seem to be using a Colibri successfully with it, it sounds like it shouldn't be a problem. On that subject, I was recently choosing between the Colibri and Black Beauty, and having read all the comments about the difficulties of setting up the Colibri, and its schizophrenic character - sounding fantastic with some records and less so with others - I decided to go with the Black Beauty and haven't been disappointed.
 
Jan 28, 2015
256
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Wales, UK
#16
Yes like many others I managed to escape the Linn/naim tyranny haha, did not get to try the Aro though.

Schizophrenic is the perfect description of the colibri, when it arrived it sounded thin with an emphasised treble I persevered with endless adjustments of arm parameters eventually obtaining a PC3 at a very good price.

About 2 years ago I decided to resurrect it (after ked, bonzo, asked to hear it) - I sent it back to vdh for the recommended "adjustments" and when it came back it was much improved. Fuller sounding with a lot more bass impact, still had sibilant characteristics especially on female vocals but can sound very good with classical, lots of ambient information in particular.

At a similar time I also managed to audition the Thoress phono stage - the colibri sounded like a completely different beast, much richer warmer and fuller, quite an old fashioned, but enjoyable, analogue sound very similar to a Kotesu cart I had tried in my system. The Lyra however would not respond well to the the Thoress, this confirmed my experience of cartridges reacting to phono stages in specific and individual ways. My phono stage requires a SUT which seems to, paradoxically (more connections), have enhanced the performance of my cartridges.

The Black beauty was probably a wise choice

Yes no problem I would have thought working with the 313.
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
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#17
Rossb, couple of questions since I am placing the new Kuzma 4 Point 9 on my short list. First, you say that you owned a Linn with Ekos Se, how would you compare the Ekos Se to the 4 Point 9?
Also, as the 4 Point 9 is supposedly designed for the LP12 ( which is what I would plan on mounting it on),why did you choose that arm over the standard 4 Point for your Kuzma TT?
Lastly, although I know that you said you gave the arm enough time to “mature”on your TT, what changes did you hear from when the arm was originally mounted to when you decided it didn’t work for you?

Thanks...
 

rossb

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May 24, 2017
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#18
Rossb, couple of questions since I am placing the new Kuzma 4 Point 9 on my short list. First, you say that you owned a Linn with Ekos Se, how would you compare the Ekos Se to the 4 Point 9?
Also, as the 4 Point 9 is supposedly designed for the LP12 ( which is what I would plan on mounting it on),why did you choose that arm over the standard 4 Point for your Kuzma TT?
Lastly, although I know that you said you gave the arm enough time to “mature”on your TT, what changes did you hear from when the arm was originally mounted to when you decided it didn’t work for you?
I can't directly compare the Ekos SE to the 4 Point 9, because it is over a year since I owned my LP12/Ekos SE, and there was no chance of hearing the arm on the same turntable. That said, the 4 Point 9, while very detailed and very neutral, had a fast but somewhat lightweight sound which did not appeal to me, although I can see that it might (and clearly does) appeal to others. (I also understand that this is very different to the way the 11 inch 4 Point has frequently been described.) The Ekos has a more substantial, dynamic sound in comparison. I am confident that I would much prefer any version of the Ekos or Ittok over the 4 Point 9 on an LP12, but again your preferences may be different.

I chose the 4 Point 9 over the 11 inch version for the simple reason that I went to a hi fi show, my Kuzma dealer was there (I had just bought the Stabi Ref 2 turntable), and he offered me the 4 Point 9 he was displaying at the show at a very tempting price. After living with it for a week, I decided it wasn't for me, and my dealer graciously agreed to take it back and exchange it for a 313 Ref VTA, which I really do like.

Over the week I owned the 4 Point 9, I noticed no change in sound.

If you are looking for a new arm for your LP12, I would recommend the Audio Origami PU7. It's about half the price of the Ekos SE, and sounds at least as good. Although I own one, I did not get a chance to hear it on my LP12. But I think the PU7 combines the heft and dynamics of the Ekos with some of the fluidity of the ARO and 4 Point 9, and is a drop in replacement for a Linn arm on an LP12. The Kuzma arms are extremely good - I own two of them - but the Audio Origami is I think a better fit with the Linn sound.

On the other hand, if you are considering a departure from the Linn sound, for about the same cost as an Ekos SE you could get a Kuzma Stabi S with electronic PSU and Stogi Reference arm which I think craps on any version of the LP12 from a great height. But we have already had that debate on Audiogon ...
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,615
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La Jolla, Calif USA
#19
I can't directly compare the Ekos SE to the 4 Point 9, because it is over a year since I owned my LP12/Ekos SE, and there was no chance of hearing the arm on the same turntable. That said, the 4 Point 9, while very detailed and very neutral, had a fast but somewhat lightweight sound which did not appeal to me, although I can see that it might (and clearly does) appeal to others. (I also understand that this is very different to the way the 11 inch 4 Point has frequently been described.) The Ekos has a more substantial, dynamic sound in comparison. I am confident that I would much prefer any version of the Ekos or Ittok over the 4 Point 9 on an LP12, but again your preferences may be different.

I chose the 4 Point 9 over the 11 inch version for the simple reason that I went to a hi fi show, my Kuzma dealer was there (I had just bought the Stabi Ref 2 turntable), and he offered me the 4 Point 9 he was displaying at the show at a very tempting price. After living with it for a week, I decided it wasn't for me, and my dealer graciously agreed to take it back and exchange it for a 313 Ref VTA, which I really do like.

Over the week I owned the 4 Point 9, I noticed no change in sound.

If you are looking for a new arm for your LP12, I would recommend the Audio Origami PU7. It's about half the price of the Ekos SE, and sounds at least as good. Although I own one, I did not get a chance to hear it on my LP12. But I think the PU7 combines the heft and dynamics of the Ekos with some of the fluidity of the ARO and 4 Point 9, and is a drop in replacement for a Linn arm on an LP12. The Kuzma arms are extremely good - I own two of them - but the Audio Origami is I think a better fit with the Linn sound.

On the other hand, if you are considering a departure from the Linn sound, for about the same cost as an Ekos SE you could get a Kuzma Stabi S with electronic PSU and Stogi Reference arm which I think craps on any version of the LP12 from a great height. But we have already had that debate on Audiogon ...

Thanks for the reply rossb. Indeed we have had the debate of Kuzma vs Linn. :D
I like the PU7,but when I heard it mounted on an LP12,I wasn’t completely won over. I think I prefer the Ekos Se to it.
Too bad that you didn’t cotton on to the 4point 9,it is “supposedly” a far more revealing and articulate arm than the Stogi or the PU7.
If...a big IF, I’m going to replace my trusty LP12 Radikal D, the only contender for me would be a very high up Basis (inspiration or 2800 Signature). Those tables are superb on all counts and I happen to very much like the new Basis Superarm. IMHO, there really isn’t anything out there that can really better that combo....at any price.
 

Ron Resnick

Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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#20
Hi Davey,

What caused you decide not to get a 4Point after all?