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Cartridges by Kuzma – Starting at $1,900

Galibier Design - Kuzma CAR-60 Cartridge
Click the photo to visit Kuzma’s site

Kuzma’s cartridges are made in Japan by a builder with over 50 years’ experience.

The same impeccable attention to detail is paid to the design and manufacture of these cartridges as is paid to their tonearms.

One look at the machined cartridge body tells you that Franc Kuzma has his fingerprints all over this design.

Does it make sense that they would be a perfect match for your Kuzma tonearm?

Background

We confess to having overlooked Kuzma’s cartridges for far too long. 

Thinking about how aligned we are with Franc Kuzma’s musical sensibilities (and how he transforms them into reality), we were finally drawn to investigate their cartridges.

This review of the CAR-50 by Roy Gregory not only outlines the virtues embodied in the lineup, but also represents how a cartridge should be reviewed.  It’s thoughtful and informative piece of work.

Construction

Apart from Lyra, we know of no other cartridge manufacturer that pays as much attention to resonance control at its source as Kuzma does.  Of course, this is only part of the sonic equation, but a very important one.

Compatibility

Kuzma tonearms excel at draining cartridge energy, and it should come as no surprise that their cartridge bodies are designed with maximizing energy transfer as well.

All cartridges in the line weigh 17 grams and have a medium-low compliance which makes best suited to arms with an effective mass like the Kuzma 4Points and the more robust Stogis (13-19 gm).

Ikedas, Schröders, and Durands are also an excellent match.

A Tri-Planar or Graham is a less than ideal mating, although the mass of the cartridge does help somewhat in this regard. 

Models

  • The range starts with the $1,900 elliptical stylus CAR-20 (.3mV) and its high output sibling, the CAR-20H (2.0mV).  Both of these cartridges have an aluminum cantilever, with copper coils.
  • The CAR-30 and CAR-40 (both with .3mV output) represent the “sweet spot” in the line – priced at $2,300 and $2,900 respectively.  Both sport  boron cantilevers and microridge styli, with the “30” having 5N copper coils and the “40” having 4N silver coils. 
  • Moving up, we have the CAR-50 (sapphire cantilever – $6,195) and CAR-60 (diamond cantilever – $13,950).  Both have 4N silver coils and microridge styli.

Click the photo above to visit the Kuzma page for detailed specifications.