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Tonearms by Kuzma

Galibier Design - Kuzma 4Point-9 Tonearm with Lyra Cartridge
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The 4Point series is our most popular seller – both in the Kuzma line as well across all of the tonearms we carry.

We can also furnish you with all versions of the Stogi-S and Stogi Reference, along with the Airline.

A special 4Point:  we’ve been collaborating with with Franc Kuzma and testing is complete.

Click the “Hybrid” tab for more details.

With respect to the 4Point, we recommend the the 9″ or the 11″ lengths in most cases, because their effective mass is compatible with a broader range of current cartridges.

The longer, 14″ version (19 gram effective mass) is an arm we would only specify for someone who knows they will be using it with low compliance cartridges exclusively.

Contact us for pricing and our recommendations based on your system, and click the other tabs for features, wiring and termination options.

  • Galibier Design - Kuzma CAR-60 CartridgeInterchangeable headshells which maintain a direct connection from the cartridge pins to the cartridge clips.  Unlike universal, removable headshells (Jelco, Ikeda, Ortofon, etc.), these headshells have a positive, firm contact with the arm tube.
  • Azimuth is repeatably fine adjustable via a rack and pinion screw adjustment with laser etched markings.  This is the best, most precise and repeatable azimuth adjustment we’ve ever encountered.  We comment a bit about it’s ease of use in this blog post.
  • Repeatable VTA adjustment.  VTA is adjustable “on the fly” with the 11″ and 14″ models, and via a support screw mechanism on the 4Point-9.
  • Multiple wiring & termination options.

Refer to the “Summary and Recommendations” tab for further commentary about the following options.

Galibier Design - Kuzma 4Point-9 with Lyra Delos
Continuous Wire (click to enlarge)

For all terminations, the headshell leads exit the arm wand immediately behind the headshell junction, so there is no “break” in the wire  as is typical with most removable headshell designs.

There are 3 basic termination options for all of the 4Point tonearms.  In all three cases, the wire exits horizontally, and above the armboard’s mounting surface.  If your turntable has a dust cover, you’ll need to take this into account.

The photos below, show the VTA bearing tower of the 4Point (11″) and the 4Point-14, although the 4Point-9’s cable affixes to the bearing tower in a similar fashion, and employs the same cylindrical strain-relief junction.

Single Wire:

Galibier Design - Kuzma 4Point Rear View
Single Wire (click to enlarge)

This is Kuzma’s terminology for an uninterrupted run of wire from the cartridge clips to either RCAs or XLRs.

Single Wire DIN

Galibier Design - Kuzma DIN Termination
Single Wire DIN (click to enlarge)

This is traditional tonearm termination which requires a 5-Pin DIN compatible tonearm cable (provide your own or ask us about our Wind River Tonearm Interconnect).

The wire path is interrupted by a single  junction – at the DIN connector.

Bi-wire:

Galibier Design - Kuzma Biwire Termination
Biwire (click to enlarge)

The wire runs uninterrupted from the headshell leads to a junction box.

From this point, two output options are available:

  • A straight run to either RCA or XLR plugs (like the single wire option but with an intermediate solder connection)
  • RCA jacks for connecting a standard RCA terminated interconnect.

Connectors:

Standard connectors are:

  • RCA termination is either KLE or Furutech CF-126 RCA (depending on tonearm model).
  • XLR termination is by Neutrik.

Kuzma has mounted other connectors for our customers.  This comes with an added fee.

Refer to the “Summary and Recommendations” tab for further commentary about the following options.

Galibier Design - Kuzma 4Point-9 with Lyra Delos

    • Crystal Cable Silver/Gold.  We’re big fans of this wire.  It’s manufactured in the same factor as Siltec.  It has very low capacitance which renders subtle dynamics extremely well.
    • Cardas Clear.  This litz wire is a sonic cousin of the litz we use in our interconnects, which is to say that we like it a lot.
    • Kondo Silver.  Very good wire, but it takes an extremely long time to break in.
    • Nördost V2.  This has been discontinued.  It was offered due to customer demand, but was found to inhibit free movement of the 4Point’s ultra low friction bearing due to its stiffness.
    • Crystal Cable Mono Crystal Silver has also been discontinued for the same reason as the Nördost.
Galibier Design - 4Point Hybrid on Savoie Prototype
4Point Hybrid on Savoie Prototype (click to enlarge)

We collaborated with Franc Kuzma on this version of the 4Point.

We’ve been fielding more requests for tonearms to mount on custom bases fabricated for idler and direct drive turntables.

Many of these bases were designed for longer tonearms, and the 4Point (11″) and 4Point-9 both have a “short” mounting distance like that of a 9″ tonearm (212mm).

In prototyping this variation with its 264mm mounting distance, it has quickly become our favorite Kuzma.

Galibier Design - 4Point Hybrid (Bearing Closeup)
4Point Hybrid (click to enlarge)

We intentionally photographed the arm with a prototype armboard.

The “unused” hole shows the mounting location for the 4Point-9 tonearm, and gives you idea of the hybrid’s extended mounting location (52mm longer).

You can read about it’s development in this blog entry.

Termination:

The standard, Single-Wire termination (unbroken signal path between the cartridge clips and RCAs/XLRs) is generally regarded as the preferred termination.

In developing the 4Point Hybrid, we took the opportunity to experiment with extensive comparisons between the straight-run and 5-Pin DIN termination options, and the results surprised us. 

While the single-wire (straight run) offers theoretical advantages, a high quality DIN connector offers a system tuning option that may help you to better tailor your analog front end.  We’d much prefer tuning with a cable vs. having a cartridge change imposed on us.

Contrary to our expectations, no one in our listening panel heard any degradation in an arm terminated with a 5-Pin DIN connector (vs. straight run from cartridge clips to RCA/XLR).

The one option we recommend against however, is the bi-wire.  It introduces additional complexity (where to mount the junction box) as well as the possibility of RFI interference entering your system.  Antennas are good for radios and not tonearm cables.

Contact us for the best choice for your application.

Wire

Kuzma’s wire, the Cardas Clear, and Kondo silver are all excellent choices, and we struggle with recommending one over the other.

Kuzma began offering alternatives based on customer demand, and not because he found the Crystal Cable to be lacking in any way.

If pressed on the matter, we’d give a subtle nod to the Cardas Clear.  You likely know that we’re big fans of litz.  These preferences could easily change however, depending on your system.  This is a key reason we’ve returned to favoring 5-Pin DIN termination – so you’re not locked in to your choice.

Delivery Times:

The 4Point-9 and 11″ in single-wire  termination with Crystal Cable Silver/Gold are typically available for immediate delivery.   Other combinations typically have a 4 week lead time.

The 4Point Hybrid

Contact us for details about this version of the 4Point that we collaborated with Franc Kuzma on.