Kuzma Stabi R
We’ve had a design for an $8K-$10K turntable on our drawing board for quite some time.
The challenge lies in manufacturing costs in the U.S.
Local production is key to maintaining quality, so manufacturing offshore is not an option.
Enter the Kuzma Stabi R which embodies three key design principles we embrace here at Galibier.
Galibier’s Expertise – the Answer was in Front of Us, all Along …
As we considered what turntable we would own if Galibier didn't exist, our selection narrowed down to two manufacturers: Kuzma and Feickert.
With over two decades' manufacturing experience, we consider ourselves uniquely positioned to evaluate and specify a turntable from another manufacturer.
The more we studied the Kuzma Stabi R, the more we liked it. Franc Kuzma embraces many of the design principles we advocate, and hence, our recommendation.
If you want a Galibier on a budget, the Stabi R is worthy of your consideration.
Representing Kuzma has freed us to adopt a two-pronged approach: returning our attention to development and delivery of our convertible (belt/idler) turntable – The Savoie.
Enough about our plans, here's what we like about the Stabi R ...
The Stabi R: Key Features
Three key design concepts embodied in the Stabi R immediately jumped out at us (and translate into a turntable that satisfies our design criteria).
The first two items are consistent with everything we've learned about driving a turntable, and everything you read about rigid belts and DC motors in our drive system FAQ page applies to the Stabi R:
You know how we feel about their contribution to speed stability, but if you’re not aware, read this blog post, on how we specify a drive belt.
Their belt is more rigid than any belt we've seen, with one exception: our belts.
Our development arc at Galibier led us to specifying brushless DC motors driven by 3-phase sinewaves, as sub-horsepower, AC synchronous, 3 phase motors are a thing of the past.
When you see “3 phase motor” specified in a modern turntable, this is what they’re referring to. Kuzma and Galibier embrace this approach.
While we'd prefer full modularity for ease of service, this adds considerable cost, and is one of the key reasons we're developing our Savoie, but enough about us.
Having said that, the Stabi R is easily configurable for various tonearm configurations.
Pricing and Options
Pricing spans a wide range due to myriad options, ranging from about $8K to $12K.
At the low end, is a bare-bones version with no armboards (designed for custom implementations). This "bare bones" chassis can also be fit into the pine or walnut bases shown below for about $11,000 in standard silver or black. At the upper end, is a dual arm wing version in custom "RAL" colors at a bit over $12,000.
A single arm wing version in the standard black or silver (gray) drilled for a Kuzma arm of any length retails for about $9,400. Prices have fluctuated a bit in recent months, and hence the "about" qualifier. This is a good guideline, however.
There are four arm mounting architectures, and we can discuss them with you, but suffice to say that in order of preference, we recommend:
- The arm wing
- The "balcony" ("L-shaped bracket) - available only for Kuzma arms. Think of this as a viable option for the arm wing, at a lower cost for the same performance.
- Pivoting armboards - you know how we feel about pivoting armboards.
- Wood plinth. We absolutely advise against this option and we can explain why we consider this to upset the performance of an otherwise solid design.
Photos below show some of the options and armboards (click to expand). Click the photo at the top of the page to link to Kuzma's site. RAL (custom) colors have an additional lead time of 6-8 weeks.