MODDED KUZMA STABI-S TURNTABLE AND STOGI-S ARM
The Kuzma Stabi S/Stogi S combination is a hands-down winner, and in my opinion, one of the worlds great turntable bargains...It performed flawlessly, ran up to speed quickly and was relatively easy to set up...Ignore this Slovenian mini miracle at your own peril... - Ken Micallef, 6moons.com
A few years ago, a friend invited Pierre over to hear his new pride-and-joy turntable, a Stabi S. Though dubious, he snapped to attention as soon as the stylus traced Paul Chambers first three big bass notes on the opening cut of Kind of Blue. How can that little thing make such humongous bassand such perfectly delicate, unsmeared treble? Pierre thought.
Tearing himself away from listening to have a closer look, he noted Kuzmas elegantly simple chassis: two massively rigid 2" solid brass bars in a T-shape. The tables Stogi-S arm was just as commendably simple: no abrupt shape changes; no changes of material from headshell to counterweight; no resonance-causing gadgets, adjusters or removable arm wands; and, best of all, a super-rigid unipivotall the elements for a good vibration-draining path out of the cartridge down into the base. Before he left, Pierre was already figuring out how to make a Kuzma sound even better.
Once we started testing and tweaking the Stabi, three things became obvious almost immediately. First, both the table and the arm, unmodded,each sound better than famous competitors at three times the price. Second, its ridiculous to think of using the Kuzma without a maple platform; the improvement is simply that huge. Third, there are a myriad of vibration path improvements possible for Kuzma plinth, motor, and arm. They are all incorporated into our upgrade package:
Remachining the chassis underside to replace the rubber O-ring feet with small brass footers.
Micro-coupling two interfaces in the bearing-to-platter vibration path plus one in the bearing-to-platform path.
Micro-coupling the single vibration interface in the Stogi arm pivot-to-chassis path, installing Nanomounts in the cartridge-headshell interface, and attaching specially machined brass vibration dampers to the headshell.
Upgrading the motor housing footers, micro-coupling the motor-to-housing interface, upgrading the stock Kuzma AC plug, and substituting a greatly improved motor phase shift capacitor.
The Mapleshade-upgraded Kuzma Stabi and Stogi, mounted on an 18x15x4 Maple Platform with Isoblocks (sold separately), has easily bested every suspended turntable Ive compared it to. That includes the top of the line Oracle, Sota, Linn, Basis and Michellwith arms ranging from Rega and SME to Graham, VPI, and Triplanar. Among unsuspended turntables, the Modded Kuzma sounds notably better than the top models from Rega, Pro-ject, Music Hall, and Well-Tempered, as well as the VPI Aries, Clearaudio Solution and Nottingham Space Deck.