Analog Upgrade itch

Hello ! I would like to upgrade my turntable / tonearm / phono preamp 

currently I am using Kuzma Stabi S / Stabi S VTA 12” tonearm / Gold Note PH10 phono amp. 
Gryphon Antelion EVO + Pandora pre , Magico A5 speaker. 

My music preference : 50% classical / 30% pop / 20% modern Jazz 

I like my current cartridge: Etsuro Urushi Cobalt so I am going to keep it. I would like to upgrade my Turntable (possible Linn LP12 or Kuzma Ref2 or any suggestions ) with Kuzma 4 point tonearm (or recommendation in the $ range?). My biggest uncertain is phono amp : I’d like to have warmer sound (tube preferred ) with ideally 2 inputs (Manley Steelhead or EMT126 are recommended by my local dealer but not sure if they are worth the money ) .  I know matching (cartridge / arm / phono stage) is more important in analog system so I’d like everyone’s comments / experience that matches my system. Musicality / warmth is what I’m after rather than microscopic details. Thanks in advance



I believe the sound of the Audio Research will be much more natural and musical with outstanding mid-range bloom, without loosing detail… something the Steelhead is known for. Personally I would unquestionably buy a ARC Phonostage unheard… but, of course, that is because I have heard so many.


In my view the upgrade to Kuzma R or Ref II with 4point should be significant.

The 4point is pretty much unbeatable in my view for the money. I have installed 4points vs other arms such as Moerch, Helius and a few others - it is a step up in transparency and very neutral.

The overall sound of the Kuzmas/4point I would describe as self effacing - neither lean nor bloated - nicely balanced. One thing I really like is that the Kuzmas designed to be easy to set up which makes dialling them in easy.

For phono stage I would suggest investigating the cost of adding the Gryphon Legato Legacy phono boards to your existing Pandora. The Pandora is state of the art so why not take advantage of that architecture ( dual mono power supplies etc ) and just get the phono boards installed. ( You also save the cost of interconnects phono to pre ).



@dover thank you for the valuable input , for TT my finalists are

Kuzma Ref 2 : like its suspended base which is more “musical” than Stabi R ? I have a belief that suspended TT designs gives a smoother, analog sonics 

Linn LP12 : isn’t it the icon to own at least once, in the passage of every vinyl audiophile ?  Closest thing I ever owned was a Systemdek back in the 70s and I have been out of vinyl for the last 30 years … still miss the “old “ analog sound and I hope I can reproduce that with modern equipments. 

kuzma Stabi R : it can accommodate 2-3 arms which maybe my next step , so is the reason I want to have a phono amp with 2-3 inputs.  

never thought about the Legato phono card , which I appreciate your heads up ! But aside from that do you have any recommendation for a separate tube phono that may fit my system and the “warmth” sonics I am after ? 

anyone tried Allnics ? 



Depends on your budget. How much do you want to spend ?

The Allnics tend to be on the lush side. Manley is very good - and very flexible.

I would suggest you do the TT upgrade first and then do the phono later.

This gives you the opportunity to reassess  your phono requirements once you have the new front end dialled in.

Keep the Stabi S and add external power supply.

Add a Kuzma 4 point 9. This will be significant step-up.

Add a phono amp which suits you best. I use a Doshi EVO 3.0 phono amp with the above combination.

All the best.