Dr. Feickert Blackbird

I want to get some opinions. I am currently saving for my end-all analog source. I have been lusting after the Blackbird for a year now. I keep trying to talk myself out of it, but keep coming back. Love the classic turntable look, the reviews, and especially 2 arms. If I am only going to have one table, I want 2 arms. I still have time, as I'm not half way to my $$ goal for a the table and first arm.

Is there better or equal performer for at or under that price without losing that classic turntable look? 


@edgyhassle the Feickert is a nice table BUT sonically the Kuzma Stabi R is by far better IMHO. And yes I've heard both side by side. Better focus and bass extension. I would guess it's because of the Stabi R DC motor and mass.

JVC Victor made 7 layer plinths, in 3 sizes, here’s the largest one



CL-P1 for single arm

CL-P2 for two removable tonearm boards

CL-P3 for three removable tonearm boards

cutouts fit several models of their Direct Drive Spinners, TT61, 71, 81, 101


I have a CL-P2, with TT81, and I added a 3rd arm on the left side for Mono Cartridge ready to go. Compact Mission/Jelco arm ’just’ fits.

see 8th photo here


Curious that my 12.5" long arm is called ’Blackbird’. I tried to forget about it, couldn’t get it out of my mind, finally risked it, glad I did.

btw: the CL-P2 allows the longest arm, longer than the CL-P3 because in order to get an arm board on the left, they moved the right side armboard closer to the platter. I was going to buy a CL-P3, luckily seller had a photo with ruler, I realized my 12.5" arm would not fit. Surprise, sure glad I didn’t pay to have it shipped from Hong Kong and find out after. Whew!


They come up frequently for sale, my friend and I got ours from Vlad in Canada. I don’t see any complete units listed now.

I could not be happier, MC on the right; MM in the rear; Mono on the left, chage within seconds in a listening session.

You need to solve how you switch, I found a vintage SUT with 3 inputs, various loads for MC, and PASS for MM.

Fidelity Research FRT-4

Entre 100 has 3 inputs and PASS

JVC TT81 spinner



If space is an issue, or equipment preference, some Tonearms allow very easy arm changes. 


Technics B500 arm base, VTA on the Fly easily changes from straight fixed cartridge arm to S removable arm in seconds, here's one on a VPI


the same base with the curved removable headshell arm, changes in seconds



+1 on the Kuzma Stabi R turntable.  It's built like a tank and can accommodate multiple tonearms. I had the wood plinth upgrade, which at the time could only handle one tonearm.  I have seen the later models (with wood plinth) that can handle multiple tonearms and probably would not have sold mine had it been able to do that. Thee Stabi R with the 4P (11") would be an endgame rig IMO.

@rdk777 I'm pretty certain that the Stabi R with wooden plinth can only accommodate 1 tonearm. The other Stabi R's can accommodate upto a total of 4 arms. But please verify with a Kuzma dealer.

Thank you everyone!


@elliottbnewcombjr I too love the Luxman and Thorens tables. I looked long and hard at those. Most of my equipment in the past has been from the 70's including Nakamichi, Klipsch, Thorens, and AR. I think I need to move into this decade, but I am still emotionally attached. If I had the duckets I would get both a new  table and that Luxman, TD 124 or Garrard 301.

@rsf507 I think you have me on your advice. I had looked at that Kuzma table, but never circled back. Since I love the vintage look, I'm thinking that with the right plinth it could look very Garrard-like. Definitely leaning that way. I even like it with the wings on both sides. If the wood plinth only allows for one, maybe there will be the ability to upgrade to a larger plinth later.

@rdk777 Agreed that would be a great end-game.

Again thanks all! You got me off the fence. I'm excited! 


+1 for the Kuzma Stabi R.

I use a Viv Labs Rigid Float Tonearm which ha removable headshell, it is probably one of the easiest arms to set up so instead of 2 arms you have interchangeable headshells with cartridges of you choice. I auditioned the Rigid Float against a 4 Point 9" and it just got out the way and let the music flow whereas the 4 Point was a bit obvious and you could sort hear it working.



Have you picked your arms yet?


This Acos Lustre GST-801 is my rear 9" arm, extremely rare to find it in Mint Condition


I learned about it here, actually someone, wish I could remember whom, found it for me, I'm so thankful.


Unique Magnetic Forces used for tracking and anti-skateEasiest/smoothest VTA on the fly I have seen, removable headshell. If one has removable headshell, the other, presumably your long arm, can be fixed cartridge.

I like that arm so much, I almost buy it every day.

The Blackbird is a great TT! A friend is selling one because he got a seldom AirTight.

@ninetynine the Blackbird is a great TT it's just I've heard the Feickert against a Stabi R and the Stabi was clearly superior IMO. 

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Thanks again, this is all amazing feedback. I know that the arm is even more critical than the table...and the cart even more critical.

My original thought for the first arm was the 4Point 9, but now I think I have more research to do. My plan was to upgrade from my first arm and move the first arm to the second position. I like the idea of a removable headshell for Mono or a second less expensive cart for scratchy records that I still love.

I was very curious about the Soundsmith Alto designed by Frank Schroder. Has anyone had experience with this arm?

@alan60 The VIV Labs tonearm is one crazy arm. I am very intrigued!! It also solves the 2 arm problem as it doesn't need to be on the plinth. Good news is we have a lot of great choices right now.

@elliottbnewcombjr Congratulations on that find. Seems like a keeper!

@rsf507 It's great that you were able to A/B these two tables. I'm definitely leaning toward Kuzma. I am trying not to fold and go vintage. I have vintage motorcycles and there is always something that needs attention. I just want to sit and listen to my music.

I use both a Kuzma 4P9 and a vintage FR-64S.  This is my 2 arm combo because it lets me use a wide variety of cartridges from low to medium compliance. The arms have subtle differences in their sound with the Kuzma having higher resolution and clarity and the FR-64S slightly deeper bass definition. The 4P9 is my favorite arm with Ortofon, Lyra and SoundSmith carts.

I am currently demoing a rigid belt drive DC motor system from Galibier, similar to the one used in the Stabi R against my turntables well executed thread drive with an AC motor pod.  Their seems to be a subtle but significant difference with the DC/rigid belt bringing the music forward into the room and sounding a bit more dynamic and Idler like and the AC/thread being a more "silky smooth" sounding drive.     

This all a roundabout way of saying that you should check out a Kuzma Stabi R with a 4P9.  


Two arms is highly over rated. You generally wind up using the arm cartridge combo you like the sound of most. Do your research and buy the very best you can afford instead of two of the not so best. The best cartridges play all music well.

I try to tell people that with turntables "looks" is not the issue. Performance is the issue. Enjoyment in use is nice. Some turntables work well others not so much. You should not have to tip toe around your turntable while it's playing. You should be able to tap on the plinth with the volume all the way up and not hear a thing through the system and I mean while the turntable is playing. It should have a working dust cover. It should have an effective record clamping system either vacuum or reflex. It should make no sound of it's own. If it happens to look nice that is a plus. 


If you like classical and jazz music, 2 arms allow you to play stereo and mono records, possibly in the same listening session. For me it’s important.

Have to agree with @mijostyn 2 arms is overrated. Pick the best table/arm combo you can afford and play some music and be happy 😊

All opinions are ok. A few years ago I thought the same as you and lived happy with one arm and cart for about 10 years with the same tt.

Now my opinion has changed and happy my tt was able to receive a second tonearm. Buying a tt with possibility to have 2 arms kept all the possibles open.
I didn’t know I would be so happy for that choice.

It’s such a joy to listen good monos that the only regret is that I didn’t tried it sooner. But that’s just me.


That being said you can also buy a one arm only tt and add a Viv Labs as a second tonearm if you feel you need it after some time. No need to drill the plinth and these arms seem to have something special.

@senza , I hate to be a stick in the mud but the Viv Labs arm is a seriously bad joke. The marketing is even worse. 

I play my mono records with the exact same stereo cartridge I use on everything else. I am certainly not spending another $10K for a cartridge to play the 100 or so mono records I have. 

The only reason I can think of for two arms would be if you had a large collection of 78s which require a different stylus. As much as I play my 78s I do not mind flipping cartridges. I must admit that my approach is also mandated by the fact that my table will not accept two arms under any circumstance. 


Let's listen to some Oscar Peterson, a few stereo lps with your $10,000 stereo cartridge via stereo mode, wonderful. Now, this LP is Mono, play it how? Not like I used to, what you advocate, a stereo cartridge is OK, not best I don't care what it is. It was here I learned, and trust me it is true,

Playing Mono with a true Mono cartridge is an improvement, The improved clarity, distinction of individual instruments, voices, and reduction of noise can be small, large, quite large

, it varies, but it is definitely improved. Recording techniques were quite good, sometimes amazing, you deny yourself that level of enjoyment.




Next: does your preamp have a Mono mode? Next, can you send L+R to one side, listen to only one speaker? Next, enjoy the sound sitting anywhere in the room, When I was selling LP's, I only sold 'inaudible scuffs'. I discovered, some desirable LP's with audible scuffs: Mono, the noise was there, but below the volume of the music, listenable. Stereo the noise was much more pronounced, to an unlistenable degree. I asked my buyers if they had Mono Cartridge before I sold them those few LPs.

OP wants two arms. WHY tell OP not needed?

Find, love, settle on a preferred MC cartridge, forget further comparisons. OK.

An MC fixed stylus cartridge is an excellent reason to have a second headshell (exchange/re-adjust height? tracking? anti-skate?), OR second arm ready to go with a MM cartridge with a replaceable stylus to

play .... LP’s that don’t have content that benefits from the difference, IOW do not wear out your expensive non-replacable stylus for no good reason.

That’s why I added my 3rd arm. 2nd arm is Mono always ready to go. I realized I was wearing out my stylus on fun but not acoustically special content. Especially playing ones I intended to give away or sell.


I'm sure the Blackbird is a fantastic table, I owned 2 Volares and then the Woodpecker - solid performers.

I had the Kuzma 12 VTA on the Woodpecker and wasn't too keen on it, mostly it never felt stable when cuing and it was a bit of a pain changing out cartridges and doing a new setup. But I'm not thrilled generally with Unipivots.

Check out Origin Live for excellent tonearms. Pick the one from their lineup that you can afford. I had the Illustrious and it's a fantastic arm. You don't see them too often on the used markets. 


Since all listeners approach playback from their own perspective and goals there are many many different ways to skin the audio cat.  To @mijostyn the focus seems to be on an vibration isolated table with a dustcover, flat clean record, mid compliance cartridge and medium weight tonearm.  I'm sure there are other goals too. Others love the sound of their vintage idler turntables and SME 3012s because at the end of the day, they like what they are hearing. 

It seems a bit silly to debate the right or wrong of the minutiae here, especially when it comes down to preference for a multi-arm system or stereo versus mono carts. Its more important to characterize what these differences sound like or do for a listeners system. For example, the ViV labs arm violates many dogmatic rules of tonearm design yet sounds great to many experienced ears when set up right and matched with an appropriate cartridge.  How does it sound differently than a linear tracker or a 14" Kuzma 4P?  

The OP is interested in a two tonearm system which will restrict the TT selection to those that can pull that off well.  The Kuzma Stabi R is one of them.  There are many others including the Fieckert, Micro Seiki, TechDas, Galibier, and CSPort.  As I said above, having multiple cart-arm combos ready to go is valued by listeners who like to change flavors based on listening moods. Its not about right or wrong.

It all gets very tricky when the experienced among us have strong experiences with change from one design to another. I'm sure @mijostyn and @elliottbnewcombjr opinions' are refined after many years of experimenting.  They have just come to different conclusions, like we all do. My closest audio buddy uses vintage Marantz tube gear (7c, 8b, 10b), a Rega P10, Nordost cable and Nola speakers.  Sounds amazing and I enjoy listening to his system.  But there is no way would I try to replicate his system in my house. Except that 10b Tuner, I love that thing so I bought one. 

We may all want to hear what is actually on the recording but at the same time we listen for different things. 



Interesting comparison with the DC vs AC motor Karl...Which leads me to a quick recommendation for the OP. Don’t snooze on the Stabi REF 2. It’s going to be a different sound than the "R", which admittedly, I’ve not heard. I have heard general comparisons, and the "R" may be a bit more neutral, which shouldn’t be taken as a negative. It’s all about the rest of your system, rack, and overall sound you’re looking for. The Ref 2 has been in production for well over 20 years, so I think it goes unnoticed. I have one with the Gimbaled Ref 313, which is simply a joy to use. Probably no going wrong here. If I could swing a Pipe Bomb for my second system, I would likely buy one. But that setup is something I’m trying to keep sanely priced.

Kuzma Stabi R is better, without question. You want 4 arms? You can have 4 arms.If you only want 1 arm, look at the Thales Compact and the simplicity arm.

Again, I appreciate all these points of view. Like a beach ball different points of view show differing colors.

@elliottbnewcombjr You make several good points. Yes, Mono and yes a cart that I don’t have to worry about on more worn records that I still love. 2-3 arms and no fuss. Ready, steady, go!

@rooze Yes, OL is still no my list. Others have offered how versatile, clean and easy they are as well.

@karl_desch Thank you for expressing it that way. My daughter loves guacamole and peas. Can’t stand them myself. Different tastes in food, wine, music, art, cigars, and especially what you want out of the music.

My goal is not to find the best quality sound possible, my goal is to see how great I can get my existing speakers to sound. I may eventually change them out, but I want to see how far I can go with them, between a great source, cables, room treatment, upgraded crossover, isolation, tweeks, etc.

I am emotionally attached to these Belle Klipsch speakers and they are sounding pretty damn good right now. I am only the current caretaker of these non-numbered speakers No serial numbers. They were a gift from PK to my friends aunt. She ran the Motel in Hope Arkansas. The Japanese and other guests would stay at her motel while visiting the factory. My friend inherited them from her and cannot keep them. He traded them to me for a pair of Heresys. My goal is to see how great I can make them while enjoying the path and music along the way. Right now I love them, they sound so much better than when I began the journey. They have come alive! Can’t wait to see even more improvement with a better TT, arm and cart.

I still have the first album I bought in 1975. Black Sabbath, Masters of Reality. I currently have over 3000 albums plus 78’s and 45’s to play with, hence the desire for variety. I have the ability to put together a stand-alone 78 player and stand-alone Garrard 45 changer. It’s the 33’s that need the upgrade.

Thanks again this has been an eye-opening discussion for me, giving me more avenues to pursue.

You have space for 3 dedicated TT’s, wow!

My friend has room for only 1, and many 78’s as well as mostly 33’s.

for others: Single Table/Arm solutions I have had experience with are:

My Thorens TD124 with 4 speeds, SME 3009II with changable headshells, each appropriate stylus type. Wonderful combo, but SME arm: no easy height adjustment if needed for cartridges with different heights. All could be ’shimmed’ to the same height I suppose. I was just single latest Shure MM in those days.

The Thorens needs a very stable setup, it’s massive platter and bearing design are succeptible to vertical vibration, bad match for my flimsy wood floor

this shows the SME 3009, custom plinth takes second arm


this more compact for single arm, new blank armboard.


I wonder/suspect that Acos Lustre GST-801 would fit, an awesome removable headshell and  VTA on the Fly setup. I want someone to have this baby!


My friends Technics SP-15 3 speeds, with BP-500 Base with VTA on the Fly, and either 1 curved arm with removable headshell and multiple headshells (his choice), or several easily exchangeable arms with pre-mounted cartridges, including the straight arm with fixed cartridge. The arm changes as easily or easier than a headshell.

Changing height couldn’t be easier, and very precise mechanism. I just installed one for him.

Arm Base and Two Arms (sold, good pics, none active on hifishark now)


SP-15 in Technics plinth, different tonearm. You simply change the round insert for your chosen arm (up to 10.5")

@karl_desch , that is what people say, "I like what I hear," when in reality, "I like what I see," is more appropriate. It could also be that people like antique things or the price. The criteria you mentioned I hold to are aimed at reducing distortion, sound that was not in the recording. It is a hopeless thing to do with turntables but that is the neurosis. Thus it might also be what distortion people like most.

The turntable is a vibration measurement machine, any vibration. The world is polluted with noise, vibration. Hearing what is on the record means isolating the whole affair from other vibrations, ones that are not supposed to be there. This along with lack of noise/rumble and stable pitch tell you 90% of everything you need to know about turntable performance.

Another problem I see in forums which leads to dissimilar opinions is that we all listen differently. We tend to pay attention to our pet aspects of performance and like everything else with humans there is a wide range of hearing ability. 

As people are readily aware, flowery descriptive terms of turntable performance do not cut it with me. Save it for the wine. What are you actually hearing and what is your reference? As compared to what? It is unfortunate but, what one person thinks they hear is anecdotal and means not much of anything. I include myself in the one person category and frequently ruminate over whether or not what I think I hear is real. If you have 3 or 4 people hearing a similar characteristic as a group in an isolated situation you are beginning to make me a believer. If they can all identify the subject blinded you have hit the Lotto.

@edgyhassle   If you wish to PM me you are welcome to do so.

I can't disagree with anything stated above.  It's our individuality that contributes to this hobby (if one wants to call it that).  I rather enjoy having fun with the products and, most of all, I enjoy the music and the pleasure it brings.

That said, I am glad to say that I purchased a Dr. Feickert Blackbird with a Kuzma 4-Point 11 and a Soundsmith Sussurro Mk II ES, about 3 months ago.  I have had several turntables over the years and am very pleased with these products and can highly recommend them.  And of course, everyone else's mileage may vary.  

Interesting story @edgyhassle.  I think that is very similar to my friend who inherited the Marantz gear when his father passed away. No way would he get rid of those pieces as they have meaning for him.  He often says that he cant believe how the performance of these 60 year old amps continue to be pushed forward by tweaks and upstream changes.  Just like your Klipsh. Keep pushing them!

@mijostyn I think we are mostly on the same page and what I didnt say before is that having a strong opinion is also just fine with me.  Makes the forums interesting.  Also, I do think its important to listen with other people who understand what you are trying to achieve in your system, Or at least can describe if they hear what you hear.  It's all very complicated.  When a good dealer can do this, it is amazing.

"The turntable is a vibration measurement machine, any vibration. The world is polluted with noise, vibration. Hearing what is on the record means isolating the whole affair from other vibrations, ones that are not supposed to be there."

EXACTLY why you want a TRUE MONO cartridge that will not generate noise from vertical movement of any kind. Far more than you realize.

You cannot imagine the difference until you hear it for yourself. I am ever grateful I learned here and decided to try it.