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? 


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.