Kuzma 4Points and Lyra carts

I am currently enjoying a Lyra Etna SL on a Morch DP8. I am interested in trying a Kuzma 4Point.  I have heard that many find the Kuzma/Lyra combination to work well.

Does anyone think there would be an advantage to the 4Point 11" over the 4Point 9"?  Specifically with sound quality not VTA tower use. 

FWIW "I think" the 11 will outperform the 9 and I hope the 14 will outperform the 11 because my 4 point 14 will be here next week and the difference in $$ is substantial. Everything you read says longer is better

Currently have a DP6 and a DP8 both with 12 " blue dot arm wands. so I'll report back whether the 14 outperforms the Morch. 
I might disagree about longer being better. Theoretically, yes it should. But others in the know like Michael Fremer have said the differences are not that great & that a well setup 9"arm will perform as good as a well setup 12" arm  There will be differences but like most everything it is a trade off. Maybe you will like the trade. Maybe not

Either way, I hope you both well with the Kuzma. It is on my radar as well. Then I listen to my TT and ask...why? Hard decisions
Agree with @artemus that there might be small differences but the 9" will be easier to setup than either the 11" or 14". Both longer arms will require VERY precise alignment, not saying the 9 doesn't just the 9" will be easier. 
Agree with @artemus that there might be small differences

define "small".. ..are you speaking from experience or from what you’ve read?

seems to me if the goal is to be the best that it can be then you are potentially leaving something behind if you "settle" for the shorter arm. As I started down the path of higher end arms - tables - cartridges I found that there were huge differences as you get into the upper levels and you are well rewarded for taking the time to precisely align it all. Feel free to come back at me with... define "huge" :)

I agree if you don’t want to invest in the proper tools and spend the time to optimize the setup then stick with the easier path, but if your are "going for it" then go for it with the longer arm. Of course, I will be comparing a shorter Morch with a longer Kuzma so nothing definitive will come of that in regard to whether longer is better (or worse) or if it is Morch vs. Kuzma.
Thanks for the replies.  I especially look forward to @herman report after his time with the Mørch. It’s a great arm but will not be surprised if the Kuzma does even better.My table will do best with the 212mm mounting distance of the 4point and 4point 9. The 14 is not an option.
Let me focus my question. Will the higher effective mass of the 4point 11 work better with the Etna SL? 
I will use the resonance calculators online but I suspect both arms are within acceptable range. My bias is to use a 9” arm as my ears don’t seem to be effected by the increased grove distortion inherent in a shorter arm. On the other hand, I do have excellent setup gear (SmartTractor, Adjust +) so I am able to cope with the precision setup needs of a longer arm. If anyone has listened to Lyra/Kuzma  combos that would also be helpful. Will also use a SoundSmith Sussurro ES.
I have owned both the 4Point9 and the 11 inch 4 Point. I found the latter much better. The 4Point9 sounded quite lightweight to me - very much like most of the unipivots I have owned (although I know it is not strictly a unipivot). The 11 inch 4Point sounded much more substantial and more satisfying. I did use mine briefly with a Lyra Etna SL and the combination seemed fine.
Ultimately, however, I found both arms a little dull sounding and sold both in favour of a less expensive - but to my ears more musical - Audio Origami PU7. But you may love the 4 Point, as most seem to do. I would definitely recommend the 11 inch version over the 9 inch, however.
On the issue of Fremer and 9" arms, my view is that Fremer accepts anything that Marc Gomez of SAT says as gospel. Gomez believes that all things being equal it is more important for a tonearm to have a low moment of inertia and that 9" is best among the common lengths. That is not my view mind you. I love my Reed 10.5 and 12. I don't give a rat's patoot what Fremer thinks. Particularly when he is just repeating someone else's belief system. 
Ok. Next question.  What choices did you all make regarding cabling choices.? Cardas Clear? Kondo Silver? Kuzma silver plated copper?
I went with single wire Silver/Gold conductor and deluxe Kuzma mounting collar and terminated with Furutech CR-126R, RCA because that's what Albert Porter recommended as best for the buck. From Albert... 

"Some of these are insane cost, for instance the Kondo “upgrade” on a 4 Point 14” is nearly $3000.00.   I made the decision to go SE,  knowing that the Kondo can be lean sounding and I don’t like any of the Cardas clear cables.  SE is a great balance and I liked it so much, I ordered a second Kuzma 14” with the same options."
A great example of why I decided long ago to go only with arms with integral phono leads. Granted you probably can find some really good phono interconnects. But the first thing that IC has to do is overcome the distortion and losses of all the extra connections. You could buy a pretty fine arm for the cost of the phono interconnect alone. Say you are planning on a $5k arm and $3k phono interconnect. How good an arm could you get for $8k? With integral lead? A helluva lot better, that’s for sure!
Dear @herman  : No one can't argue almost nothing against an audiophile subjectivity and I respect a lot your opinion as the opinion of other gentlemans.

I have " thousands " of first hand experiences ( I could think similar to you. ) and longer tonearms always looks so fine against the shorter ones and along that many listening sessions could tell us the longer tonearms makes a better quality performances with any cartridge but through the years I learned that that " dream " is not totally true and for very good reasons ( not subjective ones. ).

Even that some people as fsmith does not like but SAT designer is rigth on this regards, please read carefully here:


Additional to all those in a longer tonearm its effective mass/inertia moment is higher too than in a shorter one and that mass goes from static to Dynamic mass during playback and the whole cartridge is " seen " that more heavy mass ( from counterweigth to headshell) in dettriment not only of the quality of sound but against the cartridge it self.

Now, the in theory advantage of lower tracking error  could be not a truly advantage against all those but by numbers not you not @karl_desch or any one else including me can't really be aware of it due to its very low differences after calculations.

Here using LÖfgren A alignment numbers says:

Average %distortion:  9" = 0.43%     11" = 0.34%

Max Error°               :  9" = 1.9          11" = 1.5

Max distortion% between null point:  9" = 0.64     11" = 0.51   

Groove after groove the distortion level is changing and from one groove to the next the differences are only 0.03%: no one but a bat can heard it so we can't be aware of it groove after groove no matters what. Nera the null points that differences of distortion goes down to 0.00...%

So from where comes that " subjectivity " advantages of the longer tonearms? from the higher developed distortions ( any kind. ) generated by the longer tonearms.

Yes, this is a different point of view but we have to stay conscious of what really is happening down there.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
we have to stay conscious of what really is happening down there.

to a point... , that is all well and good, the math is interesting, but as you know there is ultimately only one thing that matters... how does it sound?

No amount of theory and opinion and debate is going to tell me how it sounds in my system. I am fortunate enough that I can afford to just buy one and try it so that is what I'm doing

thanks for the input

Dear @herman  :  "   but as you know there is ultimately only one thing that matters... how does it sound? "

I agree with you and posted something similar in the last post.

Again what we like is what matters but some of us that analize those numbers that say a lot of things ( not the kind of sound we coukld have. ) can  discriminate/select in better way our decisions and the why's behind those decisions.

Anyway, you got my point: appreciated.

And please let us know what you think when your 4point14 is installed and playing.

I will continue to think about the 4point 9 versus the original 4point, 11”.
Dear @karl_desch  :  "  Will the higher effective mass of the 4point 11 work better with the Etna SL?

About resonance frequency the 9" mate well with Etna SL but the 11" goes out of the " theorical/ideal " resonance frequency range .

That does not necessary means that is a wrong mate the 11" but with some recordings or some kind of TT generated vibrations even coming from speakers could be some " trouble ". Maybe never will appear that " trouble ".

With the Soundsmith both tonearms mate well.

Thank you Raul. I was having problems finding the compliance measurement for the SoundSmith Sussurro ES.
I was having problems finding the compliance measurement for the SoundSmith Sussurro ES.

and even if you find it you are relying on somebody else measuring it accurately, along with the difference in how it is typically done in Japan vs. elsewhere if looking at a Japanese cartridge, along with somebody else effectively measuring the effective mass of the arm,, so a whole other can of worms. As Raul alluded to , you can’t be sure so just have to try it.

A great example of why I decided long ago to go only with arms with integral phono leads. Granted you probably can find some really good phono interconnects. But the first thing that IC has to do is overcome the distortion and losses of all the extra connections.

except the $3000 Kondo upgrade is a set of integral leads, so now you are stuck with them not knowing if the sound you are getting could be bettered by one of the other options. That said I am going with a different  integral set even though I’m not convinced that there are any significant loses or distortions in extra connections. I’ll never know though.
I think it’s worth noting that some arms probably deal with vibrations and resonances better than other in the same effective mass range.  Those arms are probably more flexible when it comes to cartridge compatibility.
Karl, in regards to the Lyra cartridges the 4 point 9 is the best choice. The 11 will work but the 9 will undoubtedly have less distortion because of it's lower polar moment of inertia and I think you can get a feel for that in the reviews. Both arms will be a significant improvement over the Morch. You will notice an improvement in bass detail and power. 
Dear @karl_desch  : ""  I think it’s worth noting that some arms probably deal with vibrations and resonances better than other in the same effective mass range.  ""

Yes, sometimes better than other and sometimes just different.

You can analize the Reed 3P that's too a very good design and comes with removable headshell where its EM ( cocobolo or ebony ) is almost the same as the Kuzma 9.

That's an alternative you can thing about and where you will be safe too:


The 4 point 14 has been here for a few days. No regrets even though it is about $1000 an inch more than the 11. “ substantial and satisfying “ sums it up. The arm just seems to be in control. I know blacker background is a tired cliche but best I have at the moment… sound coming from silence, smooooth

and I’m still dialing it in

Next i plan to get another for my mono cartridge. I love this thing, I’ve bought dozens of items in the past few years and this is one of the few where you hear immediately how much better it is than what you have . Of course that does nothing to help the OP with his 9 versus 11 question except I don’t see what the caveats expressed about setting up longer arms are about

I do think a lot of it has to do with the 19 g effective mass of the Kuzma being a better match for the Miyajima Destiny than the 12 Gram of the Moerch

anybody want to buy a Moerch DP8 ?

@herman thanks for the update. I’m sure that arm is a thing of beauty. I recently decided to go for the 4point 9.  This was ultimately a decision based on simplicity, synergy with my table and price.  $1250 less per inch! I went for the Cardas Clear from gold clips to ETI Kryo RCA. Ordered two extra headshells so I can more easily sway the Etna SL for the Sussurro and the A90.  I have experience with Clear wire so I know what it does in my system. Also, the dealer I’m working with informs me that it is Franc’s favorite tonearm wire. FWIW.
Should receive the arm sometime in mid July. I will also report back! Will be an interesting change from the Mørch DP8 which I have enjoyed for many years. 
FWIW, I tend to prefer 9” arms with advanced shaped styli and 12”+ with conical/spherical types.

The Denon 103(R) is a classic example that can easily “fall off the sibilant cliff” past the 2nd null point on a short arm.
@boothroyd, That is an interesting observation.  I don't think I've heard about the styli shape influencing to arm length. I think i might have even expected the opposite observation with spherical styli being the most tolerant of the increased offset angle of a 9 inch arm.
Dear @boothroyd :  The 103R is a low compliance cartridge and what you experienced with could be generated for that compliance and depends too of the tonearm quality in what is mounted and its alignment set up as its playing hours time.

I own some medium/high compliance cartridges ( MM/LOMC ) and comes to my memory the Fulton blue that's a medium complaince LOMC cartridge and never had that problem with 9" tonearms.

So, for me what you posted is not necessary a spherical stylus tip characteristic.

Spherical/Conical tip still in use by professionals because it’s more forgiving to tonearm adjustment errors. This is the only benefit of this type of stylus shape. In other words: if your tonearm (or cartridge in the headshell ) can’t be adjusted properly for some reason then only conical tip is optimal for such arm. 
On any other tonearm (adjusted properly) for specific cartridge , the music flow is much better with advanced stylus profile. Practically it is better, because the life span is at least 4 times longer and record wear factor is so much lower since the weight distributed over the larger groove contact area. The quality is better, resolution is higher, tracking ability is better. 

But personal taste is personal taste, some people enjoy gramophone sound with steel needle.

1+ Chakster

@karl_desch,@karl_desch, I will be very interested to hear your comparison of the Lyra to the Soundsmith. 
You bet @mijostyn.  From my time with Lyras (Delos, Atlas, Etna SL) and SoundSmith (MIMC star and Sussurro ES) I've identified some house sound characteristics that probably won't surprise anyone. The Lyras have that amazing openess and high frequency energy that does justice to cymbals and drums. The Atlas and Etna add a heft to the mids and low end that make them more complete hi rez pickups. I hear very good things about the lambda versions as well. The SoundSmiths on the other hand are almost as resolving but don't call attention to themselves like the lyra. They just get out of the way. The Sussurro adds a bit more nuance and resolution compared to the MIMC.  Would love to hear a Hyperion some day. The SoundSmith also has a lower background noise compared to the Lyras (which are also very quiet). These general observations were all using the Morch DP8, Pass XP-27. So we will just have to see what the Kuzma brings out of them.  
@chakster I wouldn’t say the tip profile is everything. The new DaVa FC A1 (field coil) is conical and by all accounts it equals/betters the top tier cartridges with modern profiles. I’ve only had the time to briefly experiment with mine. Implementation is everything.

It’s not everything, but life span of a conical is short, hard to argue about it. When the same cartridge  retipped with advanced profile people are more happy (read about those Denon enthusiasts :). I don’t know anyone who will go backwards (from advanced to conical on the same cartridge). Conical can be more polite with super bright horn speakers, but it’s a compromise. I tryend enough carts with nude conical (very well polished tip) to say it’s definitely not my type of sound. I like deep bass and nice treble. If someone can sell a new cart with conical tip I don’t mind, not sure how they can explain it to the buyers. 
Dear @ rauliruegas,
Thanks for making me think through this a bit more - my observation makes little sense from a zenith or tracking error perspective (Baerwald BTW). Not a wear issue either in the case of my fresh example, which could explain . . .

The Denon must be much lower in compliance than I realized.

In the back of my mind I‘ve somehow felt a longer arm helped minimize or offset sibilance issues associated with reduced lead out groove velocity, but such a concept is totally unexplainable by my limited knowledge and as such could be a mental fabrication.

Which all must come back to compliance & trackability. Thanks!
Thanx Karl, I would expect you to notice better resolution under 150 Hz or so and depending on your speakers might notice more output below 80 Hz. This is just an educated assumption but an assumption non the less. I wait for your definitive answer.
It is the strain gauge cartridge I would really like to hear. Soundsmith keeps one set up for audition and I hope to hear it when I get down that way. My daughter lives in NYC. I have a "Voice" which is just a high output Sussurro in a box waiting for a turntable. Should give me a good idea of the house sound. I know the Atlas well and it is one of my favorite MC cartridges. I am new to Soundsmith. 

I have heard that many find the Kuzma/Lyra combination to work well.

Does anyone think there would be an advantage to the 4Point 11" over the 4Point 9"? Specifically with sound quality not VTA tower use.

On my Kuzma 4Point 11", I always found Lyra's to be synergistic musically speaking (Etna SL and Atlas).  Chances are the 9" version will be just as good and in terms of mass should mate well.  The VTA tower is something though which will spoil you.  

Congratulations on your pending acquisition of the Kuzma 4point 9. That is an arm I have been considering for a while. It would be the third arm for my Transrotor Apollon turntable. Are the Kuzma arms compatible with SME mounting? 
Regarding the Soundsmith cartridges “The Sussurro adds a bit more nuance and resolution compared to the MIMC. Would love to hear a Hyperion some day. The SoundSmith also has a lower background noise compared to the Lyras (which are also very quiet).”,

 I own both, the Sussaro MKII and the latest Hyperion. Recalling my notes, the Sussaro MKII sounds different than my Benz Ruby Z and Benz LPS, but different in a good way. With the Benz LP, the music is glorious and sparkles with amazing bass, with the Sussaro, the music is also good, but I felt the voices were slightly better in the Sussaro and it was more even keeled across the music spectrum, nothing really standing out. It is a great cartridge out of the box. Maybe that is the Soundsmith signature. Now, the Hyperion, is another species altogether. I don’t consider it having a sound trait associated with previous Soundsmith cartridges, but more so sound traits reminiscent of stone body or upper tier wood body cartridges from any manufacturer. That is to say, it is dynamic and can be explosive if your system is capable without being etched and screechy and without ear bleed highs, while also being able to convey the most minuscule details in the record with the most quiet pickup I have ever had. I would not say that this cartridge is fast or syrupy, but just right. With the exception of groove noise at 90-100db levels, this is a quiet cartridge. Stereo separation is massive. Voices can haunt you if they are embedded in the grooves and are conveyed in a way that makes you look for the backup singers. My personal comparison of the Hyperion is that it is in a league that competes with some very respectable stone body cartridges, some with names like Onyx or Jade, and perhaps is the bargain of the day for cartridges. 
@audioquest4life It sounds like we were hearing very similar characteristics from the Sussurro.  It is a low compliance cartridge and I need to try it in my FR-64S which may be an even better combo than the Morch DP8 or the new Kuzma. Looking forward to listening to a new Hyperion one of these days.  From your description, it certainly sounds like a masterpiece.  
@audioquest4life Regarding the SME compatibility, the Kuzma 4point arms need a 50mm hole in the armboard and use three drill holes similar to Jelco mounts.  

Yes, we are more than likely hearing the same things. Will be interesting to hear your listening impressions on the FR-64s…don’t think anyone has tried that combination yet. Also, will be great to hear your impressions mounted on the Kuzma. 
Regarding the SME Mount compatibility, hmmm. I only have room for a dedicated  SME arm mount on the platter chassis. If I were to get a dedicated arm board I think I would need to remove one arm and also increase the size of the existing turntable platform because the Kuzma arm board requires space away from the turntable chassis. So, more than likely the Kuzma  is not going to happen on this turntable. I will live vicariously through you and others. I have some other options. Good luck on your installation and listening. 

BTW…forgot to add that my cartridges are mounted on SME Vs…and the one new tonearm I am looking at is the TRA9…essentially a newer improved SME V. If I order a new Transrotor Tourbillion it may well come with the new TRA9 tonearm. 
That TRA9 arm looks pretty great!  Thanks for the link.  You will need to start a new thread about it if you do get the new arm and table. 
Your welcome, and for sure, a new thread  if I go that route. 
Meanwhile, let’s hear how your Kuzma sounds😀 with any of the cartridges you decide to mount. I think there is a lot of experimentation opportunities with the Kuzma due to differing spacers or something like that. 
The TRA9 is indeed an intelligently designed arm. I like The 4 Point 9 better. It has a lower effective mass that can be used to suit more cartridges. It is much easier to add weight than it is to take it away. 
@audioquest4life - you can get a Kuzma adaptor for SME mounts (~ US$575) - best to email Franc or talk to your Kuzma dealer, if you want to further pursue.  

You might want to check out Galibier Design's website.  They are listing  Kuzma arms on Audiogon.  They have a hybrid option that uses the 4Point 9 foundation and swap in the 11" arm.  It gives a spindle to pivot of 264 mm.  You get the solidity and simplicity of the 9 base along with the 11 arm that has the VTF micro-adjustability.
Thom Mackris at Galibier is great.  I ordered my 4point 9 from him and he had an armboard drilled for me.  Should be receiving both this week.
Well I received the arm on two days ago and have got everything dialed in. I use Wally tools reference, SmarTractor and Adjust plus. 
My initial impressions are very positive.  Working with this arm is a pleasure. Obviously well made and easily adjustable once you figure out what bolt and screw adjusts what parameter.  This thing looks like it means business!

Sound-wise it was immediately apparent how good the arm matched the Etna SL.  Improved clarity, spaciousness without loss of detail.  The overall presentation was as others have described, more of a front row feeling with dynamics and energy.  
I’ll get the A90 and the SS Sussurro mounted on spare head shells eventually.

This was a good move!