Kuzma Stabi M, 4 POINT, and CAR-50 vinyl front-end

The transcription turntable is back!

Kuzma 4POINT,
Kuzma CAR-50,
Kuzma Stabi M
Kuzma Stabi M, 4 POINT, and CAR-50 vinyl front-end

There was a time when radio stations actually played records. Yep – the flat(ish) black things with musical squiggles pressed into their surfaces. To do that, they needed record players: not just any record players, but record players that could play discs of any type, day in, day out, with all the robust practicality that a studio environment demands. And by “any type” I really do mean ANY type. When 78s were the order of the day, running times were so long that radio stations used special 16” discs, running at 33 (or sometimes 16) RPM to get whole musical pieces onto a single disc. These “transcription discs” were essential to the process and so the Transcription Turntable was born. Companies like Garrard, Thorens, and Technics all built their reputations on building such decks, motor units that would be built into a console and often used with a pair of separate arms of different types or lengths as the programme material required. Indeed, they were so successful that pretty soon, the term Transcription Turntable was being applied to any deck with pretensions to high-fidelity performance. Even the LP12, a deck that flew firmly in the face of all things traditional, adopted the moniker. Such was the power of studio association…

The days of the standalone motor unit are long gone (although the appearance of potted direct-drive systems means that they may be about to re-emerge) and nobody is suggesting that you build Kuzma’s latest turntable into your sideboard, but even so, there’s an unmistakable air of the studio about the Stabi M. It comes from the unbelievable solidity of its construction, its size, its sheer practicality and its absolute operational and physical stability. It also comes from its lack of visual embellishment and no-nonsense appearance. At a time when the number of individual elements, materials, and glitzy surface finishes involved seem to be directly proportional to a turntable’s price, the Stabi M’s look is all business. Externally it’s a case of, “move along, nothing to see here”, with what little there is hidden below the smoked lid. The lid? What self-respecting high-end ‘table has a lid? This one – a fact which underlines just how different this ‘table really is.

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