Dr. Feickert Trio SE and Kuzma 4point9

Joe Fedenecz

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Dec 17, 2019
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I am considering a big purchase ( for me ) of the Dr. Feickert turntable and the Kuzma 4point 9 arm. The table is a three motor design with upgraded plinth that was made for one dealer in limited quantities. Similar to the Blackbird but able to hold one arm, which is fine for me. Being sold by only one dealer there are no reviews except for the dealers. I am sure the Kuzma arm is one I definitely lust for and Feickert tables are highly regarded. I am a long time VPI guy going back some 30 years but feel ready to take my sound above my Prime Sig. Not comfortable with the VTA and anti-skate. If anyone has helpful thoughts in this regard I would be most grateful, thanks. Joe
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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Looks like you haven't got any responses yet, so I'll try...

You mention the Feickert Trio SE 'table in your post title. A quick search reveals that is not a standard Feickert model but a "special version" of the Feickert Venti 'table offered only by Upscale Audio for $8k.

Here is what UA describes as the differences between the Venti and the Trio SE:

Updates over Venti
  • Modified and enhanced suspension and decoupling of the motors using a softer rubber compound with modified dimensions
  • Newly designed steel bed for the bearing with less sensitivity to motor interference
  • Modified chassis grounding
  • Spike feet now are using a different way of mounting and coupling to the chassis for better adjustability and less mounting-platform noise impact
  • Larger cutout for the sliding base now allows up to 315 mm pivot-spindle
Since this is a dealer exclusive you probably won't find published reviews for it that are not advertising. My suggestion is to research the Venti and other Feickert 'tables to get a sense of their build quality and sonics.

But it looks like the Venti itself was a limited model with few sold in the US. You might find yourself with a turntable with few users for sharing information, and possibly limited parts availability down the road. If Deal loses interest in Feickert or their relationship splits, you might inquire about the availability of service going forward. You might write to Feickert to see if he supports these modifications and his thoughts on them.

You might also ask for specs on the Venti. What is that "softer rubber compound" used to de-couple the 3 motors from the chassis? If it's sorbothane, be advised that will wear out. How close does it get to 33-1/3 rpm (3150Hz)?

The pictures on the UA Web site shows the 'table with 11" and 14" 4Point arms so presumably the two are compatible. I'm guessing that 14" arm costs several thousands more than the 'table, which imo is probably out of proportion with table/arm expenditure; I'd stick with the 11". Fwiw, the 4Point has an effective mass that works best with low-compliance cartridges - something to keep in mind.

There are many 'tables that yield improvement over VPIs. Can you say why you have pinned down this particular Trio model from Upscale? Is it price or wanting to deal with them? Do you have a price range for a 'package' to work with? If you're looking at $15-$20k+, there could be other combinations worth considering, which others here can tell you about. I'm not trying to discourage you if you have your heart set on a Feickert/Kuzma combo - just some things to consider.

Hopefully others will jump in. Good luck.
 

Joe Fedenecz

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Dec 17, 2019
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Thank you Tima, you guessed it! I tried to avoid mentioning the dealer because I didn't know if it was proper. I have done all the things you suggested as far as background checks. I am rather sold on the Kuzma 4point9 rather than the 11, I have never had a longer arm and know the reasons why one is preferred over the other.. My budget is around 13k so I am looking for the most significant upgrade and am looking at the usual suspects in this range. I know the SME model12 is 12k with the 309 arm and the Clearaudio compact wood is in there too. I guess what I am wondering is what other options I have in this range that you folks think I should consider. My current cart is Soundsmith The Voice though I can see a change there too next year. I think the cart would be a good match. Thanks again, Joe.
 

Oracle1974

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Jun 28, 2020
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Thank you Tima, you guessed it! I tried to avoid mentioning the dealer because I didn't know if it was proper. I have done all the things you suggested as far as background checks. I am rather sold on the Kuzma 4point9 rather than the 11, I have never had a longer arm and know the reasons why one is preferred over the other.. My budget is around 13k so I am looking for the most significant upgrade and am looking at the usual suspects in this range. I know the SME model12 is 12k with the 309 arm and the Clearaudio compact wood is in there too. I guess what I am wondering is what other options I have in this range that you folks think I should consider. My current cart is Soundsmith The Voice though I can see a change there too next year. I think the cart would be a good match. Thanks again, Joe.
Hello Joe, if I may ask ( pardon me if I am hijacking your thread ) why do you prefer 9 inch Kuzma 4 point over the 11 inch? Thanks.
 

Joe Fedenecz

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Dec 17, 2019
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Well Oracle, just going by what I've read. Michael Fremer who I respect a lot praised the 9 over the 11. I know all about the tradeoffs and the added cost of he 11 is a stretch. I know the uber expensive SAT is only available as a 9 also.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
2,216
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the Upper Midwest
Thank you Tima, you guessed it! I tried to avoid mentioning the dealer because I didn't know if it was proper. I have done all the things you suggested as far as background checks. I am rather sold on the Kuzma 4point9 rather than the 11, I have never had a longer arm and know the reasons why one is preferred over the other.. My budget is around 13k so I am looking for the most significant upgrade and am looking at the usual suspects in this range. I know the SME model12 is 12k with the 309 arm and the Clearaudio compact wood is in there too. I guess what I am wondering is what other options I have in this range that you folks think I should consider. My current cart is Soundsmith The Voice though I can see a change there too next year. I think the cart would be a good match. Thanks again, Joe.

Look at the Turntable forum for alternatives.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
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the Upper Midwest
I was thinking about this some more, mostly because I'm not that familiar with the $15-$20K range for a package of arm + table. Figured I should be at least somewhat aware. I like direct-drive tables and own a Grand Prix Audio Monaco 2.0 which I use with the 11" 4Point. GPA makes a really nice less expensive model called the Parabola, but that's around $20K without an arm. Figured that was out of your budget.

Thinking of the Parabola led me to think of the direct drive Technics models that came out not that long ago supposely modeled after their SP10 series of several years back which were and remain popular. Of the new models there was the SL1000R ready to use with a fixed arm, vaguely thinking it is under $5K. I can't bring myself to suggest a 'table where you cannot choose your own arm. Then there was the SP-10R, which has no arm and requires a plinth - I don't know the current price, $10K ? Fremer seemed to think well of it. (I have not used one.) I suggest looking at that and Artisan Fidelity for the 9"4Point and plinth. They could probably put that together as a package for you. Yes, a little more money if you can stretch. Worth a look imo.

Maybe others have suggestions.
 

Joe Fedenecz

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Dec 17, 2019
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Tima being a direct drive guy do you have any input on the Brinkman Bardo? Also, I have a line on the Kuzma stabi-r witn the 4point11 that looks promising.
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
2,216
1,825
460
the Upper Midwest
Tima being a direct drive guy do you have any input on the Brinkman Bardo? Also, I have a line on the Kuzma stabi-r witn the 4point11 that looks promising.

I have not heard the Brinkman Bardo so I cannot comment on its sound. I remember reading that it has the same bearing as the Balance, which is an excellent table. And I hear good things about Brinkman generally. If you haven't already, do a quick search in the Turntable forum. Pretty sure the Bardo is discussed here and there are reviews. I'll speculate it has a better re-sale than the Feicket. Brinkman offers a platform built especially for their tables - that's worth considering.

Interesting you mention the Stabi-R. I have not heard it. But if you can wait 6-8 months, I've been offered one with the 4Point 9" for review. :) It's fairly new table and somewhat modular with a variety of options, including multiple tonearms. I like the version in a wood plinth. Franc Kuzma is one of the good guys - he builds quality gear and offers great support.

Let me know what you learn after researching the Bardo and the Stabi-R.
 

bazelio

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2016
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California
@Joe Fedenecz , did you buy a table? I happen to have a Bardo with 4P11 as a second TT. I also know a tech who has seen a few of the Feickert models come through for repair and I can share what he's told me about their build quality via PM.
 

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