Kuzma SAFIR 9

Maril555

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2014
388
346
370
I would like to share with you a tweak I am experimenting on the Safir. While the Safir has performed exceptionally in my system, I have always have this feeling that something is not perfect, and it can be even better.

I am no expert when it comes to setting up tonearms, but I have found my Safir had a slight tendency to drift outwards when I lowered the stylus onto a smooth surface, such as a piece of glass. This happened even without the anti-skate weight attached. I double checked the levelling of the platter and armboard, but no problem there!

When I reread Fremer’s review on the Safir, he mentioned the importance of dressing the wire loop exiting the arm block, which had significant effect on the arm’s free movement! That must be it I said to myself, remembering the Kondo silver wire used in the Safir was a lot stiffer that the standard wire in the 4Point.

I then looked at the photos in this thread and pretty much everyone have arranged the wire loop to go straight up when it exit the tube shape cable holder, and the wires took similar path to the arm block. I tried to mess around with the wire loop with litter success.

That is when I came up with the idea of hanging up the cable holder, so the wire loop could go pretty much straight up and down between the cable holder and the arm block. I believe with this arrangement the wire would generate the least resistance to the arm movement! It is early days of my experiment, but my initial impression is very positive. I believe the arm is moving more freely and the performance has improved. Not day and night difference, but very worthwhile improvement for an arm which has already performing magnificently before!

I’ll be glad to have your feedback should you choose to try this tweak :D

View attachment 120371
What is that thing over the spindle?
 

Maril555

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2014
388
346
370

Bonesy Jonesy

Well-Known Member
Jan 3, 2017
682
508
230
UK & Spain
With my SME3012R I look for drift (horizontal balance ) when the tonearm is floating above the record during set up. If it migrates inward or outward one can compensate or adjust the balance by sliding the counterweight mechanism and tube aft of the bearing left or right of the axis of the main arm tube to get a horizontal balance. During set up, one can/should check for both vertical balance and horizontal balance, and then apply tracking force and anti-skate. It’s a very clever solution.
I initially set up my Kuzma 4Point 11" with this standard set-up method for anti-skate before I had the Wally Skater.
However, once I was using the Wally Skater I could clearly see the unwanted tonearm forces I had which I wasn't aware of, and then once I had mostly eradicated them I could set the initial required anti-skate force to a reasonable accuracy with the Wally Skater.
 

phoni

Member
Dec 26, 2022
50
38
20
With my SME3012R I look for drift (horizontal balance ) when the tonearm is floating above the record during set up.
I am very familiar with this tonearm. The R-Series provided this setup called lateral balance. The tonearm tube is J-shaped and this setting should be used to adjust the counterweight position laterally to balance the different weights of cartridges.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mtemur

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2011
12,675
10,934
3,515
USA
I am very familiar with this tonearm. The R-Series provided this setup called lateral balance. The tonearm tube is J-shaped and this setting should be used to adjust the counterweight position laterally to balance the different weights of cartridges.

Yes. I think it also reduces chatter and uneven load on the knife edge bearing.
 

Wutang-401`

Member
Dec 6, 2023
32
23
8
49
Sydney, Australia
Hi I'm new here and with a new Safir arm and just wondering what other people have experienced with Kondo wire run-in. I am 4 days and about 24 hours in and sometimes it feels like the sound changes within a listening session. I also am using a low output MC and wonder if such a low output might extend "run in". Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.

Can anyone shed any light on these topics for me?

It is early days for me with this Tone Arm. What's remarkable is how much information there is and how little distortion. The bass is as Michael Fremer described the actual recorded bass (seemingly) and it is very enjoyable.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
1,444
2,410
480
Cologne, Germany
Hi I'm new here and with a new Safir arm and just wondering what other people have experienced with Kondo wire run-in. I am 4 days and about 24 hours in and sometimes it feels like the sound changes within a listening session. I also am using a low output MC and wonder if such a low output might extend "run in". Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.

Can anyone shed any light on these topics for me?

It is early days for me with this Tone Arm. What's remarkable is how much information there is and how little distortion. The bass is as Michael Fremer described the actual recorded bass (seemingly) and it is very enjoyable.
Mostly I do fit a MM cartridge, like AT95 from Audio Technika for run in purpose, I do not want to get just burn in hours on an expensive cartridge. The 3 to 5mv of a MM cart might speed up the burn in, but I never compared.
 

DetroitVinylRob

VIP/Donor
Dec 29, 2016
274
318
280
Metropolitan Detroit area, MI
Hi I'm new here and with a new Safir arm and just wondering what other people have experienced with Kondo wire run-in. I am 4 days and about 24 hours in and sometimes it feels like the sound changes within a listening session. I also am using a low output MC and wonder if such a low output might extend "run in". Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.

Can anyone shed any light on these topics for me?

It is early days for me with this Tone Arm. What's remarkable is how much information there is and how little distortion. The bass is as Michael Fremer described the actual recorded bass (seemingly) and it is very enjoyable.
I’d put a burner to it. I’ve done so with nice results on every tonearm or tonearm cable that’s past my way. A tonearm cable will never see enough electric energy to burn in otherwise imho. My weapon of choice is the Pro Audiodharma.
 

Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
560
554
1,155
Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.
I think you definitely should for reasons DetroitVinylRob has mentioned. And yes, all tonearm cables are going through 48 hours of burn in at the Kuzma factory. I experienced ups and downs with the new Safir 9 too and even after additional 48 hours on Audiodharma. Not huge but noticeable nonetheless. Don’t worry it will stabilize in no time….

This is how I do it…

IMG_1071.jpeg
 
Last edited:

DetroitVinylRob

VIP/Donor
Dec 29, 2016
274
318
280
Metropolitan Detroit area, MI
I think you definitely should for reasons DetroitVinylRob has mentioned. And yes, all tonearm cables are going through 48 hours of burn in at the Kuzma factory. I experienced ups and downs with the new Safir 9 too and even after additional 48 hours on Audiodharma. Not huge but noticeable nonetheless. Don’t worry it will stabilize in no time….

This is how I do it…

View attachment 121539
Polish those conductors with current. Burn baby, burn! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wutang-401`

DetroitVinylRob

VIP/Donor
Dec 29, 2016
274
318
280
Metropolitan Detroit area, MI
Hi I'm new here and with a new Safir arm and just wondering what other people have experienced with Kondo wire run-in. I am 4 days and about 24 hours in and sometimes it feels like the sound changes within a listening session. I also am using a low output MC and wonder if such a low output might extend "run in". Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.

Can anyone shed any light on these topics for me?

It is early days for me with this Tone Arm. What's remarkable is how much information there is and how little distortion. The bass is as Michael Fremer described the actual recorded bass (seemingly) and it is very enjoyable.
If “current annealed silver or copper” was a comment made about Kondo wire, this is consistent with what I had heard some four decades ago about the “magic” of Kondo wire, when Kondo-San himself rewired a tonearm of mine with his “fairy hair” silver litz. The folklore was that his wire source had had high current running through it for a very long time, decades. But the source was never revealed as far as I could find. Perhaps military or large transformers? Who knows.

Mine sounds beautiful and without any edge, zip, or zing.

Love audio mysticism :)
 

Wutang-401`

Member
Dec 6, 2023
32
23
8
49
Sydney, Australia
I am in early steps of discussion with the Cable Cooker man about getting a unit out to Australia. However yesterday I discovered VTA adjustment (previous tonearm wasn't adjustable or i was just ignorant) which via the Safir is somewhat precise and oh boy! The sound is really excellent. Very solid, very exciting.
 

Bonesy Jonesy

Well-Known Member
Jan 3, 2017
682
508
230
UK & Spain
@Wutang-401` curious on what turntable do you have your Safir mounted? Yes VTA makes a HUGE difference when you get it spot on. :)
Along with all of the other important cartridge and tonearm parameters !
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wutang-401`

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
22,638
13,662
2,710
London
Hi I'm new here and with a new Safir arm and just wondering what other people have experienced with Kondo wire run-in. I am 4 days and about 24 hours in and sometimes it feels like the sound changes within a listening session. I also am using a low output MC and wonder if such a low output might extend "run in". Should I perhaps I should seek out a cable cooker?

Also I read somewhere that 48 hours of "run in" time are allowed for at factory (Kondo i presume) as well as a comment about "current annealed" silver. This might be the 48 hour run in process, I'm unsure.

Can anyone shed any light on these topics for me?

It is early days for me with this Tone Arm. What's remarkable is how much information there is and how little distortion. The bass is as Michael Fremer described the actual recorded bass (seemingly) and it is very enjoyable.

Welcome, very interesting system. What speakers do you have, I did not see them listed in your information. Audio note?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wutang-401`

mtemur

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2019
1,408
1,351
245
48
If “current annealed silver or copper” was a comment made about Kondo wire, this is consistent with what I had heard some four decades ago about the “magic” of Kondo wire, when Kondo-San himself rewired a tonearm of mine with his “fairy hair” silver litz. The folklore was that his wire source had had high current running through it for a very long time, decades. But the source was never revealed as far as I could find. Perhaps military or large transformers? Who knows.

Mine sounds beautiful and without any edge, zip, or zing.

Love audio mysticism :)
Besides annealing, Kondo adds a special lacquer over silver wire which favors it’s distinctive character.

I rewired 10-15 tonearms with Kondo AN-AI over the years. It’s the same and only Kondo silver tonearm wire inside Kuzma Safir. The first one I rewired was SME V in 2009 which I’m still using. IMHO first 50 hours is really important for break in. It becomes relaxed, smooth and lively. Top to bottom more coherent. After 50 hours improvement continues but slightly. Sometimes it may take more than 50 hours. I rewired SME V-12 in 2020, constantly using it but it took around 250 hours to fully burn in. Once burned in sound became slightly livelier and easy flowing. I only used medium or low output MC with those tonearms.
 
Last edited:

Wutang-401`

Member
Dec 6, 2023
32
23
8
49
Sydney, Australia
@bonzo75 I have added some details to my signature so hopefully that shows up now. Yeah it is all Audio Note with AN-E speakers.

@mtemur wow that is a wealth of experience to draw from! i am maybe 40 hours in by now and it sounds terrific. the ioGold i use has a terribly small output voltage of course but you wouldn't know it for how quickly the cable seems to be running in. using a "cable cooker" looks unlikely at this stage so i'm reassured by your experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mtemur

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing