KUZMA Announces New SAFIR 9 Tonearm

Following 5 years of R&D Franc Kuzma today introduced his latest creation, the SAFIR 9 tonearm. The conical arm tube is fabricated from sapphire— "the first implementation of the precious stone" for this application.

According to the press release sapphire's overall rigidity and resistance to unwanted resonances are key natural properties of the material and according to Kuzma the arm "outperforms any arm tube used in any tonearm, remaining "resonant free" up to 5kHz, giving the cartridge, Kuzma avers, a true "ground".

Owing to the material's natural density the SAFIR 9 has "a considerably high effective mass." The bearing system is similar to the unique one used on the 4 Point arms: 4 sharp spikes resting against ruby cups, though Kuzma claims the ones here are a "further improvement" over the ones the 4 Point use.

The arm tube fits into a massive solid aluminum structure with brass blocks to provide an extremely inert and mechanically quiet support for the sapphire tube and the bearing spikes resulting in exceptional vibration dissipation.

Other features include a locking twin section brass counterweight and accurate azimuth adjustment in small accurate and easy to repeat increments with zero play. The tonearm fits easily into the "vast majority" of today's best turntables because it retains the "well-established" Kuzma arm base layout. VTA/SRA adjustment is via a very find treated screw within the arm base, producing accuracy and ease of repeated adjustment.

Internal wiring is a special Kondo silver alloy as a single, uninterrupted 1.5m long cable from headshell pins to high quality RCA plugs.

Kuzma will launch the SAFIR 9 at the High End 2022 exhibition in Munich May 19-22. There projected list price is 20,000 Euro. Here are the key specs:

Eff length:229mm (9")
P2S distance: 212mm
Offset angle: 23 degrees
Effective mass: 60 grams (compatible with phono cartridges of CU (compliance 25 or lower)
Overall mass (weight): 1250 grams

This is very exciting news!

Glotz's picture

No resonance to 5 kHz! Can't wait to hear what you think...

Anton D's picture

Now we just sit back and relax and wait for someone to come along and tell us how a much cheaper arm has better specs.

It will be interesting to see how the cartridge matching goes!

Glotz's picture

I needed a good laugh in the morning... kudos!

Glotz's picture

I needed a good laugh in the morning... kudos!

jazz's picture

stealth bomber/straw mixture. Will look interesting on some turntables.

MrRom92's picture

Interesting concept. If the sapphire is incredibly rigid and great at rejecting resonances, I’d like to see them use it to make a longer tonearm (12” minimum) with none of the usual long-arm rigidity or resonance issues. Could be a gamechanger.

michaelj's picture

I think I'll order one right away. Not sure if it will outperform my Crosley.

Anton D's picture

What makes this 'sapphire?'

How would this differ from a ruby or aluminum oxide?

I think I know the answer, but would greatly appreciate a more physical science minded informed opinion.

Anton D's picture

I wonder how many carats this arm is?

Jazz listener's picture

producing the sapphire from Hellman’s mayonnaise??? Could have brought the price down to 1/10 the cost!

vince's picture

It is 6250 carats. One carat is defined to be 5 gram.

Tom L's picture

as long as it looks like a Klingon Bird of Prey.

Glotz's picture

Good call man! The headshell with the rest of the design... totally!

I still need a portable cd player shaped like the USS Enterprise...

Alastair McClean's picture

“ 60 grams (compatible with phono cartridges of CU (compliance 25 or lower)”. Shurely shome mushtake? According to the resonance calculator I use (http://www.resfreq.com/resonancecalculator.html) in this arm a cartridge weighing,like Kuzma’s own cartridges,17 grams with a compliance of a low 8cu will produce a fundamental resonance at a distinctly borderline 6.4 hz. Between 8-12 hz is optimum. A cartridge like the Lyras weighing 12 grams with a compliance of 12cu will have a fundamental resonance of 5.4 hz. A 10 gram cartridge with a compliance of 20 cu produces a fundamental resonance of 4.2 he. All these resonance frequencies are too low and likely to result in instability in the. Or am I missing something?
I have a SAT LM09 which has an effective mass of 23 grams I believe and I had instability issues with a Transfiguration Proteus and a Lyra Kleos. So it is a real world problem.

WallyTools - WAM Engineering LTD's picture

...I am not concerned with "unacceptably low" resonance figures on ultra rigid arms like this one. This is particularly true if you use vacuum hold down or use peripheral clamps or even SME-style clamping mechanisms to keep the record flat against the platter. It is also assumed that your records have a reasonably concentric spindle hole (if a record isn't concentric, there is an easy and cheap way to fix that!). Wonderful turntable isolation that has resonant frequency well below 5Hz will be important as well. If these conditions are met, I think this arm (based on technical merits available so far) just might be the finest sounding arm today. Again, the proof is in the putting!

Personally, I can't wait to try one out!

Alastair McClean's picture

I agree suck it and see but it is a valid technical concern. And I know a Transfiguration Proteus with if I recall correctly a 16cu compliance was fundamentally unstable on my 23 gram effective mass and ultra rigid SAT LM09 on a clamp equipped SME 30/2. No problems experienced with a Kuzma CAR 50,Ortofon A95 and SPU Royal N all of which are sub 10cu compliance. ThE SAT is nearly a third the effective mass of the SAFIR. This is my experience so it would be legitimate for me to be concerned about this arms POTENTIALLY limited compatibility with anything other than very high mass and low compliance cartridges.

dial's picture

Nice but not my budget.

jkingtut's picture

A little man walked up and down,
He found an eating place in town,
He read the menu through and through,
To see what fifteen cents could do.
One meatball, one meatball,
He could afford but one meatball.

Howard's picture

Dear god in heaven, does this mean that my 14" 4 point is not worthless and Ill have to pony up thousands more just to stay 'cool"? I cant take the stress, goodbye kruel world.

Atom man's picture

Wait - don't commit hari-kari yet. That thing looks like something I could put together with a PVC pipe from Lowes, Ace Hardware, or Home Depot. Some more plastic and a Dremel rotary tool could seal the deal. I'll have to think about the suspension. Ha ha ha!

Atom man's picture

There does not appear to be a delete feature.

Atom man's picture

Wait - don't commit hari-kari yet. That thing looks like something I could put together with a PVC pipe from Lowes, Ace Hardware, or Home Depot. Some more plastic and a Dremel rotary tool could seal the deal. I'll have to think about the suspension. Ha ha ha!

Atom man's picture

Makes me wonder about DIY options. I took a counterweight to a gunsmith once who used a drill press to drill 4 holes in the back of it so I could use a Supex 6 gram headshell without lead plates to replace a 13.5 gram Marantz shell. Linda Ronstadt immediately lost the sinus condition last heard with the Shure M95ED cartridge. Some of these tweaks work but some of the no nothings at that Audio Science Review Forum will not hear of it.

rajal's picture

An automatic vortex can replace the 13.5-gram Marantz case. Another way when i start drift boss