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Able to accommodate two tonearms and for many listeners, the sweet spot in the Dr. Feickert range, the German-made Blackbird belt-drive turntable makes a statement. Not only in terms of functionality and sound, but in the areas of looks, construction, and ease of use. And because it touts two cutouts (each in one rear corner of the plinth) that permit you to set up the tonearm of your choice via the easy quick-change sliding system, Blackbird is ideal for analog tweakers who want to experiment with different setups. It also means that if, in the future, another tonearm or two grabs your attention, Blackbird stands at the ready to bend to your desires with supreme ease. (A single armboard for up to 12-inch tonearms comes standard; the second, for arms up to 10 inches, requires a Delrin slider and additional armboard.)
While the 48.5-pound Blackbird's versatility more than impresses, its engineering offers next-level advancements that directly impact the sonics you'll experience. Further refining the already superb drive and control found on its sibling, Woodpecker, Feickert constructed Blackbird with two motors arranged at 180 degrees to each other to ensure the platter operates tangentially. Such architecture eliminates any possibility of unilateral pulling, while tumbling movements get reduced to an absolute minimum and rumble becomes practically immeasurable. The practical upshot: Sit-and-up-and-take-notice synchronization, accuracy, detail retrieval, solidity, presence, and dynamics. You'll notice remarkable body from your LPs, as well as black backgrounds and dynamic contrasts that help take the recorded event into your listening room.
Equipped with a 13.2-pound High Inertia Delrin platter with eight MS58 brass inserts for exacting balance and added mass – as well as its inverted stainless-steel bearing appointed with spiral grooves to pump oil and an oil-release grub screw for enhanced motor/bearing interaction – Blackbird exudes visual elegance. Just look at the plinth: A tempered MDF body sandwiched by elegant aluminum plates, all resting on adjustable vibration-resistant feet, and warrantied for two years. And when it comes to operation, this bird sings. One-touch speed selection for 33, 45, and 78RPM can be found directly on the plinth while "plus" and "minus" buttons let you further incrementally dial-in the speed. It even has a built-in protractor for foolproof cartridge installation.
What more can you ask of an audiophile turntable that will give you years and years of concert-like pleasures? The inclusion of a Kuzma Stogi S 12 VTA tonearm, a complimentary Feickert Next Generation Universal Protractor ($250 value), and our 100% Music Direct Satisfaction Guarantee.
"I admired the Dr. Feickert Blackbird the minute I set it up. It looked and felt so simple, solid, and right. I liked it even more after I played a few records. After a couple of weeks, I was ready to propose marriage."
– Herb Reichert, Stereophile
Kuzma Stogi S 12 VTA Tonearm
The Kuzma Stogi S 12 VTA is a 12-inch unipivot bearing design with a unique, rigid, square solid-aluminum headshell and solid brass base that controls all vibration and facilitates stability. Featuring one uninterrupted piece of wire stretching from the head shell to connectors, every part of S 12 VTA arrives machined from solid metal in order to provide superb damping and minimize resonance. The polished pivot point is situated in an oil well, supplying extremely low friction and bearing vibration. The bearing height sits at record level for optimum tracking while the silicone damping controls cartridge resonance and offers stability in azimuth direction. Two counterweights allow easy adjustments of tracking force and azimuth. Fine azimuth adjustment is achieved by rotation of a horizontal screw in the main counterweight, which does not affect other tonearm parameters.