Competition answers to win an Origin Live Zephyr tonearm

The winner of our recent competition to win one of these brand new arms is Nick Walpole. The answers were selected from 586 entries and were as follows.

Question – What is the most important part of the arm for performance?
a) The Tube
b) The Bearings
c) The Headshell

Answer a) The tube.

Nick gave us permission to publish his comments on why he would recommend an Origin Live arm, which were as follows “I like listening to music, not the music system. Origin Live tonearms allow you to listen to the music without worrying about whether you are obtaining optimum performance for the money you have paid for your system. For the money, Origin Live cannot be beaten – stunning performance.”

Why is the tube important?
The tube answer will surprise people judging by the range of answers to the competition. 22 % said the tube, 74% thought the bearings and 4% the headshell.

To explain this answer, it is easiest to use a simplified illustration. Imagine a long flexible fishing rod with a highly sensitive clock gauge attached to it’s tip. A clock gauge is used in engineering to measure distances to vanishing levels of accuracy. If you start waggling the handle of the fishing rod, two things will happen:
a) You induce a measurable distance of movement at the end of the rod.
b) There will be a whiplash effect that will cause the end to continue oscillating, even after you stop waggling the handle.

In Hi-Fi terms when you cease waggling the rod, you want the clock gauge to stop measuring movement. However it dies away gradually, depending on the characteristics of the rod. This is almost identical to a cartridge, transforming resonant micro vibrations into audible sound, causing colouration, blurring, masking of detail and all sorts of other effects.

All parts of the arm (even the grip) have an audible influence on performance because of resonance and “rattle” fed to the cartridge. However in our extensive design experience, the arm tube is the most influential on sound quality. Great tonearm performance is a delicate balance between resonance time, dying away almost instantly and minimizing the deflection distance (amplitude) measured by the cartridge. This is a highly complex area in theory and practice, which is why, even technical tests can only tell a small part of the story and listening is the only arbitor.

Because tonearms have such a crucial role in vinyl replay, we have spent over 15 years in perfecting their performance. You can be assured of leading edge performance from any of our arms due to the extraordinary depth of research and development.