To modify or not to modify

We work with many turntable owners who want to upgrade their decks. A common dilemma is whether to modify an existing deck or buy something entirely new. This choice is not always easy but the following comments may help.

  • Firstly, how attached are you are to your deck? If the answer is “I really don’t want to part with it for sentimental and nostalgic reasons”, then modification is the way to go and the investment in upgrading can be far higher than otherwise.
  • Secondly there are several major upgrade routes so which is the best to choose?Upgrade the motor drive systemUpgrade the ArmUpgrade the Phono Stage

    All these are about equal in significance Items like new Cartridge, Platter Mat, Belt, Oil, isolation Feet etc are relatively lower in the hierarchy of things but still significant.

  • Thirdly there is the option of going for a brand new deckTo simplify matters, it is fair to say that the best performance and best value will be found in a new Origin Live Mk2 deck. However if you are on a budget, then you can invest a lot less and still get a massive upgrade by modifying your existing deck. This option can easily elevate your deck above many modern decks currently available at around £1,500 and above, depending on how good your deck is to begin with of course. To give some idea of the changes you can experience, we have kindly been given permission to publish the experience of Kevin Fiske (a new client). Kevin decided to change his previous high performance deck completely for an Origin Live deck and wrote back as follows. “I’d lived with a Voyd ‘The Voyd” and Helius arms for quite a while and they were a very hard act to follow. I tried a Nottingham Hyperspace and a Michell Orbe with Helius, SME and Funk arms but none of the combinations excited me. Analytical, yes, but musically satisfying? No. For me, the defining characteristics of the Voyd are real drive and musicality and neither of the alternatives came close. Although they were both more revealing than The Voyd, it was in a bleached out digital way, devoid of emotion. And so to the OL Resolution II, Illustrious 3c and Linear Flow 2 with my trusted Audio Note IO II cartridge. The OL combination delivers startling resolution but with real drive and musicality. Dynamics are vivid to the point of shock and awe on some recordings, with detailed yet sweet mids and tops and a seriously weighty low-frequency foundation that renders music more believable, more organic and more satisfying than anything I have heard at the price point and beyond. This is clever, thoughtful audio engineering evidently driven by musical appreciation. Thank you. Kevin Fisk.” We invite you to read some of the reviews and owner comments relating to our turntable range if this is something you are considering. Otherwise maybe an upgrade to your existing deck would be a good option. If you wish to discuss an upgrade with us, then it is usually best to phone. Although e-mails are fine for straightforward matters they are not ideal when interaction needed. To best serve you we like to ask questions about your current system and needs