When choosing a new system, item of equipment or an upgrade, we offer good advice for a number of reasons.

It’s not always easy to know exactly what system you want or aspire to. There are numerous factors to consider regarding equipment choices, formats,  styles and ease of use. You could spend a lot of time reading literally hundreds of reviews or take a leap in the dark with an unknown dealer. Either way you run a risk of ending up with something that is far from ideal without even realising it.

Putting together a system for your particular needs takes specialist knowledge, experience and good judgement. The information overload that is available from dealers, magazines and forums is astonishing so why do people choose to trust us and then stay with us? The following list may provide some of the answers:

  • Most of our business comes from long-term trust and happy clients who thank us for the recommendations we make over and above much of the shallow, inexperienced, “out to make a quick sale” sort of advice that we’ve all experienced. We take great care that the advice we give yields the best results possible and builds trust.
  • We have not found that high price always means high performance – in fact there are many examples of where a top product will outperform others at over 10 times the price.
  • With over 25 years of dealing with suppliers we have found the harsh reality is that only around 1 in 10 deliver outstanding results in terms of performance, reliability and value for money. This paints a very different picture from much of what you read in the press. Because nearly everything gets a good review, one gets the impression that there are not the vast differences that actually exist between the good, the bad and the ugly. For example we had someone phone us up who had tried 5 well reviewed phono stages, offered by a local shop and was not happy with any of them. We recommended the Whest 2, which was under half the price of some of those he had rejected, and got the feedback that this was just the solution he’d been looking for – he loved it.
  • Origin Live products must be ultra competitive, as we compete worldwide and export up to 80% of output per month.
  • We don’t offer discounts – the truth is that the best gear is not discounted and can sometimes outperform other products at more than five times the price. What appears to be a bargain is often far from it.
  • Advice is based on extensive exposure to hearing a huge range of products through many international shows in the USA, Germany, France, Italy, and more.
  • We interact with audio enthusiasts at the highest level from the press and dealers to designers and component suppliers. This has also involved the absorption of huge amounts of product information over the years.
  • Leading audio designers need to be superb judges of sound quality and possess systems capable of discerning it. This ability is critical as truly cutting edge designs are developed largely by assessing small incremental changes that all combine to yield a huge improvement. From the plethora of misguided advice and material given by so-called experts we would advise extreme caution on what you believe. At Origin Live we have been developing award-winning products for many years with painstaking time spent on literally tens of thousands of listening tests. We do not hand out sloppy advice based on ignorance, bias or higher margin of profit. If we do not know the answer to a question we will say so or find a reliable source who does.
  • There are dealers who seem to stock everything under the sun and appear like an Amazon of the Hi-Fi world. Obviously there is a place for this but would you expect to get great advice from Amazon? We take the opposite approach and are highly selective about what we offer. In fact much of what we have available is not seen on our website for much the same reasons that a doctor would not offer drugs without consultation.
  • We have a large network of trusted listeners from reviewers, fellow manufacturers, dealers and owners.
  • Good engineers tend to focus on truth more than salespeople because they have to deal with reality rather than popular beliefs or the whims of the press.
  • Reliability is something we take seriously and know from first hand experience the brands that are highly reliable from those that tend to have an erratic track record.
  • We have a history of picking winners – for example we were one of the first to stock the Shanling 2000CD player as we really believed it offered a seriously good sound – 2 years later it won CD player of the year and one of the better reviewers intimated that it was the best player he’d heard but at a fraction of the price of many high-end players on the market.

We may not always offer the cheapest solution for the simple reason that we don’t judge everything on price. There are important considerations such as performance, reliability (a really big one nowadays), ease of use, appearance, build quality and other factors.

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