Why do Origin Live arms not have the Yoke offset as other arms do?
In theory not having an offset of the Yoke yields slight azimuth errors on warped records – whether this is ever audible is doubtful. Theory tends to sometimes focus on measuring and calculating what the ear cannot hear and not what it can.
The reason we prefer a non-offset yoke is that it reduces bearing friction by reducing side force on gimbal bearings and dual pivots.
We don’t take the shortcut of guessing what is best as so many do, but rather we test, test, and test again. Our findings are that additional friction is far more important than azimuth errors. Theoretical dogma often blocks real progress and there are some who will no doubt take issue with this – the only answer is to listen to the results.
To prove the force argument is much more complex than appears at first sight and incorrect assumptions are often made about the forces in operation when side bias is also taken into account.
It’s worth adding that even the conventional offset of the yoke on most decks is still only theoretically correct at one point on the record and is compromised the rest of the time, in a similar manner to angular tracking distortion.
Michael Fremmer, who is probably one of the most respected analogue reviewers on the planet and knows the theory of arms inside out, gave our Illustrious arm a superb review and never even mentioned the yoke offset. For over 10 years reviewers have never questioned the offset issue for the simple reason that the sound quality speaks for itself.
If people are absolutely paranoid about azimuth change on warped records then use a record clamp – you solve the VTA issues as well by doing this. Origin Live only recommend the use of a record clamp for really bad records as clamps tend to degrade sound quality.