Why Not Use Continuous Rewiring Cable with No Joints in the Tonearm?
If a continuous wire is used for a tonearm from the headshell tags to the phono stage or amp, it needs to be very thin to avoid restricting the freedom of movement of the tonearm. This means it is automatically a non-optimal solution as wire characteristics are more influential on signal quality than solder joints.
There is a common misconception that all wire joints are bad. In practice there is a vast difference between a mechanical joint and a soldered joint. Mechanical joints such as 5-pin DIN plugs are audibly detrimental as they put brass in the signal path and a mechanical joint is not good news either. Origin Live avoid mechanical joints unless specifically requested. Instead we use copper to copper wire joints using the highest grade solder containing silver and gold. This is a virtually inaudible joint and not to be confused or put in the same class as mechanical joints.
Internal wires must be very thin to avoid arm friction but this has the disadvantage of high resistance and non-optimal design for low level signal transmission (Approx 1000 times less than CD player). We want low resistance and other desirable properties, so the design of the much longer external cable is not thin wire, but wire designed for optimum performance.
These benefits have been tested and proven to far outweigh the benefits of avoiding a hard wired joint. It should also be added that the external wiring is 4 times as long as the internal and thus is more influential.
According to our rigorous listening tests, the no joint theory is true up to a point but on balance there are better solutions.
Whatever external wire is used, it is always best to hardwire it to the internal wiring as Rega do. 5-pin plugs not only introduce a joint into the signal path but more importantly they are made of brass which is only 70% copper. Brass has a poor grain structure for conduction and degrades signal quality. At the very low signal levels involved at the phono stage the aforementioned problems should be avoided as they are more serious than most people imagine.
Our external cable may not the most flexible on the market but there are advantages to having a slightly stiffer cable on suspended decks as it improves sound quality by reducing rotational movement of the sub-chassis.