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 prove to far outweigh the “no joint” alternative. It should also be added that the external wiring is 4 times as long as the internal and thus is more influential. Even with a 5 din pin joint in the base of the arm, the benefits of a better external arm cable easily surpass those of using wafer-thin continuous wire.
According to our rigorous listening tests, joints are audible to varying degrees depending on their type. However, to sacrifice using better cable in favour of no joints is an incorrect conclusion. Those who make this understandable mistake probably do so because they experimented with such a poor external cable that it would invalidate any result. This is not surprising because genuinely high-performance external cables are hard to find.
Whatever external wire is used, it is always best to hardwire it to the internal wiring. However 5-pin plugs are sometimes necessary and any degradation is still far outweighed by the opportunity to use a better external cable.
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.