Discovery 1 Phono Stage by Tony Sharman
initially reviewed the Discovery 2 and using it in single ended mode it proved to be absolutely brilliant, so when Origin Live introduced the Discovery 1 at very nearly half the price of the 2 it was a no brainer, so I bought one ( after listening of course) as it’s only caviat was the lack of balanced output which I didn’t use, to say this is a bargain is a gross understatement, it’s nearly a quarter of the price of the phono stage it replaces, so you might think it was an unfair comparison, which is entirely true, the Discovery is streets ahead it runs totally silently, is easily adjustable via it’s rotary controls and has the resolution to take your breath away, gone are those fiddly dip switches inside the case, which makes it a doddle to set up and use. Living with the Discovery 1 is one of those rare occasions when things (in this case audio performance) gets better day by day.
On first unboxing I decided to connect it to the mains and leave it on overnight, I’ve learned with high quality electronics, they need to be warmed up properly and subsequently run in over a period of time to sound their best, I did wonder however when I eventually used it in anger why I bothered, it sounds absolutely brilliant before running in, so decided to just use it and enjoy it, after all it could only get better, and does it! In a couple of hours it’s singing the same tunes but differently, better, with more detail being resolved, sound stage expanding, bass tightening up, vocals starting to soar. As the Discovery 1 slowly runs in it is quite obvious that it’s living up to it’s name and subsequent records are producing detail that before was just not evident, this is marked to such a degree that I’m able to hear slight improvements I’ve made to the system which has added up to a major overhall of the deck and ancilliaries. Without this resolution a lot of my improvements would not have been evident, with it they are astounding.
I won’t go into boring details about nuances with different music, this is afterall a product that needs listening to, when you get over your disbelief, sit back enjoy your new listening experience
and hear all your records with new ears.