High Performance Turntables Produce the Ultimate Sound Quality
The record player still reigns supreme in terms of performance. Experts agree that leading turntables provide a more satisfying musical experience than any digital counterparts. Unlike digital streaming & CD, there seems no limitation on the musical information that turntables can extract from vinyl. In recent years, advances in some turntables have caused the gulf between digital performance and vinyl to widen even further. Origin Live draws together many long-established principles of high-end turntable design, along with advanced innovations, to reveal just how much the vinyl medium is capable of.
Why invest in a quality turntable?
If you are unfamiliar with Hi-Fi you may be unaware of the major sound quality differences between one turntable and another. There are over 800 different decks on the market. Faced with such a colossal choice, many buyers take the shortcut and assume “if it looks good, and has a good review, it must be good”. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. To its credit, the Hi-Fi press has long extolled the importance of a good turntable for high sound quality. If the source signal is degraded in the first place, everything else in the Hi-Fi Chain can only exaggerate the problem. It is important to choose your turntable based on its sound quality, which comes from its engineering and design.
Here at Origin Live, we make almost all of our components in our own workshop in the UK, this means we are in total control of the materials, quality control, and design of our products. You won’t find any chipboard, plywood, or flimsy components in these turntables. Using mass effective design in our bearing houses, plinths, arm boards and platters, all possible areas where jitter and vibration can be removed have been carefully considered. Through relentless development, we have selected materials that produce the natural, uninhibited tone from your vinyl.
Turntable Differences Are Greater Than Any Other Item Of Hi-Fi Equipment
CD players sound different to one another, but not a lot in comparison to turntables. Turntables have more influence on the sound of a system than almost any other item of Hi-Fi equipment and the differences between them are massive. A better turntable will improve the clarity, dynamics and ability to follow every strand of the music plus other aspects too numerous to mention. Gone is blurred, woolly bass and general confusion in the sound. Better turntables also have increased pitch stability adding a sense of sub-conscious sense of rhythm, security and confidence to your listening experience.
Rewards Of Higher Investment
A cheap £165 turntables will fall well short of CD performance, whereas a good £1500 turntable should outperform CD. The pursuit of the ultimate sound goes well beyond CD quality however. Turntables can improve a lot further with the right choices in equipment, and often this involves higher investment.
No one could blame you for being sceptical that a truly high-performance turntable is worth the investment. It’s usually only by hearing a direct comparison between two similar-looking decks, that the penny drops. The difference in musical cohesion, dynamics and ability to follow music effortlessly is simply jaw-dropping. It leaves one wondering how such massive differences can possibly exist when outward appearances can look so similar. Usually, this is down to materials, design and engineering. We explain further in our article: what makes the best turntable.
The conclusion is that it’s worth hearing turntable differences so you know what’s possible in terms of sound quality.
All of our turntables come with a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Accidental damage is not covered under this warranty. Tonearms are not included in the 5-year warranty.
Deciding On Your Priorities
Acquiring a good Record Player is a process that’s really worth getting right. Like buying a house, it’s going to be with you for a long time. There are many mediocre decks on the market with excellent reviews. This makes finding the best turntable all the more difficult. If you pay attention to every review that ends with words to the effect of ” worth adding to your shortlist”, you will end up with hundreds of turntables to audition.
It pays to evaluate your priorities in making your choice and the following provides a checklist of things to consider:
- Aesthetics – You probably want to like the look of your deck but it also needs to fit in with your decor or other Hi-Fi Components
- Sound Quality (should be very important for long term enjoyment and the differences are huge)
- Reliability – Some designs have far greater longevity than others due to better design. It’s difficult without naming specific manufacturers to identify the problems that arise and this is an aspect on which reviewers are unable to comment
- Upgradability – Some decks are much more difficult to upgrade and exchange than others. This is a complex subject but thinks in terms of changing arms or part exchange.
- Build Quality – Most manufacturers have little to differentiate between them in this aspect
- Size of the turntable – Will it fit the space available
- Set up – how easy is it to set up the deck?
- Servicing, maintenance and repair – Typically decks with suspension using springs and rubber grommets need regular servicing as the rubber compresses
- The speed may also need to be checked and adjusted due to belt wear. Service costs vary massively between turntables
- Popularity – A “safety in numbers” approach is sometimes valid but too many notable exceptions make this an unreliable benchmark
- Resale value – Linked to the above is re-sale value. Less well-known decks or those without spectacular endorsements and awards do not do so well on the 2nd hand market
- There is general advice on selecting products and apportioning your budget in How To Choose Hi-Fi