The first thing I noticed was the quality of the finished product – excellent!
Second was how much higher the body of the Gravity sits above the record, I’m assuming that is for increased decoupling?
Third, sound quality: I wouldn’t say that the difference is as big as between the old wooden version and the earlier iteration of the Gravity I have, but here are my early thoughts:
– it gives more character to the bass, digs deeper, but still presents the sound in a natural way, simply placed in the space in front of me, for me to appreciate.
– the mid-range sounds tighter and more focused in a laser-like way.
– vocal stop/starts and breaths on Patricia Barber’s Cafe Blue are simply stunning, and each instrument is perfectly separated, each telling their own story, but within the cohesive whole of the presentation. I swear I could hear the bounce back of the bass drum beater/shaft after delivering it’s thud.
– revisiting my earlier comparison records – Gare du Nord’s album, Rendezvous 8:02, the daring nature of the album is more obvious, with each instrument and voice appearing more ’cheeky’ and therefore more involving and creating a more risque atmosphere; what a feat?
– the sound of the air through Matthew Halsall’s trumpet on the album – On the Go, demonstrates the amount of work required to deliver the simple nature of his sound.
To sum it up, I would say that the Gravity allows the air around vocals and instruments to illuminate the musician’s skills, and as an added bonus it digs the depths of bass allowing the listener to hear the character of both the instrument and player.
A truly exciting and excellently produced accessory that I would not be without. (MK2 Record Weight)
Enhances the definition of musical subtleties
This review will not be a technical one as I’m not qualified in that area, but suffice to say that any upgrade to an Origin Live product will not be made on a whim.
No matter how small an advancement appears, you can rest assured that Mark and Luke Baker will have gone to the extreme to determine the effectiveness of any improvement (just ask how many oil variations they tested before settling on the grade of oil their turntable spindle sits in).
Previously I only paid a passing interest to record weights until last summer when I heard Origin Live’s, then-current wooden product. Even then, I thought a few recordings sounded better without it. However, when I was introduced to the new lighter version at the Epsom HiFi Show last autumn (2019), I had to have a closer listen.
The result is that I now place this new record weight on every record I play, and notice when I’ve forgotten it.
What wizardry is going on here? How can a record weight made of top-secret material, filled with ball bearings, and lighter, in weight than Origin Live’s previous wooden offering, improve the quality of music emanating from my speakers?
We’ll have to ask the experts (Mark and Luke Baker), but I can assure you that it absolutely does.
Enhances the nuances
If you enjoy the nuances that musicians diligently include in their performances as I do, then you will enjoy the new record weight from Origin Live.
I thought I had the best equipment for extracting information from vinyl records, in the form of the Origin Live Sovereign deck, with the 12-inch Enterprise arm and Dynavector XX2 MK2, but the best just got better.
On some recordings the difference is more stark, on Gare du Nord’s Rendezvous 8:02 it introduces a whole new level of clear separation; it widens the sound stage, and at the same time draws your attention more tightly to the central point between the speakers.
This new record weight achieves the feat of emphasing, but not exaggerating, the nuances of the music; percussive touches are ’brought’ to your attention to enhance the overall sound rather than being pushed at you, just as the musicians intended.
Take this record weight out of the equation and you notice it’s gone.
As someone who has experienced the wonder of playing in a band and knows how individual instruments sound, I’m always striving to get as near to the musical truth (what I heard on stage) as possible, and this record weight aids my discovery in this sense.
On listening to an old 1980’s ‘fusion’ recording of Double Vision (Bob James and Dave Sanborn) I became aware of how much more rounded and resonant the bass strings sounded. That statement might seem strange, but all too often the string sound that comes out of the speakers is ‘flat’ and overly metallic sounding.
The Lansdowne recording of Ian Carr/Don Rendell’s Shades of Blue puts you right back in the musty 1960’s studio, with each instrument perfectly placed and thoughtfully and engagingly played. I could envisage each movement of air caused by the instruments, sending a small puff of London dust into the air, and felt as though the band was playing exclusively for me. Excuse my over-exuberance, but this is what nuances in the music does for me, it causes me to create pictures in my mind, and therefore adds to the musical experience.
The new record weight from Origin Live helps instruments make their presence known, not by amplification but by being separated. For example, the difference between a drumstick being dropped (deadweight) onto a cymbal or a drum skin excites me as it tells me something of the players timing, adventurousness and skill level.
This advanced record weight brought a new level of deftness to Jim Hall Trio’s 1981 recording of Circles, especially Terry Clarke’s drum work.
I also played many albums from the ‘electronic’ genre with the new weight, and it helped keep everything its place without bleeding/blurring into the mix.
I wholeheartedly endorse the new record weight from Origin Live, and I shouldn’t be surprised at the results, because as I said at the beginning, Mark and Luke never do anything unless it improves the listening experience. (MK1 Record Weight)
“It’s a big thumbs up on the record weight! There’s certainly no smoke and mirrors, it just does what it says on the tin, you always deliver on your promises at Origin Live.”
“…your record clamp works well and I’ve used/heard many, this one improves all aspects the others masked/muddled some area of the vinyl and I stopped using them till now.”