Turntables: Modify or Trade-In

Turntables, Tonearms, Upgrades
Origin Live Calypso Turntable thumbnail link to product

Modify or Trade-in?

This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked. Modifying your turntable or tonearm is a sensible option if you want a significant improvement in sound quality and are restrained by budget. It’s also a preferred option if  you’ve grown attached to your equipment.

We will look at the modification approach next week. On the other hand, there are limits to how far you can take an older deck. Things have advanced massively in some quarters and once you get to investing around £1500, it’s better to carefully select a better deck rather modify older designs. On this path, there are many competent designs but only a small handful of manufacturers who really shine in demonstration. A letter we had last week illustrates the gains of a typical turntable change.

“Many thanks for the recently arrived Calypso and Illustrious. This is a shockingly good combination which is dramatically superior to my previous deck, a Linn LP12/Ittok. The Calypso/Illustrious has huge authority and solidity in the stereo image which is substantially deeper and wider than anything I have heard before. Complex orchestral passages widen out to reveal individual instrument timbres and their location in the sound scape. The dynamic range is also vastly superior and capable of both power and subtlety. Most importantly the whole experience is very musically engaging. All of this is with a week old deck and a £100 cartridge, which only confirms Origin Live’s design philosophy of the importance of the turntable and arm. I can’t praise this combination highly enough. Anyone wanting a taste of musical paradise at an extremely reasonable price should seriously consider Origin Live. It’s difficult to imagine a better musical experience than this.”

Liam – County Kildare – Ireland

We know from dealers and clients, that no matter how up to date Liam’s Linn could be – in other words, highest specification, latest LP12 and Ekos 2, this result would be the same. We’ve had hardened ex-Linn dealers who’ve been in total unbelief about this. To prove us wrong they’ve put it to the test, only to be shocked by the results and having to call their friends around to confirm what they’re hearing.

I would lastly add, to put things in perspective, that the Linn is still a great deck and surpasses many on the market today. As said previously, there are only a relatively small number of manufacturers where you can do much better.

Hope this helps