Origin Live Cartridge Enabler

Described as “one of the most cost-effective upgrades imaginable” Origin Live’s Enabler is a thin sheet of composite that is designed to fit between the top of a phono cartridge and the underside of your tonearm. It comes supplied with a pair of washers made from the same composite together with a pair of nylon washers, and the combination is designed to provide cartridge decoupling and azimuth adjustment for any headshell and cartridge combination to ensure greater performance. An additional washer for both materials is supplied for Rega fittings – the idea being that you punch the third hole in the Enabler itself manually.

Fitting the Enabler is a fairly fiddly process. Even with a detachable headshell, getting everything lined up is mildly infuriating and perfectionists will also need to adjust their VTA on the arm to compensate for the slight gain in overall height. The good news, however, is that given the price of the Enabler, the effort is worthwhile. Used with a van den Hul DDT II Special moving-coil cartridge (HFC 425) on an SME M2-9 tonearm, the results are consistent and appealing. The fundamental character of the DDT II cartridge remains unaffected and there is an appreciable drop to the (already low) noise floor, which helps with the perceivable levels of detail retrieval.

Intriguingly, the biggest gain during testing is to the soundstage and three dimensionality. Emily King’s Forgiveness gains a sense of front-to-back depth that makes greater sense of King and the supporting vocalists. Being hyper critical, a tiny fraction of the absolute bass depth is lost, but the effect is negligible and outweighed by the benefits to the rest of the frequency response. For the very sensible asking price, Origin Live’s Enabler is highly effective and makes a great deal of sense as a simple fit-and-forget upgrade. ES

Product: Origin Live Cartridge Enabler
Price: £19
Type: Cartridge Enabler
Read the full review in October issue 454

Origin Live
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