Origin Live Sovereign-S MkV Turntable & Enterprise MkIV Tonearm

Cool gear from Origin Live just happened to be shown and demo’ed in the Millercarbon room at Pacific Audio Fest (a.k.a. PAF 2023) back in June, so we thought it would be well worth tracking down the, er, origin of said products by going directly to the Origin Live team in the UK to learn more about it all firsthand.

First, we asked the company to fill us in on the Origin Live Sovereign-S MkV turntable, as seen above. We’re told that one of the major upgrades on the Sovereign-S MkV is the Multi Layer Platter (MLP) “trickle-down tech” from the company’s flagship Voyager ’table, a feature the company confirms is something that has now been incorporated as being standard on all turntables above their Aurora line. Why include the MLP as a standard feature? “Because it sounds too good to simply be an optional extra,” according to Mark Baker, Origin Live’s founder.

The Sovereign-S MkV (the version in action at PAF 2023), has an SRP of $9,770, while the Sovereign MkV has an SRP of $8,010. The distinction is this — the Sovereign-S includes extra layers in its MLP that includes a metal layer, the spokes of which can be seen in the center of the platter at the very top of this story. That is said to further enhance the effects of the MLP in the detail, bass, and top end of the music. Both Sovereign and Sovereign-S MkV ’tables can be adapted for 12in arms, and they can be fitted with a dual armboard — the latter of which can be seen in the Sovereign MkV photo below.

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.sov2.jpg

The MLP itself features an intricately designed top with over 1,000 individual slots laser-cut through the top layer. Combined with multiple composite layers underneath and carefully screwed onto the platter, the MLP layers are said to diffuse surface resonance in the platter through vibrational interference, which is further said to result in “a texture in the music freed up from resonant artifacts” (their words).

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.sov5.jpg

Like the rest of Origin Live’s turntable lines, the Sovereign-S MkV (above) features single-point cantilevered suspension, wherein the platter and tonearm are balanced roughly in equilibrium on the ends of a rigid subchassis bar. Due to the microscopic flexing of the single suspension support point, this arrangement feels the same as a rigid, mechanical suspension. That said, the company claims this not only avoids the “hardness” in many non-suspended designs, but also the “softening” of leading edges often found in suspended designs.

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.sov3.jpg

Sovereign-S MkV and Sovereign MkV turntables also feature low-friction bearing, which is said to allow a cartridge’s stylus to track the vinyl grooves with less interference from system resonance, resulting in “a silent background and vastly improved dynamics and separation” (their words).

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.enter1.jpg

Next, we asked about the Enterprise MkIV tonearm (SRP: $6,240; shown here and below with its predecessor, the Mk3) that was deployed with the Sovereign-S MkV ’table at PAF 2023, and we’re told this arm features dual pivot bearings for vertical arm movement. This is said to provide the near frictionless properties of uni-pivot “without difficult set-up and handling issues,” while stabilizing the azimuth and accounting for any bass-related issue.

The pivot bearings consist of ultra-hard tungsten carbide points nestled in hardened and burnished steel cups. This combination purports to deliver low friction levels and is more robust than jeweled bearings that can tend to shatter under stress.

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.enter2.jpg

Ceramic bearings provide smooth horizontal movement while the heavy mass yoke prevents the cartridge stylus from causing sideways deflection in the armtube. The counterweight is decoupled to minimize energy reflection back down the tube to the headshell. Internal wiring is via Origin Live's own ultra-low-loss Silver Hybrid with silver-plated headshell clips, and the same goes for the 1m tonearm cable. The Rhodium-plated high-grade single-point RCA plugs are fitted.

The high-grade aircraft alloy tube is stiffened with carbon fiber. In addition, the tube is processed for improved resonance control. A long rear stub sleeve provides further reinforcement, carefully interfaced to provide “maximum energy dissipation and minimal reflections.” This, we’re told, frees up the cartridge to perform “away from the coloration and disruption caused by resonance and reflected vibration.”

For more about Origin Live, go here.
To find an authorized Origin Live dealer, go here.

 0718.23.apnews.originlive.enter3.jpg

COMMENTS
Jimtech's picture

Can the new SME top dog justify its price against the Origin Live based on performance?

Analogue+Fan's picture

mmm.. I don't think so, this turntable looks better with the latest Mk4 tonearm.

Harper78's picture

Regarding the Origin Live Sovereign-S MkV Turntable & Enterprise MkIV Tonearm, I'm curious if anyone has tried them with the carx street mod ios? Wondering how these setups complement each other. Any insights

X