Will Origin Live Conqueror tonearm fit my Rega RP10's skeletal plinth?
I'm considering replacing the RB-2000 tonearm on my Rega RP10 (circa 2014 - 2016) with an Origin Live (OL) model, probably the Conqueror MK4, and all indications are the hole diameter for the 3-point mount should be identical, but I am concerned that my RP10's skeletal plinth may be too small near the base of the tonearm for the OL's oval or triangular "plate" or "frame" that appears in photos above and around the mount base (where the Rega arm has its bias force adjuster.) If anyone on Audiogon has the Conqueror tonearm, could you take measurements of that part and respond? Additionally, if you have the Rega RP10 table and have replaced the RB-2000 with an Origin Live arm, could you provide your experiences? I'd appreciate it! Mounting should not be a problem if the base is small enough to fit the plinth. The weight differences between the Rega and OL arms are within a pound or so and I expect the plinth can handle that.
Thanks. OL's tonearms will fit on more standard Rega plinths, but the skeletal series is quite different, that's why I'm asking. I'm hoping another Audigon member that owns an RP10 and has tried this tonearm swap will respond.
The RP10 as is, certainly is a good table. The current P10 iteration based on reviews takes it up a notch.
Unless you’re planning a future table upgrade, it seems like a waste to do such modifications and possibly loss resale value -even if you only have to do "minor" alterations? Sure, you may hear "improvements," but will the RP10 base be an optimum platform to exploit its capabilities?
I’d sell the RP10, and put the funds toward a "better" platform for the arm, or since you do like the RP10, get a current P10. Rega philosophy is "perfect" for what its designed for-just play an LP without audiophool techie obsession.
Tablejockey, I’ve considered that, as it is a good option and would give me two tables (I have plenty of components and speakers to put together another hifi system), but the tonearm may be the limiting factor in getting the most from the RP10. Have you ever read anything positive about the RB-2000 or the newer RB-3000 that didn’t appear to be a sales pitch? The general consensus seems to be that Rega arms offer "value for money" but are not top performers. I doubt that is true but cannot prove otherwise. Reviews in HiFi magazines are always in regard to the Rega tables with tonearms as packaged. The reviewers literally recite Rega’s words and offer little opinion of their own. Then again, tonearm manufactures are always claiming their arms are so much better than Rega arms... It’s misleading and an area of HiFi that should be more transparent to the consumer.
This is what M.Fremer posted in his review of the SAT direct drive and SAT tonearm ( both with a price tag of over 250K and surrounded by the best cartridges as the Lyra Atlas Lambda SL. This cartridge alone is more expensive that 3 RP10's ! ! ):
"" The XD1 shares some sonic characteristics with Rega's revolutionary RP 10 turntable: ultrafast, clean transients throughout the audible frequency range; tight, fast bass; revealing midrange transparency; and overall sonic stability and focus. All these characteristics result, apparently, from careful attention paid to structural rigidity and the removal or prevention of unwanted vibrational energy. ""
So , what is all about Regar 3000 when is a first class tonearm by any standards.
rauliruegas. I respect Michael Fremer and his opinions greatly, regardless of which magazine has published his reviews. Having said that, Stereophile presents annual reports of what they consider the best of any components that they have reviewed. I have never seen the Rega RB-2000 or the newer RB-3000 rated as a recommended tonearm, although I have seen both the RP10 and P10 turntables with tonearms mounted recommended as packages. When I’ve looked for tonearm reviews or recommendations, I’ve never found the RB-2000 or RB-3000 mentioned. One sees Kuzma, Graham, Reed, and a dozen or so other tonearm manufacturer’s products reviewed and recommended but very little Rega unless it is a Rega-based tonearm that has been heavily modified by another manufacturer. When I’ve researched tonearms outside of magazines via the internet, I’ve found reviews of many brands, but again, hardly anything about Rega tonearms except for Rega’s own advertising. So, this had led me to believe that either Rega is not considered a higher performance tonearm worthy of recommendation or reviewers simply don’t find Rega tonearms interesting enough to review. Too often magazine reviewers of Rega Products seem to quote Rega’s advertising as if they’ve no words to describe their own experience with the products, and that makes it difficult for a consumer to make an informed decision. It becomes a matter of whom one believes. I am more inclined to believe the word of a consumer that has lived with a product that I am to believe the manufacturer's sales organization.
I am a long term absentee from having listened to anything Rega, even though I am quite familiar with Tonearms based on their design, but more importantly Tonearms that have adopted their geometry.
I own a Audiomods Series V Mictometer and a SME IV, each is much of a muchness in how the music is presented, which in a assessment today is referring to by myself as a noticeably constrained mechanical function.
I am also not too distanced from being quite familiar with the SME V, through receiving demo's of it in use in another system. These demo's have the outcome, where I have developed the same assessment, that the V is similar to the IV, being able to create the impression of being constrained.
The V owner moved on to a different non SME Model TT and commenced using OL Tonearms.
I am as a result of the V owners transition to OL, become familiar with the OL Encounter, Illustrious in use with a Sumiko Pearwood and have missed out on the Conqueror.
I have formed the viewpoint the OL Models I have now experienced in use, have proven for my own listening purposes, to be a much more attractive Tonearm than the other Tonearms referred to above.
Note: Using the recollections from my experiencing the impact made on myself, of the differing Tonearms, the OL Models are the ones that are presenting in a manner that does not enforce the concept there is a constraint to the mechanical function.
The Company may have done more work to the mechanical interfaces, with the intention of producing their own voicing for their models? Or maybe not?
Note: The owner of the OL Arms has now moved on to a used model Vertere MG TT, and the HiFi Group I am a member of, has made it known, they sense the OL Conqueror might prove to be the better arm to be be in use on the MG TT.
Thanks, Pindac. I think I understand what you mean regarding constraints on the sound. I've made several changes in associated components over the past two years and every new addition has made a definite improvement. I've bought much better phonostage, amplifier, cables, cartridge...All while using the RP10 with its stock RB-2000 tonearm. I can't say whether there would be further improvement by using a "better" tonearm, but it would seem to be the logical next step. Then again, simply because each change improved the sound while using the same table and tonearm, perhaps that means more improvements can be had without upgrading the tonearm. If HiFi equipment was less expensive it would be easier to find out!
@lgo-jerry I am no longer using the Audiomods or SME IV.
My comments about constrained are strictly related to my assessment of the mechanical function, there is a occasion when the TT and Cart' have been the same to evaluate the Tonearms in use.
I have formed this assessment as there is a comparison carried out on a few occasions to another owned Tonearm, that I now have in use as the main arm.
Once the perceived constraint is detected, it sticks like a coloration one is sensitive to. For me it become as noticeable as a overbearing Metal Tweeter, but not as assaulting to the ears.
I also loaned the IV out to a HiFi Group Member in the market for a Tonearm to be used with their SP10 R. They did not get the impression the SME IV was right for them, and purchased a Glanz 12" Arm.
I have become very familiar with the Glanz arm in use with both Japanese and Scandinavian Origin Cart's attached and can assure that the SP10 R > Glanz are a very very attractive marriage.
I will also say for my sensitivities, the Glanz, is a good few steps ahead of the OL arms, where perception of freedom and not being constrained is under the microscope.
I am suggesting mechanical interfaces are the cause of the perceived constraint and taking a time out, to learn more about Tonearms that are not creating the type of constraint I am referring to, can't do any harm. If you discover similar to which I have from a particular model of Tonearm, this Tonearm, 'if selected as a exchange arm', will bring a new level of insight to how a recording can produce a sonic.
The recent investments made on the other supporting ancillaries should really allow them to shine, with their processing the source signal that is now capable of being produced.
"I've bought much better phonostage, amplifier, cables, cartridge...All while using the RP10 with its stock RB-2000 tonearm. I can't say whether there would be further improvement by using a "better" tonearm, but it would seem to be the logical next step.
Since you have that base covered, I would consider myself good until you're ready to commit to the next level-significant outlay for a completely new setup.
"Better" phonostage in your case means something $3-5K and capable of exploiting a $3K+ cartridge.
I would consider myself set until I'm ready to open the wallet considerably wider for a completely new setup. Dump the RP10 for a Kuzma, Feikert or whatever.
I have a Parasound Halo JC 3+, so I think I'm good there. A different table, perhaps like a different tonearm, may only be different and not better, but one never knows without trying something else. All good advice. Again though, if someone has changed to a non-Rega tonearm on an RP10, I'd like to hear about that experience.
Thanks, Pindac, I appreciate the advice. BTW, I’ve been using a Solid Steel Series 5 rack, the older square tube with round legs model for years, entirely filled with microbearings, and I have used several platter mats on the Rega’s Ceramic platter, settling on a Music Hall cork mat, although primarily because of the grip it has on LPs; I prefer not to use a record clamp unless it is actually necessary. I don't believe that I've heard any mat deliver better sound than the bare Rega platter, which seems to be quiet. I’m not a novice to HiFi by any means, but I recognize that there will always be more to learn and experience (especially on a budget), and a lot of knowledge can be gained by learning from the experiences of others, so I ask, and I appreciate the responses that I receive. I've never tried a new tonearm on this table and the table has been around for quite a while now. My thought is someone must have already tried this.
Dear @lgo-jerry : M.Fremer reviewed the RP-10 that in it's system was surrounded by room/system that you not even in your dreams can imagine its quality high level performance and not only that but he compared against not only the SAT with the SAT 50K tonearm ( not a Kuzma blend/unipivots. ) and against the Continnum TT and Cobra 25K+ tonearm using the Ortofon Anna and Lyra Atlas where these cartridges alone are more expensive that your room/system.
Stereophile gave no ranks/grade /class because not only them but no other reviewers or audiophiles buy RB 3000 as an stand alone unit because audiophiles just do not know that the 3000 outperforms Kuzama OL and at least at the same level than the top SME. I know because I owned the 900/1000 and SME tonearms and the 3000 is the R.Gandy pinnacle on tonearm but your not to high level knowledge levels about are showing through your posts.
Fremer was not only the one that reviewed the RP10 with 2000/3000 ( yes REGA sold as apackage on its top range products. So what?. )
This one with a reviewer with way better system than yours as the Simsaudio phono stage that outperforms the JC3 that's for its price is good but the Reviewer owns Vandersteen 5-A speakers ( that I lstened several times. ) tha's something to hear and by coincidence Lyra Atlas appears here too:
Good Pindac, one learns from research and research includes asking about the experiences of others. While I do appreciate your advice in different areas of HiFi, you haven't indicated that you've actually owned an RP10 or P10 or any Rega skeletal plinth table, and you haven't changed out the Rega tone arm for a different brand of tonearm on a Rega skeletal plinth table, have you? Have you tried to fit an Origin Live Conqueror model tone arm to a Rega skeletal plinth table? If so, you haven't mentioned it or I've missed it in your posts, so it seems that you haven't the experience with the tone arm change that I'm hoping to learn about.
Yes, everyone says the combination of Rega Table and arm are very good. I think they are because I've been using an RP10 for about 9 years, and I've owned a number of less expensive tables since the 1960's. As we know, Stereophile, and other magazines as well, annually list what they've considered the best of particular products they've reviewed. They've apparently not reviewed the RB-2000 or RB-3000 as REPLACEMENT tone arms, or I haven't seen any such review or comparison to other branded tone arms, and I have indeed looked for such reviews.
I've read numerous reviews of the table and arm as a Rega Package. Never have I read a review where the tone arm was reviewed without the table and was compared to other branded tone arms. Never have I read a magazine review or anyone's personal experience in using the Rega skeletal plinth with another manufacturer's tone arm mounted, and that is what I am most interested in learning about. It would seem that with thousands of Rega skeletal plinth tables having been sold, some owners would have replaced the tone arm with a different brand.
Everyone's experiences have value, and I have no doubt that your experience would be valuable to many new audiophiles or HiFi enthusiasts, but there are many tinkerers out there that cannot resist the opportunity to try something new, and it is their experience that I hope to learn from.
Hi Tablejockey, I’m waiting on response from OL. However, looking closely at my table, I don’t think the OL arm is going to fit, unless the frame that holds the arm tube rest is smaller than it looks in photos, or is up high enough to clear the platter. The RP10 plinth is narrow and only a couple of inches from the platter. Could be some contact when the arm is moved to playing position, and even more so by mid LP. Will update here when I have OL’s response.
Just completed the purchase, As this thread may be of interest to someone in the future, I'll post my thoughts and experience following receipt and mounting of the tonearm. My thanks to those that contributed to this conversation.
Received the tonearm earlier this week. Working on the mount to the RP10 plinth now. Things I’ve learned so far: The RP10’s top brace is magnesium, while the new P10 uses ceramic. Whatever Rega says about stiffness may be correct, but I expect it was the tarnishing of the top brace that led them to change to ceramic. It took a while to clean that up and get a nice polish. Rega’s 3 point mount serves an important purpose, in that it keeps the tonearm mount fixed in one place. Origin Live’s tonearm doesn’t have this mounting feature. It just slips through the mounting hole and has a washer and large nut below, but there is nothing to keep the base of the arm from moving. This presents a problem because the tonearm cabling is thicker, bulkier, and less flexible than Rega’s and it’s too big and stiff to fit in Rega’s cable clamp beneath the plinth. Therefore, when the cables move so does the arm base. I need to find a way to keep the tonearm cables from moving, perhaps use a cable clamp on the component stand.
The legs on the Rega plinth are not long enough to allow an easy bend in the tonearm cables as they exit the bottom of the plinth. I didn’t anticipate the leg length problem, but that should be fairly easy to resolve. The dust cover on Rega’s extended plinth surround is a few inches too short and will not clear the new tonearm, but that I did anticipate and expect to order a taller aftermarket dustcover. I’ve been wanting to display the skeletal structure anyway, but it would have been nice to put it off a bit longer.
Was able to position the skeletal structure so that the tonearm cables hang off the back edge of the top of the stand, a temporary fix that allowed me to continue the tonearm setup, mount and adjust the cartridge and spin a few records before stopping for the night. Adjusting the tonearm height/VTA took a while, as did setting the tracking force.
I must say I’m not thrilled about OL’s weight adjustment mechanism. The main donut is heavy and very touchy; slight movements make significant weight changes, and the fine adjustment thing is a pain, being a small, smooth peg of sorts that is quite difficult to turn. You’d think OL would have added knurling so users could grip it properly. As OL didn’t provide a non-slip collar that could take advantage of Rega’s 3-point mount, the "base" of the tonearm moves about while making adjustments, and that slowed the cartridge alignment a bit. Anyway, I have it in playable condition. There was hissing from the speakers with my amp turned up to max (200WPC Rotel) and no music playing. Connected a long blue ground wire coming from the tonearm to the ground screw on my phono pre-amp and the noise was reduced so I couldn’t hear it at the speakers unless I exceeded 87% out of 100%. I seldom take it to more than 50% so I’ll not hear it when playing music. Wanted to begin break-in. so I listened to selections from BeeGees Greatest for a while but it’s too soon to make any judgements on sound quality.
The trick to precise positioning of the counterweight is to lightly nip the grub screw when you get close to your desired reading. Then gently twist the counterweight slightly while pushing it in the desired direction till it gives the correct reading. Once this is achieved, clamp firmly and recheck the reading. Tracking force will likely need re-setting later so don't worry about getting it too exact at this stage - within 0.3 grams of recommended tracking force is fine
Did a lot of listening, breaking in today. I noticed that the arm height was sinking. Found that if I tightened the large nut beneath the plinth and the VTA adjuster clamp sufficiently, movement of the arm body was minimized and height/VTA could be maintained. This is somewhat against the advice OL provides in the instructions which suggest finger tight should be enough, but finger tight doesn't hold on this plinth. So far, and this is "early days," sound quality is about the same as the Rega RB2000.
Glad you are starting to get things situated. I am currently using a Conqueror Mk4 and an Enterprise Mk4 and my dual arm Origin Live Sovereign TT. In the past I have also owned the OL Silver Mk2, OL Encounter Mk3c, OL Illustrious Mk3c so have a little experience with your situation. The “finger tight” requires some pretty strong fingers, but know that you should not ever need to employ any wrench. It must be just tight enough that no rotation of the tonearm base is possible during general use. My normal procedure to accomplish this is to get the nut very tight by hand with the tone arm rest slightly to the right from the final position I wish it to occupy. Tighten the nut as much as possible under the table and then hold the nut and slightly rotate the tonearm base above clockwise ultimately placing the arm rest into its desired position. Rotating the base above while holding the nut gives one a little more firmness. These are very small adjustments. Snug it just enough until the arm does not rotate while you are setting the other adjustments or when in use.
After many adjustments and readjustments, setting and resetting of everything associated with the new tonearm, and much listening to get it to the point where it is now, I can honestly say that the OL Conqueror tonearm works well on the Rega RP10 skeletal plinth. The plinth did not require any modification but would benefit from (and may receive) longer legs (taller feet) to raise it a few inches, as the new tonearm’s relatively thick cables are significantly less flexible than those of the Rega RB2000 and interfere with having the plinth sit at its normally low height when centered on the component stand. I presently have the plinth positioned so the area where the tonearm is mounted slightly clears the component stand, allowing the cables to fall nearly straight from the bottom of the tonearm mount. Raising the plinth a bit higher will enable a gradual, safe bend in the cables so the plinth can be centered on the top, but it’s quite stable where it is, and I actually like it sitting low.
As to the effort involved, the RB2000 is the tonearm that came supplied with the RP10 plinth as a package and is a wonder of simplicity that is very easy to install and setup. Drop it in the plinth’s mount hole, add a spacer or two if you want so the VTA is just right, insert the 3 screws that fix the tonearm’s position (very helpful), then mount the cartridge and setup to get the best overall sound quality. This can be done in a few minutes to an hour depending on how often you’ve practiced it. On the other hand, the OL Conqueror can take one a weekend or longer to get reasonably close the first time, as it lacks Rega’s very effective 3-point mount, so one needs to take extra care to achieve proper positioning, arm height and sweep of the arm over the platter, and then HOLD IT THERE.
The Conqueror has more adjustability, and one adjusts and refines the settings and positioning a lot to get everything just right. The Conqueror’s tube mounting with its threaded VTA disc does tend to move until it is clamped down tightly (and OL says tight is not necessary, but it is very much necessary or the mount will move, which throws everything out of whack.) If you’re a tinkerer you won’t much mind the effort and will feel happy with yourself when you’ve managed to get everything set. You’ll invest the time to justify your expenditure, if for no other reason, but it pays to be careful and precise.
Once the arm is mounted, aligning the cartridge is very much the same as with the Rega arm. However, setting the tracking weight and side bias on the Conqueror can require considerable time as the tonearm weight is a finicky, slightly wobbly affair that has to be positioned, clamped down, weighed, loosened, repositioned, re-clamped, re-weighed, etc. The “Fine Adjuster” is actually an additional weight built as a thick screw, and offers little effect while being incredibly clumsy and difficult to set. It just moves its own weight toward or away from the big weight to which it is attached. I hate the design of this part of the Conqueror, and quite frankly Origin Live should rethink this and make it better. Additionally, there is no conventional, graded, marked weight adjustment so one must use a scale for every adjustment made. It’s ridiculous! Even the cheapest Junk tonearms have better tracking weight adjustment than this pricey boutique tonearm!
The side bias swing hook and sinker (my terms) have a profound effect, and one sets this by trying different angle positions of the swing hook, raising and lowering a little ball on a rod, and listening for the best sound quality. Don’t set it right and you hear distortion, get it right and the distortion disappears. Anyway, it’s all time consuming and in my opinion clumsy and lacking in refinement, but it works.
Setting the tracking weight on the Rega is easy. Mount the cartridge, zero the tonearm weight and then turn the fine adjuster dial. Simple and easy and once done, you don’t need to re-measure with the scale just to add or delete a single gram. Regardless of any possible sonic detriment afforded by Rega’s spring bias, Rega makes it a heck of a lot easier to set this, as well. Just push or pull on the adjustment “handle” to set your preference. The Rega’s halfway position is even marked for you.
The Rega has the look of elegant minimalism while the Conqueror has a higher tech, busier and pricey appearance, yet both tonearms look as if they belong on the RP10 plinth. The Rega has the simpler and easier to use tonearm rest. I found I’d sometimes flip the plastic rest clip over when using the conqueror’s arm lift, and then have to place it back where it should be before moving the tonearm to the rest.
As you may have assumed by now, the Rega is much easier to mount, set up and even to use. To add to that it is lighter in weight, easier to zero balance and set the side bias, and easier on the wallet.
The Conqueror seems to require a higher tracking weight or it will skip more easily than the Rega. The Conqueror feels about two pounds heavier overall but I’m not sure how much of that is in the multi-piece arm tube. It may be that the cartridge I’m using suits the Rega better.
How do the two tonearms compare in regard to sound quality? Is it worth the expense and effort to change from the RB2000 to the Origin Live Conqueror?
Well, I have more testing to complete before I can state that definitively. What I can say, from what I’ve heard so far, is that the Rega RB2000 is a good tonearm, and a bargain at its price, because significant differences in sound quality at this point are not there. In fact, the two tonearms present a very similar aural image. Consider though, that the Rega and its cabling are well broken in and the OL Conqueror is brand new, and I’ve noted the sound changing as the Conqueror’s tonearm cable is breaking-in. I have unfortunately noticed that studio echo (reverb) on some vocals seems a bit more present, but that makes vocals a bit hollow, and is not really a quality improvement. It’s just a minor difference.
The Conqueror has been lauded many times by reviewers, but is about twice the price of the Rega. If you’re searching for a new tonearm to fit a Rega plinth and don’t want to use a Rega Tonearm, and you don’t mind the financial expense, or spending the time on getting the mount and setup just right, then the Origin Live Conqueror would be a good choice. I don’t personally believe the Conqueror is worth ditching an RB2000 or RB3000 if you have either Rega tonearm already. If you have a modern Rega plinth and just want a top quality tonearm, get the top Rega model. You’ll save a lot of money, have an easier time of mount and setup and receive similar performance to the Conqueror.
Time will tell whether the OL Conqueror really is sonically better than the Rega RB2000. Do I like it? Yes, but it has drawbacks I wish it didn’t have, and I prefer the simplicity and ease of use of the Rega. I intend to swap the two in and out of the plinth a few times to discover how much difference may actually exist, but that’s a long term thing.
PS. I have not adjusted the Azimuth on the Conqueror, so I cannot yet speak to how well that works or how difficult it may be, but it is adjustable. Origin Live recommends that one not adjust it unless truly necessary. There is no azimuth adjustment on the Rega, so if needed, one would likely have to shim above the cartridge to get a slight tilt.
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