Origin Live Calypso review

An excellent sounding turntable, let down by poor finishing touches Tested at £1495

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Get a dealer to set it up for you and you’ll have an excellent sounding record player. Some aspects of finish need improving, though


  • +

    Spacious, fluid sound

  • +

    impressive detail resolution and insight

  • +

    electronic speed change


  • -

    Attention to detail needs to be better

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This Origin Live combo is a frustrating mix of fabulous and flawed. It’s made up of a Calypso turntable (£1495), Onyx arm (£450) and Aladdin moving iron cartridge (£495).

If sound quality is all, this combination is a strong contender at this price. It has a fluid way with dynamics and delivers music as varied as Radiohead’s 15 Step and Holst’s Jupiter with impressive and clarity.

The package’s surefooted timing is pleasing, as is its ability to dig up lots of detail without sounding overly-analytical. It’s a terrific all-rounder, sonically at least.

Move away from sound, however, and things become a little more mixed. There are aspects we like: the electronic speed change, and the fact that the Aladdin can be plugged into a moving magnet phono stage, saving the extra cost and complication of moving coil phono circuitry.

Less than perfect finish
We’re less keen on the finish on the plinth and the chrome parts. We’d like the frame that holds the bias wire to be properly attached, too; ours moved too easily, changing the bias force during use.

It’s a shame, because that the basic engineering is excellent: the Onyx arm feels lovely, and the precision of the main bearing and the thought that’s gone into the overall structure is impressive.

It wouldn’t take much for us to get right behind this Origin Live. As things stand we recommend it with caution.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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