+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Audio Origami Uniarm review

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 565
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Thumbs up Audio Origami Uniarm review

    Ok, so where to begin?

    Well, I guess I had in my mind for a while an order of upgrades to my system – amp , tone arm, maybe phono stage and then see from there what might happen. Of course that order of battle got a bit mixed up in the reality of opportunities!

    Well I got a cart (ZYX) and then one of Firebottles OTP stages (which I really like) so had to think about what next....

    I always though I wouldn't bother with a pre/power combo but when Oliver sold his FB monos I had to bite and luckily my Linn Classik has pre outs so no need to search for a pre immediately (so I thought until all the DCB1 Shenanigans...!).

    I was confident I'd like them as I had read so much about them and have not been at all disappointed, they also allow a relatively cheap intro into valve rolling thanks to Alan's design with the valves being PC88s. I was not at all disappointed with them

    So that being settled the next on my list was a tone arm to replace my trusty OL modded Rega arm, I had a few candidates lined up to consider for around the £1000 mark which is the most I have spent on anything since I bought the TT 10 years ago. I have been lucky in a number of purchases which have come up second hand - my ZYX Yatra and NJC Audio headphone amp to name a couple, that have been sterling buys at very reasonable price.

    I had a read around and asked a few questions, contacted Angus about his PMAT 1010 arm (he was very helpful) and Notts Analogue about possible arm geometry, again very helpful. Unfortunately I had to rule the PMAT1010 out as it was not a certain fit and at that spend I didn't want to risk it and not get the best out of any cart I wanted to use. So I decided to look for a Rega geometry drop in replacement for ease of fitting and I must admit, some peace of mind.

    So after a bit (read obsessive! lol) of research, listening to some advice and seeing what was around I had narrowed things down to Audio Note, an OL arm of some kind (quite often their higher end arms are on sale second hand) or something else. This was based on reviews and more importantly comments - of users on various forums etc, I really wanted a step change not an incremental upgrade which ruled out a couple of options.


    Then I saw the Audio Origami Uniarm in Signals hifi as ex-dem at a price a little over my budget and wondered about it, obviously AO has a good rep with his work so that wasn't an issue for me but I had never heard or used a unipivot arm so didn't know how it would be. However I was intrigued at the prospect and wanted to find out some more about it, also it was slightly left field as there don't seem to be many around.

    I gave them a ring and they were very helpful , even digging out the box and going through the contents with me on the phone, there are lots of extra bits with it.

    There are a couple of reviews on the web but not many user comments you can find. Maybe one of the reasons for this is that apparently they are no longer made. Interestingly one reviewer thought he preferred it to the PU7 arm (never heard one) and that gets plaudits from all over so I thought I’d go for it, in a nice black satin finish. Or would I?

    Umm, dither, procrastinate, etc, etc. Thing is I think that you can wait for ever for something “better” to come along and it may never.

    So I took the plunge and bought it before some other bugger did.

    Buying expensive new kit I was a bit nervous (and excited!) – would I like it? would it fit in ok? Did I waste my money ? Would I break it first go? All kind of questions, anyway it arrived and the thread describing it and fitting it is here.


    https://theartofsound.net/forum/show...Uniarm-fitting


    Suffice to say it feels like quality engineering overall with the slight caveat being the quality of the RCA plugs but that’s all. The finish is satin black and really suits the deck and plinth. At some stage I'll probably get it converted to a DIN plug set up and play around with cables etc but that can wait for now.

    Sound!!

    Ok it was ex-dem so I didn't know how much time it had had playing, after I set it up it sounded quite harsh and in your face, I am quite sensitive to treble harshness. Also the sound stage seemed “far away” and faint with things being enunciated but not really “there” as I would expect them to be and bass was very recessed. So this compounded my nerves a bit I will admit …..

    However I have persevered and things changed for the better and after a week or so of play time things started to slot into place.

    I kind of knew when it was more or less run in when I stuck on “Confrontation” by Bob Marley and the Wailers and settled back to listen .

    “BOOM”

    When I recovered from the shock (and the dust had cleared!) I saw a 10 by 10 square hole in the ceiling where my sub had lifted off through it into the front bedroom upstairs...

    Well - I thought - that proves that all that stuff about unipivots not having deep bass is a load of guff...time to listen to some sounds properly.

    So, to answer Oliver's previous question - “How does it sound?”

    The first thing I notice is energy - by this I mean that things aren't “faster” (as in speed up) but they sound more “immediate” and "there", if that makes sense. It is sort of how I would imagine some might describe the difference between belt and direct drive turntables (if you see what I mean) as some DD owners have. Not that I have listened to very many different TTs at all only ever having owned belt drives.

    I think the arm presents a much firmer and solid base which then allows more energy from the cart (ZYX Yatra) to be transmitted to the amp etc showing this up in the music. It certainly means the toe is tapping!

    One outcome of this is that my sub is vibrating on the spare floor tile that it has been on my bare floor boards. When the bass is really low it buzzes as it try’s to convert this extra energy into the sound, never had this before and it is a bit weird! This is right at the low end of it's capabilities (40 Hz) but shows there is more to come from the arm cart combo with the right bass reinforcement, my stand mounts only go to 80 Hz which is why I got the sub in the 1st place.

    Solved by placing a thick folded cloth under the tile to absorb the vibes, I'll sort a more elegant and permanent solution out presently but this works pretty well in the meantime.

    There is detail and sound stage and a wholeness about the presentation that I find captivating. The music is not divided up “artificially “ or too analytically but really flows taking you along with it .

    The attack on both individual notes and riffs when they are played is really sharp, clean and articulate but never sounding too artificial or analytical so taking you with the music and into the tracks presented.

    The decay in the high notes is more sustained (but natural sounding) than the Rega ever was giving things more emotion and really making female vocals and guitar solos sound special in a way the Rega never could.

    To offer some specifics -

    JJ Cale “Really”

    The sound stage on this is amazing sometimes the compositions are really sparse and the musicians are almost holding back which only makes this more noticeable. The individual musicians are placed right in front of you and there is a depth to it as well. Cale's guitar can be really understated in places, just very lightly strumming along and then he will hit a couple of notes or a lick that place him right at the front of proceedings and emphasize his contribution.

    The piano was a real revelation to me as instead of chuntering away in the background you can hear the individual notes and phrases, this has a real effect in terms of giving the music an extra swing and rhythm that wasn't there before. It's a very cool album anyway but now is just, um, right! Oh yes.


    Led Zepp 4

    A perennial favorite of mine, right from the off there is more urgency to the band an effect of the more immediate nature and energy being presented. Bonzo's drumming really pushes things along. The use of the high hat and ride cymbals can now be discerned to a much greater individual degree which adds a greater subtlety to his drumming that I have not heard before. There are also little shots and off beats here and there which I have not heard before.

    Page's guitar and solo's have little notes and combos that come out or are in the background in a way I have not heard before and I must have played this album 1000s of time (I started listening to this when I was about 13 and am now 50!). When he gets into the real grungy riff of “When the Levee Breaks” there is and almost lazy way that he plays which really comes across well as if Bonzo has to push him along in the track helped by JPJs bass lines.

    Kate Bush “Hounds of Love”

    Another real fave of mine, this is a good test for anything I reckon as some tracks have a real theatrical feel and complexity about them that can get lost or muddied. The arm seems to bring the best out the production that I have heard but also the delicacy of her vocals on some of the gentler more thoughtful pieces such as “Watching You Without Me" is conveyed really emotionally. At the same time when she turns on the power in the more dramatic tracks this is conveyed with a real force and strength but never loses focus.



    So to sum up this has been a great purchase , I was looking for a step up from the Rega and certainly got one. It has detail, power, delicacy and conveys both complex and simpler tracks with a real natural feel and holistic presentation that I love.

    I think it complements the NA deck really well both in looks and sound. In comparison the OL Rega sounds “stodgy” and slow, something I never thought I'd say as I was very happy with it while I used it. Don't regret the expense at all!

    A real shame they are not made any more (apparently) !

    Cheers Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,736
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    That was a long read lol,

    So pleased for you mate. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge on the unknown. I glad it's worked out. Also nice to hear my old Monoblocks are doing the job too.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 39,969
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smangus View Post
    I was looking for a step up from the Rega
    Just about anything else is a step up from a Rega in my book. Good review though.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  4. #4
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,736
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Just about anything else is a step up from a Rega in my book. Good review though.
    Ah, I had a rega 250 (?) on my inspire quest turntable. I have to say, with the Goldring 2100, it sounded mighty fine. I'd love another, just to see how it would sound now in comparison to the rig I have assembled.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 565
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Just about anything else is a step up from a Rega in my book. Good review though.
    Well it did a good enough job for me for a number of years so no complaints about it here really. Was OL modded with stub and wiring so not stock either, was what I could afdord at the time.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    At the cutting edge of Numptyness!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 565
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    That was a long read lol,

    So pleased for you mate. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge on the unknown. I glad it's worked out. Also nice to hear my old Monoblocks are doing the job too.
    Cheers started writing it about 2 months ago lol. Was a great purchase , and the monos have settled in really well, they sound great

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    At the cutting edge of Numptyness!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 565
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Oli , just thought do you want to borrow my Rega to play with? Its sitting around doing nowt so if you want to have a muck around with it for a bit its fine by me. can send it up with Steve next time he goes to yours if you like. Cheers Andy

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 8,736
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smangus View Post
    Oli , just thought do you want to borrow my Rega to play with? Its sitting around doing nowt so if you want to have a muck around with it for a bit its fine by me. can send it up with Steve next time he goes to yours if you like. Cheers Andy
    Won't be able to fit the Kb on it mate, the cartridge is too tall. It's when I realised I couldn't mount the cartridge 100% correctly that I decided to move my Rega based inspire on. Thanks for the offer though.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 MK6 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Bigbottle Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3+/Allo Boss 1.2/Isolator 1.3 & 2x LPSU's with Volumio & JRiver
    Amplification: Nelson Pass DCB1 with Khozmo 48 Step Series Attenuator & Krell KSA100 MK2 Amplifier
    Cables: SPOTFIRE Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables & SPOTFIRE Tonearm cable
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A
    Price List For SPOTFIRE Cables here:https://bit.ly/2Uxiv3j

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,513
    I'm Russell.

    Default

    A good read! That’s what I enjoy reading, some real world experiences I can relate to.

    Your examination of certain favorite records speaks volumes for this arm, I mean, if you are hearing notes and fills that you had not heard before in some 35 years of study, that is truly amazing! To actually hear music that was hidden there this whole time, that’s what high end is all about! This is what makes you want to rummage through your record collection to see what else you’ve been missing. Making old recordings new again, and worthy of new study, sounds like you’ve actually gotten your money’s worth!

    Congrats Mate, that’s what I call inspiring.

    Russell

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: london se6

    Posts: 565
    I'm AndyElectroNumpty.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    A good read! That’s what I enjoy reading, some real world experiences I can relate to.

    Your examination of certain favorite records speaks volumes for this arm, I mean, if you are hearing notes and fills that you had not heard before in some 35 years of study, that is truly amazing! To actually hear music that was hidden there this whole time, that’s what high end is all about! This is what makes you want to rummage through your record collection to see what else you’ve been missing. Making old recordings new again, and worthy of new study, sounds like you’ve actually gotten your money’s worth!

    Congrats Mate, that’s what I call inspiring.

    Russell
    Thanks Russell , yes it has certainly paid back the investment , i'm really pleased and its finally letting me know what the cart can really do which is great

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    At the cutting edge of Numptyness!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast



 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •