Fully Modded Origin Live OL1 or Stock Rega RB-600?

Wondering if the OL1 with structural mod, full external and internal re-wire and upgraded RCA's would be better than a stock RB-600. This is not the Origin Live Silver; it's basically a heavily modded RB-250. Will have a Dynavector 20xL mounted on either arm on a P-25.

It's counterintuitive to me to go backwards in the Rega line and gain an improvement, especially going from a $700msrp arm to a $575msrp arm, but who knows. OL says the OL1 will outperform a RB900 but, of course, they're trying to sell tonearms!

I can get a great deal on the OL1 ($375 - normally $575) but I don't want to waste the money if it's not going to be a significant improvement over the stock RB-600.
The 900 supposedly takes longer to assemble and has higher quality bearings. I think the wiring is better than stock 250/300 but not sure.
Yes,I believe that the fully modded arm is better than the RB 600.It is reported as also being better than the RB 900."The 250 uses bearings fixed on two sides, with a plastic counterweight
coupling system; while the 300 - and the 600 and the 900 - use a one
sided bearing fixation, with a metal counterweight coupling system.

Furthermore, the 300, 600 and 900 use an inferior spring system to set
tracking force. The 300 uses a stainless steel mounting base, vs. brass
for the 250.

The bearings are slighly better for the 300 and up, but, according to
Rega, such improved tolerances don't bring any benefits (!). And they
don't because of the lossier bearing coupling.

The Origin Live level one modification takes care of the counterweight
coupling problem, and turns the RB-250 into a giant killer.?" This is a quote from an old post in Groups from someone with a good knowledge of Rega arms.I hope this helps.
From their FAQ:
Prior to modification the RB900 RB600 and RB300 are superior to the RB250 but after modification, the RB250 is slightly better than the modified RB900 RB600 and RB300. The main difference being that modified RB250 has more power and control in the bass than an rb 900 rb600 or rb 300.
Right - I saw all of this on the Origin Live website and understand that this is the claim they are making. I was looking for more "real-world" input from individuals who have used the arms.

C123666: The wiring and bearings are better in the RB600/900 but Origing Live removes all the wiring in the RB250's they modify and replace it.
I am using fully modded RB250 with an Origin Live counterweight mod and an Incognito rewire(1 piece cartridge to RCA unlike the Origin)I am also using the TWL weight mod on this arm as well.I have a stock RB 300 and I can hear that the modded RB 250 is great although I have not done A/B comparisons as I have the arms on different tables with different cartridges.Suffice to say I consider the RB250 to be the better arm and use it on the better table.
I shouldn't say this since I'm trying to sell a silver wired 300, but the OL250 is a better tonearm in my system. I too use the HiFi Mod, and Paul's VTF tweak.

I have tested both arms on the same table with the same cartridge in the same system. While the silver wiring in the 300 really does improve the arm, I like the OL better. It has more weight and definition, especially with the cheap and effective mods.

Go for the OL1, you won't regret it for $375.

I agree that due to various aspects of the design of the 250, it can be a better arm(when modded) than the 300, 600, 900 arms.

Some of the "tweaks" often used for the 300/600/900 arms are trying to restore them to as much like the 250 as they can get. Such as removing the spring, and going to dynamic balancing.

I'd vote for the modded 250.
I haven't compared them, but 375 the OL is good. From a value standpoint alone I'd say don't hesitate to go that way.
The VTF spring in the rb300/600/900 can be defeated by turning it all the way past 3. Or, the spring can be removed and only dynamic balancing is then available. So, that is a non issue when compared to the rb250. I have a rb300 wired with Audio Note pure silver wire (seamless from cartridge clips to RCA termination) and a Michell Technoweight; it has worked very, very well. Very easy to set up and it stays set up (unlike funky unipivot arms like I also have and like the sound but hate to handle).

A seamless run of wire is better than wire using a DIN termination at the base of the tonearm.
Take a look at the recent 6moons review:

OL Silver review

Looked very interesting, in particular since the reviewer and other listeners (Terry Cain etc.) thought that the OL1 sounded better in some systems than the Origin Live Silver.

Did anyone here have a chance to compare the two OL arms? Care to comment on the review?


Thanks for that great link, really cool site and I really liked the review. Here is my take on it.

Well if you read the review all the way to the end, it says you really need to have the OL silver's tonearm wires burnt in, also they were using the George Wright Phono.

I remeber in the may/June 2002 issue of Listener, in the review of the George Wright pp100c by Pete Breqninger he states
"if you end up buying a pp100c consider a step-up tranny mandatory"

Maybe this had something to do with their first impressions. It also really got me to thinking about what they said on the last page about using a step-up tranny into a mm as the only way to go. I remeber when I was doing that sound was really good.

Here is a copy of the last part of the review where the Silver shines.

"For phono amplification, Terry was using a big underground favorite known for its giant-killing performance: The George Wright-designed and -built vacuum tube phono preamplifier. When I got to Terry's place, his Teres turntable was sitting idle and music was playing through one of Vincent Sanders' computer hard-drive digital powerhouses to warm up the system. Terry's system has it all: Beautiful tone, great dynamics and a very musical yet detailed presentation.

Then we dropped the needle on one of the many LPs we would spin that day and heard pretty much what Pete and I had heard with the burned-in Origin Live Silver in my system - good but not great. "Hey Terry," said I, "Whaddya say we drop in the Aud 23 step-up tranny and see what happens?" "Sounds like an idea," said he. So we did and dropped the needle again. "Whoa!" said I. "Whoa!" Terry tossed right back at moi. All of a sudden everything that had troubled me about the Origin Live Silver arm vanished. In its place was one of the most stunning portrayals of the analogue kingdom I have ever heard - breathtaking! The vocal sheen and sibilance were gone and in its place was real flesh-and-blood vocal magic. The arm now conveyed music that was warmer, darker and fuller without losing any of the detail and snappiness that made it so engaging in my system. The notes became more liquid and fragrant too. Fed by the Auditorium 23 to amplify the Denon 103, I couldn't find a nit to pick with the Origin Live Silver arm. It was a beautifully emotive as well as a great-sounding presentation of the music. If you have a Denon 103 and a low-gain phono preamplifier, you should run out and get an Auditorium 23 tranny right now! Don't even think about it - just do it! Terry and I ended up spinning disks all day and never got around to getting the second armboard mounted."

Yes, I read that review with interest, and what really floored me was that here were all these experienced guys using a DL103 on an OL1 and OL Silver, and not one of them had(or apparently even knew about) the HiFi mod for these arms.

If they cannot find a "nit to pick" with a DL103 on either of those arms, I have some news for them. They are missing about 25% of what that combo could do, and it's only $1 and a trip to the fishing tackle store from knocking their socks into next week.

There are dozens, and maybe even hundreds of audiophiles now using the HiFi mod on their Rega and OL arms with the DL103 series cartridges. It is well known both on Audiogon and on Audio Asylum. Most readers here know what a difference it makes with these low compliance cartridges on these Rega and OL arms.

I wonder why it is so unknown in reviewer circles?
You'd think that at least one of these guys would have heard about it, or possibly even heard one in action.
I guess not.

I was thinking about writing a note to them, suggesting that they try it, and then see what they say about the arm.
If these guys don't know about your mod, then the need to hear about it.

Secondly, when they review a component, IMHO the reviewer should review the component in stock form, unless reviewing a mod.

I know I am not sharing anything new here, but thought it might explain why "if" they know about your mod, it was not mentioned.

I can't wait till next month when he listens to the Fi phono stage and Auditorium 23 step-up tranny. I did a search for this step-up and found nothing. I even took the link provided and the tranny is not listed. I will just wait till next month to get more info.

I have a question for you Tom, how do you attach your mod to the new silver arm?

Ron, since the "end buttons" on the new OL Silver arm are broader than the old "cap nuts", you just glue the weights onto the ends, sticking out the same way.
That's all there is to it.
Perhaps a gram or two less weight in the weights(per side) might be indicated, because of the additional mass of the bigger "end buttons".
Works fine.
Some people have already done this with no difficulty.