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You could ask about OL, Brinkmann, Acoustic Signature, Bauer/DPS, Kuzma, Pear Audio, or many other currently produced turntables.... Sadly, the general lack of feedback may be similar. Like it or not, the US is VPI country. I would venture to say that Rega, Project, and VPI account for the majority of NEW turntable sales in the US. The dealers are running a business, and are generally carrying the products that sell. I hope you get the feedback you’re looking for. I know Jay @ Audio Revelation carries OL, and he’s a very good guy. I've had the pleasure of doing business with him a few times. Cheers -Don
I am on my second OL table and third OL tonearm. The first was an Aurora Mk2 with a OL Silver mk2 tonearm. The Aurora was my first belt drive TT replacing an Optonica RP3636 DD that I had purchased new in 1978. Over time I upgraded the power supply with a purchase direct from Mark Baker at OL who is very responsive with great communication. The table was lively with excellent PRAT performing well above the price I paid for it IMO. I then had the opportunity to replace the Silver with an Encounter Mk3c arm. With this upgrade I started using a Benz Micro Ebony H and the combination was very enjoyable. After a few years of heavy use the cartridge was replaced with the Ortofon Cadenza Bronze and my enjoyment continued. In the past year I was able to acquire a slightly used Illustrious Mk3c arm. The Aurora was capable with this outstanding arm, but I decided after 9 years, to update the TT. I contacted Jay at Audio Revelation and upgraded to the OL Resolution Mk3-2 table. Everything moved to a new level. This is the Origin Live combination that was reviewed very favorably by Micheal Fremer on his Anaogue Planet website. the support and communication by Mark Baker at Origin Live over many years and Jay at Audio Revelation have made owning these tables and tonearm a joy. Presently have a Cadenza Black mounted running into a VAC Renassiance Mk3 pre/VAC power/Thiel CS2.4 speakers.
I have a Resolution Mk 1 with an Encounter Mk 3c arm. The cartridge is an Ortofon Quintet Black. I purchased the table used on Agon. I have upgraded the motor controller to a later version and also changed the arm to the Mk 3c. This combination is very quiet, low surface noise and rumble. I play mostly jazz and some classic rock. I have not compared this table directly with another setup in the same price range so can offer no opinion.
Compared with my digital playback via the Chord Hugo, the sound is less dynamic and a bit laid back. When I get home from work I always start with an LP. Either LP or CD is an enjoyable listening experience although there are differences.
My previous table was a Technics SL10 linear tracker that died. Setup and playing was as simple as analog gets. Moving to the Origin Live was a steep learning curve. The motor position is not fixed, belt tension is by feel. No marks or threaded adjustment for the VTF weight so I had to buy digital scale. No marks for antiskate so must be set by ear. VTA adjustable so must be set by ear. I also purchased the Dr. Feickert protractor for cartridge alignment. I have enjoyed getting involved in the mechanical aspect and learning what does what to the sound.
This setup would not be recommended for a beginner and especially for someone without some mechanical skills.
I had an OL arm, bought new, that had serious internal fault necessitating complete rewire back that factory. While many report good communication with the company, I was left dangling for weeks at a time and told repeatedly there was probably nothing wrong with the arm and the fault had to lie elsewhere in my rig. Eventually they accepted it for return via the dealer (not Jay, btw, who is top class) and took an age to repair it, telling me it tested fine before finally agreeing it needed rewiring. I am glad others are happy but I'll never consider an OL product again.
I bought an Aurora MK2 with an OL-1 tonearm (upgraded Rega) from Jay when I started seriously getting into the hobby. I have no other points of reference aside from a spectacularly bad turntable that came with those cheap integrated decks like AIWA. It currently sports a Benz Micro Silver cart, I have also used Denon DL103R, Ortofon Quintet Blue and an SME-1000 with it. All the combinations sound incredible and I have had no desire to upgrade. I listen to a lot of old school jazz (Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!), Electronic/New Wave and classic rock. The motor broke down once, basically it ran off...no speed control, through Jay I shipped it to OL and they fixed it. It was pretty expensive to get fixed, but working great. Previous user is correct about difficulty in setting up, it's not exactly automatic...you need to be interested, mechanically inclined and get some tools (laser tachometer, digital scale etc). But the table itself is gorgeous, stable, and sounds very, very, good. I'd recommend.