An interesting record “weight/clamp” from Origin Live with a hefty price tag. But is it worth it’s asking price? Read on to find out more…
I have not been paid or sponsored for this review.
The views in this publication are unbiased, honest and my own.
Origin Live have been kind enough to send this item out for review.
The “Gravity One” currently retails for £195.
You can grab one from Origin Live here:
Origin Live “Gravity One”
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO. ( Ortofon 2M Red )
Technics SL1200 MKII. ( Ortofon Quintet Red )
KECES Audio ePhone and ePhono power.
Bowers & Wilkins DM601/S3.
Airpulse ST200 stands filled with Atacama “Atabytes”
STAX SR-009 Signature Edition.
AF Audio & Custom Cans interconnects.
AF Audio speaker cables and filter.
AF Audio mains cables.
Audiowalle TP1000 mains conditioners ( x2 )
Various accessories and tweaks.
Some 180gram, some older, lighter pressings.
What’s in the box:
Origin Live “Gravity One”
Origin Live don’t have any information about materials or parts used on their website, aside from the following:
80mm diameter x 25mm height
Weight: 67 grams
Fits over spindles between 8.5mm to 23mm height (where height is measured between top of record and very top of spindle)
Instead they state the following in their “Main Description”:
“At last a Record clamp which works as it should.
Record clamps or weights serve 2 purposes
a) They flatten warped records on the platter – thus giving your cartridge an easier ride and enabling it to maintain the same VTA (angle to the record).
b) They change the way your records sound by damping their vibration.
Most clamps flatten records successfully but have very mixed results on sound quality. As a generalisation, most they tend to enhance the bass whilst dulling down the upper midband. There is also a perceived slowing down of the sound and the decay of notes suffer.
For 25 years or so we’ve tested record clamp designs (both ours and 3rd parties) and never come across a clamp which was worthwhile to use. Then one year we were sharing a room at the indulgence show with the importer of Shun Mook and he introduced us to their record clamp. To my astonishment this actually worked and enhanced everything in the music with no downside. The only problem was that it cost £2000.
This experience got me thinking and after some interesting design experiences with previously untested materials we though it worth trying again. Strangely enough just as we came up with this idea my friend Tony Sharman started talking to us about a record clamp he designed for his own personal system. Anyone who knows Tony knows that he’s a no nonsense kind of guy and one of the more experienced in the industry. My interest was aroused and we duly arranged a date for him to come down and demonstrate his clamp.
As I’m sure you can guess this was an ah-ah moment and his design coincided almost exactly with our own thinking but he had refined things and gave us some helpful tips to speed up the design.”
Build and finish:
So where do we start? I can take a look online and at the Gravity One itself to see what I can glean from it’s construction.
Indeed we have a very lightweight “puck”, I say puck because this is most certainly NOT a weight, it isn’t a clamp either. It doesn’t work or act in the same way as a clamp.
Going off of the Gravity Ones design and the way it works I would call it an anti-vibration “puck” maybe?
The shell is constructed from a light weight plastic of some kind.
Internally the Gravity One isn’t solid. When we flip it upside down we find some very light weight wood, what appear to be acrylic screws and a small acrylic or delrin base. All of which, have movement. As a whole unit the Gravity One weighs in at just 67 grams.
The Gravity One is made well. and the finish is good. The design is subtle and basic which for some will be a welcome aesthetic. Those looking for a funky looking weight/clamp or “eye turner” will not find one here.
Personally I find the design pleasing and it’s neither a great thing or a bad thing.
I have been using a few weights for a while now so to begin, I went back to listening to my vinyl “weightless” for a few months before listening with the Gravity One. Cleansing my pallet if you will.
So what did I hear?
I heard a slight improvement, with the most noticeable being bass performance and presentation.
Bass is more impactful and textured. It’s richer and sounds more refined.
Mids are softer and airier, but allowing vocals to sound more organic.
Highs are more articulate, faster paced and with improved sparkle.
I also noticed quieter sections of music sounding, well… quieter. bringing out more detail from the background.
I noticed this across both the EVO and the 1200 MKII, However I found the differences more pronounced when using the Gravity One with the EVO. So much so that it has become a permanent fixture in the EVO’s retinue of accessories and upgrades.
Thoughts and recommendation:
Ok, let’s cut straight through it all and ask, Is it worth £195 though?
I’ll be honest, as I always am and say I think that’s subjective.
We all have our own tastes and preferences, some of us hear big differences from the slightest of tweaks to our systems while some of us hear little to no difference from bigger, far more extensive tweaks.
As someone who is in his 40’s and in the midst of their hifi journey, I’m still building my system. I’m still swapping things in and out, making little and big tweaks as I go.
I’m still learning!
As I’ve stated above, I did hear some improvement in sound, most notably, the bass performance.
I do use it every time I power on the EVO and dig out some vinyl, like I said, it’s now a go to upgrade.
Is it something I would go out and buy? Yes, however reluctantly. It’s a lot of money for what it is.
Would I recommend it?
I’d recommend when the pandemic and lockdown rules allow, to go and demo one first if possible.
Maybe see if it’s possible to borrow one from a friend? Or if like myself you’re a reviewer, most certainly go that route first.
All of this being said, Origin Live say “We are so pleased with the results that it’s a no brainer to offer this as an upgrade for all other decks. As with so many of our products this carries our guarantee of satisfaction or your money back.“
So if you’ve got £195 to blow and you’re looking to squeeze some more detail and performance from your turntable, give it a whirl.
Thank you as always to all of my readers for your ongoing support!
Many thanks, Paul.
Thank you to Jason and Custom Cans for the support, help and cables!
Always a pleasure.