Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

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Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Obscurist » 13 Oct 2015 12:14

A friend of mine (and a fellow-TD125 owner) pointed me towards the Origin Live website, because they offer an upgrade belt that is supposed to be vastly superior to any other belt (including the original Thorens one) and give a massive upgrade of the sound quality. User-reviews (for wat they're worth) even mention 'less surface noise' and 'no more buildup of static electricity'.

Well, I think that's a bit far-fetched, and I don't want to open a discussion on that.

What I would like to know is if there are people here who have tried one of their upgrade belts (opinions that are based on actual use are much appreciated) but most of all: what's up with their system of choosing the right length?

On this page (http://www.originlive.com/products/upgr ... round.html) they specify the length of a TD125 belt at 560mm, but according to this document (https://www.vinylengine.com/images/forum/thorens.pdf) by former Thorens engineer Joel Bouttreux, the maximum length for a Thorens with a 13mm pulley (like the TD125) is 275 (or 550) mm, where OL says the TD125 belt is 560mm, which is 10mm longer than maximum.

And when you look at the specific part number used by Thorens (Z6800574), the belt for the TD160 (and many others, including the TD125) is the same. Origin Live specifies the belt for the TD160 at 538mm. Which is still within a correct margin from the minimum length specified by Joel (260mm = 520mm) and closer to the maximum length than to the minimum length.

But when you follow the calculation in Joel's document (which states that 10mm extra length will decrease the sideways pull on the bearing axel by 100g.) 560mm will just be too long. Or won't it? I'm not sure anymore... :-k

Any thoughts or experiences?

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ddarch » 13 Oct 2015 12:54

I'm an Origin Live dealer. Didn't know they were selling these, so thanks. I'll order a few and see what I find/hear. I'll report back next month.

Dave

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Obscurist » 13 Oct 2015 13:41

ddarch wrote:I'm an Origin Live dealer. Didn't know they were selling these, so thanks. I'll order a few and see what I find/hear. I'll report back next month.

Dave
Excellent! I'm very curious about their performace.

And if you have the opportunity, can you please ask them about the confusing length-table on their website? All the information elsewhere on the internet suggests that belts for TD160 and TD125 should be the same length.

It seems that my email to them got lost somewhere on the interwebs, or they haven't gotten around to answering it yet. And in that case, repeating it may be a bit of a nuisance to them...

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by sec4aa » 14 Oct 2015 00:39

This will be a very animated topic...As far as know, the TD 125 and TD14x, TD16x share the same belt. I use only marked Thorens belts for my TD 145 and I will say that they are 4mm wide and 500mm (when brand new), just to get to 530mm after couple of months of usage. The Live Origin lists TD160 at 538mm, a bit longer, so less stress on the bearing assuming that the material is the same. If the rubber is a different brand, with different elasticity...all bets are off and only practice can tell.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 14 Oct 2015 02:45

sec4aa wrote:This will be a very animated topic...As far as know, the TD 125 and TD14x, TD16x share the same belt. I use only marked Thorens belts for my TD 145 and I will say that they are 4mm wide and 500mm (when brand new), just to get to 530mm after couple of months of usage. The Live Origin lists TD160 at 538mm, a bit longer, so less stress on the bearing assuming that the material is the same. If the rubber is a different brand, with different elasticity...all bets are off and only practice can tell.
From what I understand, the belts are not made of rubber. They state some proprietory material is used instead which may account for the slightly longer length and lesser amount of stress on the motor shaft - as previously mentioned by another here on this thread. I was going to order one of these belts for my T160B based on my experience with their platter mat. No marketing BS for the mat. Highly recommended.

As far as OL as a business, and based on the product I`m using, specifically their excellent tonearms, I`ve found their `press`is not exagerated. The TT mats have also produced significant improvements - surprisingly so - on both my TD160B and more surprising, my Michel Gryodec SE. Quieter backgrounds, firmer bass, better focus on imaging and more `air`.
The Michel was a surprise because, using the mat goes against all convention for coupling the record to the platter. When I get the belt, I`ll report back after a period of listening.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Obscurist » 15 Oct 2015 09:42

ethos wrote:... I`ve found their `press`is not exagerated...
Please believe me when I say that I do not want to turn this into an Origin Live bash, really (!)

They are, also in my book, a respectable company and I have had excellent results with some of their products (especially the arms), but I'm not sure if I agree with you on their 'press' not being a tad exaggerated. Because it has to be. That's rule number one in commercial publishing. Plain honesty, although extremely commendable, doesn't sell...

And from my daily practice as a hifi journalist, I know for a fact that it is quite impossible not to exaggerate the audible features of a product, because differences are often too small to describe without a well dosed sprinkling of hyperbole.

Still, I can not and will not dismiss their claims on my own assumptions. But I'm not in the position right now to try two different upgrade belts myself, so when I found the rather confusing information about the length of the belts for different Thorens models, I decided to consult the massive collective knowledge of the VinylEngine community. To get a good idea of how a certain product performs there is, except personal experience of course, nothing like user-feedback other than the most favorable comments that get posted on the manufacturers commercial pages.

Maybe I should have send them an email first, and just ask about it, but the VE is just too top-of-mind when it comes to questions like this one :wink:

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 15 Oct 2015 17:25

Obscurist wrote:
ethos wrote:... I`ve found their `press`is not exagerated...
Please believe me when I say that I do not want to turn this into an Origin Live bash, really (!)

They are, also in my book, a respectable company and I have had excellent results with some of their products (especially the arms), but I'm not sure if I agree with you on their 'press' not being a tad exaggerated. Because it has to be. That's rule number one in commercial publishing. Plain honesty, although extremely commendable, doesn't sell...

And from my daily practice as a hifi journalist, I know for a fact that it is quite impossible not to exaggerate the audible features of a product, because differences are often too small to describe without a well dosed sprinkling of hyperbole.

Still, I can not and will not dismiss their claims on my own assumptions. But I'm not in the position right now to try two different upgrade belts myself, so when I found the rather confusing information about the length of the belts for different Thorens models, I decided to consult the massive collective knowledge of the VinylEngine community. To get a good idea of how a certain product performs there is, except personal experience of course, nothing like user-feedback other than the most favorable comments that get posted on the manufacturers commercial pages.

Maybe I should have send them an email first, and just ask about it, but the VE is just too top-of-mind when it comes to questions like this one :wink:
Of course, any commercial venture is going to cherry pick the best reviews and may even include the "no so bad" review as well. If I'm not mistaken, there is a audio mag review from HiFi World for the belts which was positive. Anyway, for $50 CDN, I ordered one yesterday to see if the reviews are justified. I'll post a comment after a careful listen.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Obscurist » 15 Oct 2015 20:54

I'm in the final stage of restoring and upgrading my TD125 (but I have already sold my TD160, so I'm 'inbetween decks' so to speak) but I think I'll just give it a try and order one as well. There are still a few weeks left, so there's plenty of time to ask them why they specify a different length for the TD125.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 23 Oct 2015 02:51

OK. Received by OL belt for my Thorens TD160B and spun a few records to test it out. Firstly, before I give my initial impressions of the belt, I should mention my Thorens right now is being used as a dedicated mono player. If anything, the mono would reveal the successes or failures of the new belt as more can go wrong with the overall presentation of the music ie. muddied sound.

The three records played were Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me a Capitol blue label from 1958; Dinah Washington - Late, Late Show Mercury/Emarcy from 1963 & Duke Ellington - Mood Indigos 6-eye Columbia from 1958.

My initial impressions. Whew. Where do I start. Holographic in a word. Everything tightened up in focus. Bass was solid, tight and more forceful. Timbral quality of the instruments stunning - especially brass. I could hear more of the finger in the plucking of bass strings and greater separation between the instruments. Actually, on the Dinah Washington record, the soundstage was pushed back a bit. Everything was clearer.

I've been using the lowly Grado ME+ which was OK, but left me wanting more. I'd been planning to spring for a Miyajima Labs Premium BEII ($1,575 CDN) or the "Zero" ($1,900 CDN) but, I might put it off for now as the Grado is singing a bit more tunefully. So far two thumbs up. :D The page that came with the belt recommended reversing the belt side as sometimes one side sounds better than the other. I'll give it a shot.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ddarch » 23 Oct 2015 22:37

What were your impressions of the belt side by side with the Thorens in terms of length, width, and feel? Speed change flawless?

Dave

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 24 Oct 2015 02:25

ddarch wrote:What were your impressions of the belt side by side with the Thorens in terms of length, width, and feel? Speed change flawless?

Dave
Length measures a tad longer and slightly wider as well. The surface is not smooth like the Thorens (or other) belts. It shows a patterned texture (doesn't affect the noise). Start up quick. Followed suggestions with the belt and let it run for over an hour.

I'm presently using my TT through a Music Hall Speed Control 2 so I haven't actually tried it with the Thorens switch. I'll give it a go and report back.

My initial impressions haven't changed. As mentioned, playing a mono cartridge right now. Presentation has a greater focus and instruments appear to have a little more space between them.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 25 Oct 2015 04:14

I experienced no problems with Thorens stock speed changer with the OL replacement belt.

Now that I've played the OL belt for several records over the last few days, I changed back to the regular Thorens belt for comparison using this LP
IMG_0374.jpg
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With the Thorens belt, everything seemed muddy and lifeless. The image collapsed into a mush and the bass energy was sucked out. Back again to the OL belt and the soundstage was restored. All instruments were distinct and for this recording, the violin's timbre was outstanding. The OL belt is definitely here to stay. IMHO, the positive reviews have been well earned.

The improvement with this replacement belt has convinced me to swap out the Thorens motor with the Origin Live DC200 motor and upgraded PSU.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by sec4aa » 26 Oct 2015 01:34

Jury is still out there for me..."friends" over at the Linn forum found this:
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 18&t=71872
I am sure that Dave will have them available soon after passing his tests.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 26 Oct 2015 02:57

sec4aa wrote:Jury is still out there for me..."friends" over at the Linn forum found this:
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_f ... 18&t=71872
I am sure that Dave will have them available soon after passing his tests.
Only going by what I hear my friend, only going by what I hear

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by sec4aa » 26 Oct 2015 13:46

Ethoo,
Your review is fine and very welcome...only the second independent review, excluding the ones from OL site. The Linn forum review was referring to someone with a belt with a "possible" defect. It would be perfect to have an alternative to the Thorens logo belts out there. As far as I know the new Thorens logo belts are not even like the real original Thorens belt made in the 70's.

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