Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

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RichieCactus
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by RichieCactus » 25 Jun 2016 20:45

Just spotted this thread - and on the strength of the initial posts have ordered an Origin Live Upgrade belt for my TD166 mk VI (which still has it's original belt)... now have read the later posts regarding speed issues but as I don't have any of the high-tech measuring kit I will just have to trust my ears !

I'll report back
Rgds

Danilo_
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Danilo_ » 26 Jun 2016 21:19

Even a simple printed off Stroboscope Pattern (Diy Cart Protractor from the tools/downloads area) Will generate Acceptably (real Life :-) accurate RPM readings.
That said IF your belt is not falling off the inner platter.
There's little need to replace it... despite Sales admonishments.
Mine is original to my Bought new in '72 Thorens.. and it Still works "fine, thank you"

tlscapital
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by tlscapital » 28 Jun 2016 09:44

RichieCactus wrote:Just spotted this thread - and on the strength of the initial posts have ordered an Origin Live Upgrade belt for my TD166 mk VI (which still has it's original belt)... now have read the later posts regarding speed issues but as I don't have any of the high-tech measuring kit I will just have to trust my ears !

I'll report back
Rgds
Any chance to test, compare and review yet ? The ears-buds is the most important to one's beholder no matter how suggestive. Awaiting... Cheers !

RichieCactus
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by RichieCactus » 29 Jun 2016 20:48

Belt arrived - sorry way too busy to test until Sunday :-(

Tbh it looks too short packed in it's little bag, so fingers crossed they've sent me the right one !

Rgds
RC

RichieCactus
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by RichieCactus » 03 Jul 2016 16:39

(Copied from my post under "Thorens TB166 VI Upgrade Path")

Okay - I changed the belt this morning (wearing my cotton gloves from Boots the Chemists). There were no marks on the motor spindle so just I just swapped the belts over. I did not "talc" the Origin belt. Both belts looked the same size... however the Origin belt carries no branding and has a slightly rougher texture. Before putting the platter back on, I checked how it moved the sub platter and that it changed from 33 to 45. Everything looked okay although I noticed at 33 the belt rides very close to the top underside of the changing arm. I put the platter on and left it spinning for 3 hours.

After lunch I selected 3 records from my usual testing set:
a) David Bowie - Hunky Dory (RCA Victor SF8244, bought in 1978) - Side 1
b) Lou Rawls - At Last (Blue Note B1-91937, bought in 1989) - Title Track
c) Joe Walsh - So Far, So Good (ABC records ABCL 5240, 1978) - Meadows.

I had listened to DB this morning before changing the belt, so I was hoping I would immediately spot any improvements.

"Changes" - I noticed the slight sibilance in the record is still present. However, as the track continues, there is a definite improvement over the old belt. DB's vocals seem more "there".
During the next tracks the feeling and emotion seem more strongly / coherently communicated and by "Life on Mars?" I'm quite overwhelmed - wow!

The Lou Rawls tracks sounds as impressive as ever. I'm not sure if it sounds better using the Origin belt - it certainly still sounds wonderful.

Lastly the Joe Walsh track. This is the inner most track, (or maybe it's just not a great pressing?), and it does still suffer a little bit from sibilance (could be my set-up of course). The multiple guitar solos are handled well, and I can hear the bass guitar more clearly than before.

Conclusion:
I am very happy (relieved?) to report that, for me at least, the belt has been an excellent investment. If I had to sum up how it improved my system, I would say it added FOCUS and COHERENCE.

This is my first ever review so I hope it's been useful.

Many thanks
RC

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 03 Jul 2016 17:40

RichieCactus wrote:(Copied from my post under "Thorens TB166 VI Upgrade Path")

Okay - I changed the belt this morning (wearing my cotton gloves from Boots the Chemists). There were no marks on the motor spindle so just I just swapped the belts over. I did not "talc" the Origin belt. Both belts looked the same size... however the Origin belt carries no branding and has a slightly rougher texture. Before putting the platter back on, I checked how it moved the sub platter and that it changed from 33 to 45. Everything looked okay although I noticed at 33 the belt rides very close to the top underside of the changing arm. I put the platter on and left it spinning for 3 hours.

After lunch I selected 3 records from my usual testing set:
a) David Bowie - Hunky Dory (RCA Victor SF8244, bought in 1978) - Side 1
b) Lou Rawls - At Last (Blue Note B1-91937, bought in 1989) - Title Track
c) Joe Walsh - So Far, So Good (ABC records ABCL 5240, 1978) - Meadows.

I had listened to DB this morning before changing the belt, so I was hoping I would immediately spot any improvements.

"Changes" - I noticed the slight sibilance in the record is still present. However, as the track continues, there is a definite improvement over the old belt. DB's vocals seem more "there".
During the next tracks the feeling and emotion seem more strongly / coherently communicated and by "Life on Mars?" I'm quite overwhelmed - wow!

The Lou Rawls tracks sounds as impressive as ever. I'm not sure if it sounds better using the Origin belt - it certainly still sounds wonderful.

Lastly the Joe Walsh track. This is the inner most track, (or maybe it's just not a great pressing?), and it does still suffer a little bit from sibilance (could be my set-up of course). The multiple guitar solos are handled well, and I can hear the bass guitar more clearly than before.

Conclusion:
I am very happy (relieved?) to report that, for me at least, the belt has been an excellent investment. If I had to sum up how it improved my system, I would say it added FOCUS and COHERENCE.

This is my first ever review so I hope it's been useful.

Many thanks
RC

Your observations were similar to mine. The belt added a slight but noticeable focus to instruments and voices. More air around each of the same. Everything comes off more real. Bass also firmed up a bit. I didn't get the sibilance issue like yourself. You might want to play with the VTA if your arm allows for it to be adjusted. If you're using the stock arm, that won't be an option. Myself, I'm presently using an OL Encounter Mk2 on my heavily modified TD160 which allows for VTA.

I'm glad you're happy with the change. I don't think Mark Baker gets enough credit for his stuff. Shame really, as I now use two of his tonearms and they are fantastic. BTW, the OL platter mat has also proven very effective on the Thorens - way better than the cork replacement I used for several years.

I'm also thinking of doing the following Thorens mods through a Brit firm SRM.
http://srm-tech.co.uk/epages/4c008923-2 ... oducts/TEK

Any out there try it?

Danilo_
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Danilo_ » 03 Jul 2016 19:07

Wellll.. Fill yer Boots, Your $$ your TT :D
But having been a Thorens owner for 45 Years and witnessing an ever rising number of Vendors pushing their wares.. where few to None! existed.. say 20 years ago.
IMO Spend the $$ on Music. You will be better served.
IF serious? A simple upgrade of the Phono Pre (quality) can (usually) outdo virtually any Cart/TT 'upgrade/mods'. .. just saying.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 03 Jul 2016 21:56

Danilo_ wrote:Wellll.. Fill yer Boots, Your $$ your TT :D
But having been a Thorens owner for 45 Years and witnessing an ever rising number of Vendors pushing their wares.. where few to None! existed.. say 20 years ago.
IMO Spend the $$ on Music. You will be better served.
IF serious? A simple upgrade of the Phono Pre (quality) can (usually) outdo virtually any Cart/TT 'upgrade/mods'. .. just saying.
Quite frankly, if you haven't tried any mod on a Thorens, then you're comments are not relevant. I've owned my TD160B since 1972 and even then, there were modifications we all made on our TT's, and those who made businesses from modifying the Thorens TD150 through 160 etc. ie. Chadwick mods and Mr. Chadwick himself. These mods and product/vendors lead to the TD160 Super. The tonearm was another mod and sold item which lead to the TD160B. Linn spring swap outs, re-wiring, new cartridge wires if you stuck with the TP16, motor damping, plinth damping...I could go on and on with what a lot of us altered and yes, spent money on, back in the seventies.

The fact that there are more choices and significant modifications available today for the Thorens is a testament to their infinite tweakability with an end net gain as to performance.

There is nothing at all wrong with improving the delivery system for your music. Using your logic, we should all use a "close and play" and spend our money on records. Baffling. Carry on in your ignorance if you must but, if others here chose a better path, who are you to state otherwise?

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by sec4aa » 04 Jul 2016 01:53

I have done lots of mods to my Thorens TT but I keep on buying Thorens belts. Maybe the OL is an improvement over the Thorens belt, or maybe it isn't.
Now, replacing an original belt on a Thorens TD166 with any reasonable size belt would be an improvement given the age of the original belt...just saying...

tlscapital
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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by tlscapital » 04 Jul 2016 17:48

Danilo_ wrote:Wellll.. Fill yer Boots, Your $$ your TT :D
But having been a Thorens owner for 45 Years and witnessing an ever rising number of Vendors pushing their wares.. where few to None! existed.. say 20 years ago.
IMO Spend the $$ on Music. You will be better served.
IF serious? A simple upgrade of the Phono Pre (quality) can (usually) outdo virtually any Cart/TT 'upgrade/mods'. .. just saying.
I've just done that for too long... At one time, I finally admitted to be on the cheap then the wrong side of phono and went with accordingly "vintage" coupled with "nowadays" equipment and some DIY. It took me some time, brain juice and $ to finalize (somehow) my set-up. Today I do find that the belt issue is a real one.

I would trial an OL belt for what it cost if and only if it would last at least 2 times longer than a Thakker one (best money/quality I've found). OL "pretends" to last 1 and a half time longer than a real Thorens one...

So there I agree with you; I am rather cautious about the overpriced "supposed to BE next big step" geek tech-jives. I'm not always on the look-out, but here that "little" rubber issue is of major importance since we're talking belt driven TT's ! One tiny bit that will always have to be replace in order for the TT to run properly !

I managed to stay with such a phono system for yonks and contended only my old a new records with it. But since I began my DIY conversions, upgrades and improvements on my Thorens and overall RI(ght)-FI(delity) system, I'm more than ever aware on the status of what comes out of my speakers. I check the net to almost everything that is talked about out there on the Thorens matter. And so, the controversies I read on OL belts intrigued me...

Now, I understand that I will live in peace with my lasts Thakker belts until they wear out. Buying 3 Thakker belts on-line to save on combined shipping costs is not the most expensive buy. But it's a yearly TT cost. If I was guaranteed that the sound would suddenly explode out of my speakers with a €40 belt that should last at least 2 times longer, I would jump on it !

After all that reading about the OL belts, without a "live" trial, I'll stay in doubt. And as in when in doubt; refrain yourself...

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by RichieCactus » 05 Jul 2016 22:02

Thanks ehtoo

just to clarify - the sibilance was always there (on that LP) with the original belt.

regarding the SRM upgrade kit - I was considering buying, but from other folks I've heard that the black=graphite oil is not the best for Thorens TTs... so I may just buy some of the items rather than a whole upgrade kit... still working out what to do.... I'll post what I decide in my other post "Upgrade Path"

thanks
RC

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by Danilo_ » 06 Jul 2016 01:40

Again; I still have/use the ..Original.. oem belt that came with my bought New Thorens in 1972. Yess it's getting on (45! years) the 45 rpm switch over is sketchy.
Sure sign of a stretched belt. Happily I have NO 45's, so it remains as a non issue.
Belt neither slips nor falls off... continuing to work perfectly.
Yess I have a spare Genuine Thorens belt, not a clone copy but from when Thorens was still supplying parts. Despite bleats re storing belts, it's in Perfect condition.
But it's not yet needed... mebe in a few more years?

Often, touted replacement/improvement 'stuff' is wayyy below expectations.
But like any Placebo Belief is All.
Caveat Emptor does apply.
Took me decades to figure that one out.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by ehtoo » 06 Jul 2016 04:01

RichieCactus wrote:Thanks ehtoo

just to clarify - the sibilance was always there (on that LP) with the original belt.

regarding the SRM upgrade kit - I was considering buying, but from other folks I've heard that the black=graphite oil is not the best for Thorens TTs... so I may just buy some of the items rather than a whole upgrade kit... still working out what to do.... I'll post what I decide in my other post "Upgrade Path"

thanks
RC
The oil is one of the things quite frankly, I'm not interested in. The black oil is a Linn thing and has been used by Thorens owners the moment it hit the market. I've never heard of any specific problems and I assume it soaks the sintered bronze bearing housing effectively. I've been using the Joel's which is very good. A good 5W30 synthetic will also work extremely well but, if your bearing is worn, one will need a heavier weight.

When I added up the items I wanted from SRM it was close to the 89 pound sterling package so might as well. Getting a quieter motor and isolating the platter further will get more out of the table for sure.

What also surprised me was how effective the addition of the Music Hall Speed Control 2 had on lowering the noise floor of my TD160B. It also has the added advantage of keeping the Thorens clutch permanently set at the 45 RPM setting so belt slippage is no longer an issue. It also allows you to change speeds at the press of a button and adjust pitch if necessary. It's so good, it now has me thinking of replacing it with the Phoenix Engineering Eagle PSU and Roadrunner Tachometer (recently reviewed in The Absolute Sound). This PSU automatically adjusts for current fluctuations and maintains a consistent RPM.

If I do go this route, I'll done about all that one can do to squeeze as much from the TT as one can. So far each and every mod or improvement I've made has had significant results. Same goes for the Pedersen mods and use of the Verdier oil on my Michell Gyrodec SE.

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by RichieCactus » 06 Jul 2016 19:35

Thanks ehtoo,

thats made up my mind to contact Joel and order some original Thorens oil (rather than use the graphite variety from SRM). I must admit I had not considered any speed control devises - I'll add that to the To Be Investigated List ! I'm quite keen on SRM's Isobase thing, as that also gives me adjustable feet.

Thanks again
RC

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Re: Origine Live upgrade belt for Thorens

Post by tlscapital » 11 Sep 2016 19:55

So, curiosity killed the cat and finally, I've let myself go and ordered an Origin Live belt ! It landed in my mailbox and like expected: it's stiffer and rugged like all have said. No talc but a little isopropanol clean of the resin sub-platter and pulley. The spin start of the platter finds no belt glide like with the "trad" Thakker belts.

A quick live and recording trial and indeed it sounds different. I must also admit that I've just changed my speakers capacitors and if they are much better right now, I must get use to them and the capacitors must burn some road before they "adjust".

So I've recored on my lap-top the same single 45 with a brand new 'Thakker' (first play) belt and did the same with my brand new Origin Live belt. I'm kinda cheap on computer so I've done that with 'Audacity' (free version) on my MacBook Pro. Visually on the "frequencies" and volume "tachometer" of Audacity (.aup heavy format) they don't look much appart. See here;
Capture d’écran 2016-09-09 à 11.17.38.jpg
(612.53 KiB) Downloaded 278 times
Although I can hear the sound improvement right away when I switch the belts. It's nothing major and as slight as it is, you need to be attentive ear-wise but it's there. I can believe that with hours of continuous play it comes as many small things altogether as mandatory comfort.

That also showed that the Thakker belt played at 1rpm slower (or almost 2 seconds slower on a 2:15 minutes song)... Even the mp3 "mash-up" with the Thakker and OL inter-changes shows all of that. Only a tidy bit less since mp3 is the worst (less deep and precise) music format.

What shows through my phono set-up speakers is that the bass is indeed "tighter" and the highs and mids are more focus to bring the sound rendition more "all together" IMHO. Where in comparaison with the Thakker the bass is "present" (only) and the sound is more "sinked-in" (muddy ?) like in an aquarium.

I will "wear" this Origin Live belt some more before I'll review it fully. But I did find in a 6 minutes trial that all the pros are right on a first approach. Now I'm curious about it's longevity... my last and only little concern now according to it's price.