Hi-Fi+ Awards 2016: Analogue Audio

Audio Research Reference Phono 3,
DS Audio DS-W1,
Kuzma 4POINT 14,
Origin Live Sovereign
Hi-Fi+ Awards 2016: Analogue Audio

Turntable of the Year

Origin Live Sovereign

The Origin Live Sovereign is a belt-driven turntable design featuring a high tolerance bearing, and a non-suspended chassis sitting on three adjustable towers. The platter is a composite of a machined aluminium top with an acrylic lower section and a felt mat, designed to decouple the record surface and is driven by a high-mass outboard motor.

We used the Sovereign with the excellent 12” Enterprise-C tonearm, a hybrid design with six different materials in the armtube and a dual pivot bearing that mimics the stability of a gimballed bearing with the freedom of a unipivot. In our review, Alan Sircom stated that “There is a ‘just cut’ fluidity and openness to the sound that makes it seem like albums you know through repeated plays are fresh from the stamper” and concluded that “It’s one of those rare turntables that doubles as a time machine; you don’t just play an album, you are transported to where you were when you first heard that album.”

Reviewed in Hi-Fi+ Issue 140

Tonearm of the Year

Kuzma 4POINT 14

The original 11” 4POINT is considered to be one of the best high-performance tonearms made today, but in extending the original arm-tube to 14”, Kuzma faced potential mass and stability problems. The increased arm size means an effective mass of 19g, which makes it best used with low compliance cartridges, and its 2.15kg weight precludes its use with most suspended  turntable designs, but the mounting geometry makes Kuzma’s super arm compatible with 12” armboards and allows an almost infinite amount of on-the-fly adjustment. In our review Roy Gregory felt that “this is one seriously impressive performer. Put a 4POINT 14 in your system and sit back as your speakers apparently expand in size (at the same time as they disappear), your cartridge grows in power, and the musicians on your records don’t just wake up, they decide that today is the day.” High praise indeed!

Reviewed in Hi-Fi+ Issue 133

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