The Onyx was designed as an affordable performance benchmark – a tonearm that would flatter any budget or mid-price turntable and still be happy on a high-end deck.
Sonically, it marks a significant step up from the Alliance tonearm – and indeed from most tonearms on sale. It comfortably outperforms the original Origin Live Silver MK1, which was thought to be one of the best arms on sale. Indeed, it still outperforms many arms in the £3,000 region.
A well made, attractive and economic package, Onyx was only possible thanks to Origin Live’s decades of tonearm design expertise. It’s difficult to design a great high-end arm, but harder still to do a brilliant budget product. Knowing where to spend the money in the overall design is why Onyx sounds so good, and that knowledge doesn’t come easy.
The Onyx design philosophy – and many parts – come from the legendary Silver tonearm:
Single-piece arm tube made from high-grade aircraft alloy Robust, highly specified bearings, housed in an advanced decoupled yoke High grade Internal Litz wiring with standard external cable and RCA plugs Integral VTA adjustment Fits all Rega armboard cutouts – old style threaded base or new 3-point mounting
Onyx Tonearm Review Quotes
“Sounds more human, more analogue, and more musical… represents excellent value for money and comes highly recommended… offers a relaxing, expansive and musical sound hitherto unavailable at its modest price point.” Hi-Fi World, August 2011
“…the Onyx immediately sounded very enjoyable. Tonally full, with sonorous and powerful deep bass, rich and colourful midrange and fluid, open and relaxed treble. This was exactly what the doctor ordered! On top of this it had excellent tracking and has looks like its costs a lot more than it does. The reviews weren’t wrong: this arm really is very good indeed.”
“With the SME arm and this cartridge there was always a lack of midbass presence, making only the most powerful recordings sound balanced but with the Onyx almost every LP sounds like a powerful USA release! Dynamics and speed were now impressive, gone was the former tardiness, replaced with cheerful, upbeat music, but importantly, while retaining smootnness and tonal fulness. On top of this, timbre had also improved massively.” – Read More – Full Review > Hi Fi Advice
“The Onyx is a great looking product. All parts appear to be made by Origin Live including the armlift, something only a mere handful of manufacturers will do these days… Even when fitted to a relatively humble deck and carrying one of Ortofon’s most affordable MC cartridges, it never fails to let the music speak for itself. This high class but friendly priced tonearm is equally elegant in appearance and performance. Handmade in good old Blighty by a devoted company that knows a thing or two about getting good vibes from vinyl, the sonic performance the Onyx delivered in the context of a modest but carefully adjusted setup can be conveyed in three words: unforced, organic and airy. My conclusion needs but one word: recommended.” – Read More – Owner Comment >
Kilian Bakker, Owner Comment