19th February 2024

If you’re in the market for a pair of high-end interconnects, Paul Rigby wants a quick word before you unleash your credit card 

Haven’t got a lot to say about these cables in tech terms because Origin Live want to keep the design secrets close to their chests but, in basic terms, you’ve got a copper cable plated with silver. The termination plugs are absolutely fascinating because they are Graham Nalty single-enders. Graham Nalty being the founder of the cable manufacturer, Black Rhodium.


Be careful, I’m not saying the Black Rhodium has had a hand in producing these cables, but Black Rhodium do sell these plugs as a product in and of themselves. Origin Live has bought one or two. They are expensive though being around £160 for a set of four, if you bought them retail, which does help to increase the final price of these cables.


It’s the Rhodium plate that Origin Live like, apparently.  

The cabling design is rather demure, retiring, reserved, svelte, flexible and thus easy to install. 

So how do they sound?


I installed the cables within my phono amplifier and began with Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl and A Foggy Day from the Verve album …Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book Vol.3 backed by Nelson Riddle. And just to be cheeky, I grabbed a pair of similarly priced Aria cables form, you guessed it, Black Rhodium! Oh, the drama. 


First impression? Smooth. Very smooth from the S2s. At least via the Fitzgerald vocal. Via the Aria, I could hear a slight, a hint of mirage emphasis. Almost like a shadow that sat over the vocal. Subtle but it was there. There was none of that from the S2 cables. Vocals were neutral, balanced, full and velvety.

One interesting point was, when the song moved towards the middle eight, the left channel offered a suite of building trumpets and trombones, climbing towards a climax plus a meaty percussive ‘Blam!’ every now again, which could mask the right channel’s sweet string section. That section was more visible to the ear via the S2s. That is, the strings were better balanced in the mix. 


Headline feature for the S2s? The appearance of a vibraphone. Yes, an entire insttuement. I fitted the S2 cables, played the track and heard this instrument for the first time, “Where did that come from?” I was startled. Of course, the vibraphone was there all the time but such was the S2’s clarity, I was drawn towards it for the first time. 

If a cable can clear enough rubbish to alert you to an entirely new instrument then you’ve got to take notice haven’t you?


I then removed the S2 cables from my phono amplifier and connected them to my DAC and played Monochrome from the album Spooky from shoegaze rock outfit, Lush (4AD). 


Again, I enjoyed the upper frequency insight, the delicacy of the tambourine tinkles around the treble area, the high-pitched jangly guitars and the high-pitched vocals were a joy to experience. The discipline that placed each one of those features in its own position surrounded by air and space only added to the rich complexity of the soundstage.

Bass was firm, well integrated in the mix without dominating or spoiling the fun. It was also focused, so bass wasn’t just a tone, there was character here, a moulded personality from this particular drum kit. 

The S2 cables allowed more information to pass through to reach the ear. And that’s all I ask of a cable.   


What hit me immediately about the S2 cables was their clarity and transparency. All detail was on offer here but the cable didn’t have to emphasise any frequency to accomplish that feat. Instead, information flowed easily via a neutral and balanced output. 

The low-noise aspect of the design meant that subtle and nuanced detail pushed through to provide a complex but also balanced mix, giving you a rich sonic presentation. These are, I have to say, a significant pair of cables. 


Price: £1,220

Website: www.originlive.com

GOOD: low noise, detailed midrange, balanced presentation, clarity

BAD: nothing


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Origin Live Sovereign turntable

Origin Live Enterprise 12″ arm

Icon PS3 phono amplifier

Audiolab 6000CDT CD Transport

Benchmark DAC2 HGC

Aesthetix Calypso pre-amp

Icon Audio MB845 Mk.II Monoblock Amplifiers

Tellurium Q Statement cables

Blue Horizon Professional Rack System

Harmonic Resolution Systems Noise Reduction Components

CAD GC1 Ground Controls

Air Audio AC-2K Balanced Transformer

All vinyl was cleaned via a Degritter Mk.II