British hifi maker Cambridge Audio has announced the $ 1,999 Alva TT V2 turntable (shown above), the successor to its exceptional Alva TT model we reviewed in 2019, and the new $ 999 Alva ST turntable, which promises the company’s acclaimed performance at a more affordable price.
Vinyl traditionalists will be happy to know that each turntable can be connected to a wired hi-fi system in a more traditional home audio setup. Cambridge Audio allows the user to choose between its built-in phono stage or any other they choose.
However, it is the wireless streaming option (via Bluetooth) that makes the Alva turntables such an interesting vinyl option. Named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison, both models support the aptX HD codec, so with a receiving device (headphones, speakers, etc.) that supports it, you’ll enjoy music in 24-bit / 48kHz resolution. .
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2
Like its predecessor, the new Alva TT V2 has a direct drive system with a heavy aluminum top plate and a polyoxymethylene chainring. There is a pre-installed Alva MC high performance moving coil cartridge (a $ 499 value). Upgrades include an all-new tone arm with a detachable headstock that allows for easy upgrades. Based on customer feedback, Cambridge Audio has added a switchable phono stage that allows the option of turning off the Alva TT V2’s built-in phono stage in favor of using that of your stereo amplifier.
Another change allows users to turn off the Bluetooth transmitter, producing a shorter signal path, which improves energy efficiency and improves overall sound.
The Alva TT V2 measures 5.5 x 17.1 x 14.5 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 24 pounds.
Cambridge Audio Alva ST
The Alva ST is a belt drive turntable. Cambridge Audio has built it with a 1mm aluminum top plate and an EVA layer on top of MDF to absorb vibrations when sitting down. The unit comes pre-installed with an Audio Technica AT-VM95e moving magnet cartridge, which can be swapped out for an upgrade whenever the listener wishes.
Like the Alva TT V2, the ST has a switchable built-in phono stage, aptX HD wireless high-resolution transmission, and the same redesigned tone arm.
Cambridge says the belt drive system and die-cast aluminum platter reduce motor interference and are resistant to vibrations. The Alva ST measures 5.5 x 17.1 x 14.4 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 19.8 lbs.
Cambridge Audio says the Alva TT2 and Alva ST will be available in spring 2022.