At CES 2019, Cambridge Audio announced the Alva TT, which at the time was the world’s first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable. It offered turntable enthusiasts the convenience of high-quality wireless streaming.
Three years later and the British hi-fi company is back with two new efforts in the Alva TT V2 (£1,600 / $1,999) and Alva ST (£750 / $999).
As vinyl continues its upswing in popularity – 4.8 million LPs were sold in the UK in 2020, while revenues in the US grew 94% in 2021 – the new Alva turntables look to take advantage of the increased interest by offering more convenience and a cheaper entry price for the series.
The Alva TT V2 is a direct drive turntable with built-in switchable phone stage and aptX HD Bluetooth (like the original model). The aluminium top plate and polyoxymethylene (POM) platter is retained, as is the Alva MC cartridge.
What’s new is the improved tonearm, with a detachable headshell that offers listeners an easy upgrade path. Plus, there’s a switchable phono stage and the means to turn the Bluetooth off, both features introduced as a response to feedback received from the original model.
The switchable phono stage presents the choice of using the Alva TT V2 with the phono stage in their stereo amplifier, and leaves open the door for future upgrades down the line.
If you find the Alva TT V2 too dear or are simply looking to step up from a budget-priced deck, the Alva ST aims to be that steppingstone. It keeps a number of the Alva TT V2’s features with the switchable phono stage, aptX HD streaming and new tonearm, but swaps the cartridge out for an Audio-Technica AT-VM95e moving magnet (which can be swapped out for another if you desire) and opts for a belt drive motor. The 1mm aluminium top plate with a layer of EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) absorbs any vibration that could spoil the performance.
With the Alva TT V2 priced at £1,600 / €1,999 / $1,999 and the Alva ST available for £750 / €999 / $999, both are expected to go on sale sometime in spring 2022.