Cambridge Audio expands its high-end wireless turntable offerings at CES
The Alva TT V2 and the lower-cost Alva ST both offer Bluetooth streaming with aptX HD support; they also have built-in phono stages for wired listening.
By James Barber
British hi-fi manufacturer Cambridge Audio has announced the $1,999 Alva TT V2 turntable (shown above), the successor to its outstanding Alva TT model we reviewed in 2019, and the new $999 Alva ST turntable, which promises to the company’s acclaimed performance to a more affordable price point.
Vinyl traditionalists will be happy to learn that each turntable can be connected to a hi-fi system with wires in a more traditional home audio setup. Cambridge Audio allows the user to choose between its built-in phono stage or any other you might choose.
It’s the wireless (via Bluetooth) streaming option, however, that makes the Alva turntables such an interesting vinyl option. Named in honor of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, both models support the aptX HD codec, so with a receiving device (headphone, speakers, etc.) that supports the same, you’ll enjoy music with 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 polyoxymethylene platter. There’s a pre-installed Alva MC high-output moving coil cartridge (a $499 value). Upgrades include an all-new tonearm with a detachable headshell that allows for easy upgrades. Based on feedback from customers, Cambridge Audio has added a switchable phono stage that allows the choice of turning off the Alva TT V2’s onboard phono stage in favor of using the one in their stereo amplifier.
Another change allows users to turn off the Bluetooth transmitter off, producing a shortened 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 a layer of EVA on top of MDF to absorb vibration sitting. 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 desires.
Like the Alva TT V2, the ST has a switchable, built-in phono stage, aptX HD wireless hi-res streaming, and the same redesigned tonearm.
Cambridge says the belt drive system and die-cast aluminum platter allow for reduced motor interference and a vibration resistant. 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 the Alva ST will be available spring 2022.