Bluetooth turntables have been with us for a while now, with brands like Crosley, Ion and now Sony combining the two most millennial ways of listening to music in one (budget) unit, but no one has ever done one quite like this.
The Cambridge Audio Alva TT is a high-end “all-in-one” turntable which also happens to include aptX HD Bluetooth. While most turntables offer BT receivers for playing music stored on a phone, this model instead offers a transmitter output. The Alva TT is able to transmit your LPs to a pair of high-end headphones, a compatible hi-fi or God forbid, a cheap Bluetooth speaker.
Wireless capability aside this is a highly specified turntable, and it’s designed to appeal to the well-heeled listener who wants a true set-and-forget system. It features a built-in, non-defeatable pre-amp based on the company’s Duo phono stage. In this way it’s akin to other “starter” decks like the
- Bluetooth AptX HD ( 24-bit/48kHz LPCM)
- Factory-fitted high output Alva MC cartridge (avail. separately for £450 and $500, roughly AU$695)
- Direct Drive motor
- Aluminum tonearm (Rega)
I got to hear the turntable through a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 804 D3 and the company’s Edge A integrated amp via both Bluetooth and RCA. Based on the brief demo it was hard to gauge, but the sound didn’t immediately grab me in the way that aor has. If you prefer the hands-on, DIY nature of owning a high-end turntable then perhaps these two models would be a better fit.
The Cambridge Audio Alva TT will be available in April 2019 for £1,500 or $1,700 (roughly AU$2,350).
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