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The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 and Alva ST Turntables are Shipping

Looking for a new turntable in 2022? The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 and Alva ST models are available for $1,999 and $999.

Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable

Cambridge Audio surprised a lot of people with their Alva Turntable which offered Bluetooth playback and an OEM tonearm courtesy of Rega. Some audiophiles lifted their noses at the innovative design but those of us who actually tried or bought one were quite impressed. The Alva came with its own phono cartridge (which was also probably designed by Rega) and internal phono stage and dealers did quite well with it.

It was also a direct drive turntable designed to compete with Pioneer and Technics models offering similar technology.

The Alva was so successful, that Cambridge went back into the lab and created two new versions that look rather intriguing.

British hi-fi specialist Cambridge Audio has announced two new additions to its Alva turntable range: Alva TT V2 and Alva ST. Unveiled for the first time at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the new Alva turntables build on the success of the highly acclaimed and innovative Alva TT – launched in 2019 as the world’s first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable – and are backed by over 50 years of Cambridge Audio’s expertise and experience in making great hi-fi for music lovers to enjoy.

Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable placing record
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable

The Alva TT V2 is an upgraded next-generation model, while the ST enters the range to provide the widest available choice and flexibility for listeners. Both models are designed to deliver incredible levels of detail from your record collection, with a built-in phono stage based on Cambridge Audio’s award-winning Alva Solo ($229 at Amazon) and Alva Duo ($349 at Amazon) phono pre-amplifiers.

You can find our recent review of the Alva Duo here.

The vinyl resurgence shows no sign of stopping, growing more popular than before in both UK and US. 4.8 million LPs were sold in the UK in 2021, a 10% increase from the previous year and the highest number in 30 years, according to a report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Meanwhile revenues from vinyl albums grew 61% to $1 billion in the US in 2021, according to the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable Rear
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2

Stuart George, Managing Director of Cambridge Audio, says: “The original Alva TT was the world’s first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable, and the reaction to it was beyond all our expectations. The new Alva TT V2 continues to blend the convenience of modern streaming with the rich listening experience of vinyl and takes on board listeners’ feedback from the first turntable. The all-new Alva ST opens up that experience to an even broader range of listeners with its competitive price point.”

A quick look at the press release on the Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 reveals two very important changes; a brand new tonearm (supply chain issues with Rega?) and the ability to use your own phono stage.

Huge. More details below.

Alva TT V2 – £1,700 / $1,999

The new Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 is a direct drive turntable with a built-in switchable phono stage and aptX HD Bluetooth streaming.

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Alva TT V2 retains the original Alva TT’s direct drive system with a heavy aluminum top plate and polyoxymethylene (POM) platter, pre-installed Alva MC cartridge, and the innovative aptX HD Bluetooth that allows 24-bit/48kHz hi-res streaming. 

New features include a brand-new, improved tonearm with detachable headshell (offering listeners an easy upgrade path), and switchable phono stage and Bluetooth – both are in response to popular customer feedback from the Alva TT’s release. 

The switchable phono stage offers listeners the flexibility and choice of using the Alva TT V2 with the phono stage in their existing stereo amplifier, while also making it easy to upgrade their hi-fi system’s components over time. 

One of the changes from the original Alva TT is that you can now turn the Bluetooth transmitter off, offering even more choice and convenience for listeners as well as a shortened signal path – which in turn means better sound and more energy efficiency.

The new Alva TT V2 is more expensive than the original model which puts it up against entry-level tables from VPI, Clearaudio, and the Rega Planar 6 — but it does offer an internal phono stage and wireless streaming as well.

Cambridge Audio Alva ST playing record
Cambridge Audio Alva ST

For those with tighter budgets, Cambridge Audio have also introduced the Alva ST Turntable for $1,000 USD.

What’s notable is the decision to offer the Alva ST with an Audio-Technica cartridge and still use the more expensive tonearm from the $2,000 Alva TT V2 table.

One negative was the decision to go with a belt drive vs direct drive motor — which was clearly a cost issue.

Alva ST – £750 / $999

Cambridge Audio Alva ST Turntable Top Open
Cambridge Audio Alva ST

Designed for new vinyl lovers as well as those looking to upgrade from their first record player for a step up in performance, the Cambridge Audio Alva ST is the perfect turntable to enjoy a growing vinyl collection, with exceptional sound quality and an elegant design that will be a showstopper in any room.

Featuring many of the key features of the Alva TT V2, the new Alva ST brings Cambridge Audio’s premium turntable performance to the under-$1,000 price range for the first time.

The Alva ST is a belt drive turntable with a 1mm aluminum top plate, and a layer of EVA to absorb vibration sitting on top of MDF, and comes pre-installed with an Audio Technica AT-VM95e ($69 at Amazon) moving magnet cartridge – which can be swapped out for a cartridge of your choice for easy upgrades.

Cambridge Audio Alva ST Turntable Cartridge
Cambridge Audio Alva ST with Audio Technica AT-VM95e MM Phono Cartridge

It shares many of the key features of the premium Alva TT V2: switchable, built-in phono stage and aptX HD wireless hi-res streaming, the same new tonearm, and the classy, minimal ‘Lunar Grey’ finish.

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Comparison

Alva TT V2Alva ST
MSRP:$1,999$999
DRIVE MECHANISM:Direct drive  Belt drive 
TURNTABLE SPEEDS:33.3, 45 rpm 33.3, 45 rpm 
CARTRIDGE TYPE:High Output Moving Coil Audio Technica AT-VM95E Moving Magnet 
CARTRIDGE TRACKING FORCE:2g 2g 
TURNTABLE PLATTER:POM (Polyoxymethylene) Die-cast aluminum 
TONEARM TYPE: Static balanced tonearm with detachable headshell   Static balanced tonearm with detachable headshell   
TONEARM EFFECTIVE LENGTH:221.5mm 221.5mm 
TONEARM OVERHANG: 19mm 19mm 19mm 
TONEARM EFFECTIVE MASS:19.6g 19.8g 
PHONO STAGE GAIN @1kHz: @1kHz: 42dB 1kHz: 42dB 
PHONO STAGE INPUT IMPEDANCE: 47Ω 47Ω 47Ω 
PHONO STAGE NOMINAL OUTPUT: 250Vrms 250Vrms 250Vrms 
STANDBY POWER CONSUMPTION:<0.25W <0.3W 
DIMENSIONS (w x h x d):435 x 139 x 368mm
(17.1 x 5.5 x 14.5”)
435 x 139 x 366.7mm
(17.1 x 5.5 x 14.4”)
WEIGHT:10.9kg (24lbs) 9kg (19.8lbs) 

Where to buy:

  • Cambridge Audio Alva ST – $999 (coming soon)
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    April 24, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Having just replaced the belt on my Pro-Ject Essential III Sgt. Peppers (Drum Kit 50th!) because I put the turntable in front of the window and the belt actually heated up from the sunlight and stretched enough to actually fall OFF the spindle and platter…Well, suffice to say I ordered a new $40 belt and put that ‘table as far away from a window as possible.

    I now have my Technics Direct Drive, fully automatic ‘table in front of that window. Belt drive is nice but so is DD. And no, I do NOT hear any noise from either the direct drive or the automatic mechanism.

    That is just ridiculous.

    These two ‘tables are quite loverly (a bit o’ “My Fair Lady” phraseology!) but I still want my next turntable to be fully automatic. I have two fully manual setups and three fully auto now, plus one semi-auto.

    I like playing records. Either every one is sold out of the Pro-Ject Automat A1 or they just are not in stores yet. I can wait as I have other audio stuff to acquire.

    ORT

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