On the other hand, Cambridge Audio is one of the most prominent suppliers of top-sounding components and they are certainly not interested in compromising the performance of their first, solid and flawlessly crafted turntable with a limited Bluetooth signal. After all, it is transmitted here in the higher-quality "aptX HD" standard with up to 24 bit/48 kilohertz. Maybe the Alva TT will enlighten us. And if not, there is still a pair of Cinch sockets for cable operation on the back of the turntable as usual.
This is where the completely equalized and pre-amplified music signal is delivered. For the Bluetooth mode, the Brit obviously needs completely prepared currents, which he can then digitalize and send. The integrated phono amp – based on Cambridge Audio's successful Uno/Duo models, which surprised with amazing quality in the STEREO test – cannot be switched off. This makes the Alva TT particularly suitable for vinyl listeners whose amplifiers do not have a phono input, which is not uncommon.
With the exception of the progressive Bluetooth technology, the Cambridge has a purist design. The control elements are only an on/off switch and two buttons for speed selection with a tiny white LED in their centre. On the digital side, the Briton, who activates an automatic switch-off when not used for a longer time, does without a USB interface for copying records to a computer. Although, as the signal has already been digitized anyway, that shouldn't have been a problem.
For the drive, the Cambridge relies on a direct drive, which convinced our laboratory with precision and low rumble. It carries the 2.2-kilo platter made of resonance deterring POM, on which the record is placed directly, i.e. without an additional mat.
The tonearm is as well known as it is proven, made of one piece of aluminum and equipped with a magnetic antiskating model from the English analogue specialist Rega, in which the tracking force is set by means of a counterweight. This is the only point where the Alva TT needs an expert hand and an electronic tonearm balance.