Should I keep the Turntable or sell it?

I’ve been back and forth on this decision for about a month, and the more I learn, the harder this decision gets.

Backstory: I won the brand new Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable in an online contest in mid-May, and while it sounds great, I decided to list it for sale a couple weeks ago. I’ve always wanted to try out a Rega P6 or P3 with a really nice cart, because I feel like I’m not getting enough out of my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon. Prior to winning the Alva TT, I switched the Red Ortofon out for the Blue, and there was a great improvement in sound quality. But after comparing the Pro-Ject to the Alva TT and hearing what a $1700 turntable can sound like, I definitely am interested in exploring more high fidelity turntables. The issue is that I feel like I prefer the sound of tubes over solid state, and the Alva TT uses an integrated Alva Duo phono preamp for the RCA out, and their own DAC for the Bluetooth out if I want to go that route. I don’t have a ton of experience with tubes, and maybe it’s just the “cool factor” I actually like and I’m just having a placebo effect.

So I decided to list it for sale to try and get a Rega, because I heard so many great things about them. But over the last week or so, I’ve learned more about the Alva TT and how it uses Rega’s famous tonearm. I looked up the cart and it is listed at $500 separately, which is probably why it sounds better than the Pro-Ject w/ Ortofon Blue. I’ve also read on these boards about direct drive being better than belt, which the Alva has as well. It also has the added bonus of Bluetooth that go directly to my KEF LS50 Wireless, but I would most likely just use interconnects.

So I would love to get some advice from you all. I’ve gone back and forth about keeping the Alva or selling it, along with my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, and buying/trading for something like a Rega P3 or P6. If you had my first world problem, what would you do?

Showing 3 responses by mijostyn

Sell it and get the Rega. Put an Ortofon 2M Black in there and you will be in heaven. The business about direct drive being better is nonsense. The last thing you want under a sensitive cartridge is all that electromagnetic stuff. Direct drive is just another example of the Japanese making a relatively simple issue as complicated as possible. How many buttons on that remote do you actually use??  
Bignamehere. I had not heard that. The arm has a good effective mass for that cartridge and Ortofon is very accurate with their cartridges so all you have to do is get the mounting surface parallel to the record which you can do using paper shims under the front or back of the cartridge. But I agree it is a pain they do not offer VTA adjustment. The arm is otherwise excellent.  
noromance2  it is much easier to work at the cartridge end then at the bearing end. Establishing the proper angle might just require a little paper or a matchbook cover.