Cambridge Audio Alva MC Cartridge
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High Output Moving Coil Cartridge
Elliptical Stylus Profile, Aluminium Cantilever
Designed & Engineered in the UK, Manufactured in Japan
2mV Output Compatible With MM Phono Inputs
About The Cambridge Audio Alva MC Cartridge
A few years back it would have been inconceivable that Cambridge Audio would ever release a turntable, much less design their own cartridge. But here they are with a belt drive (Alva ST) and a direct drive (Alva TT) turntable plus a properly competent High Output Moving Coil cartridge that was designed & engineered from the ground up in the UK with manufacturing entrusted to a Japanese specialist moving coil cartridge maker that shall remain nameless. They call it the Alva MC, and just in case you were wondering, Alva was Thomas Edison’s middle name.
Alva MC High-Output Moving Coil Cartridge: With its exposed cantilever design and elliptical stylus, Cambridge Audio’s engineers custom-designed Alva MC, a high-output Moving Coil cartridge for Alva TT or Alva ST to deliver stunning levels of musical detail. The 68° angled cantilever is a call-back to their founding year of 1968 and a celebration of over 50 years of innovation.
High-Output Moving Coil: Moving Coil cartridges are known for high-precision and detailed music reproduction during playback. Being high-output it can be used with a moving magnet phono stage which is very handy as that’s what most amplifiers have onboard.
Exposed Cantilever Design: Alva MC utilises an exposed cantilever design. This cuts down on unwanted resonance and vibration that can be a downside of conventional enclosed designs.
Elliptical Stylus: The designers at Cambridge Audio chose an elliptical stylus for Alva MC, to give a large contact area within the groove of your records. This offers outstanding frequency response and low distortion figures.
Lightweight & Fast: Compared to many of its Moving Magnet (MM) counterparts, Alva MC is lighter and faster to respond to the record’s grooves, therefore able to unlock more of the musical detail contained within.
Designed & Engineered in London: Finished in Cambridge Audio’s custom lunar-grey to complement the Alva TT V2 & the Alva ST turntables, this bespoke Cambridge Audio design adopts the patterned knurling found on their premium Edge series knobs. The 68° angle seen running top to bottom is a call-back to their founding year of 1968. A playful touch that visually reminds us audio enthusiasts of Cambridge Audio’s roots.
About Cambridge Audio
For Cambridge Audio, life began in the swinging sixties, 1968 to be exact. This was a decade when British bands began to enjoy unprecedented global success, British studios led the way in recording techniques and British manufacturers started to make the best hi-fi equipment in the world, to replay music as naturally as possible. This sound has become recognised as the ‘British’ sound and Cambridge Audio was there at the beginning.
Although some of their products are very reasonably priced, don’t assume they are not good. In fact Cambridge Audio set the pace when it comes to value-for-money.
The P40 stereo amplifier was Cambridge Audio’s first product and was a runaway award-winning success. A promising start but Cambridge had lots more coming including new amps, preamps, power amps, AM/FM tuners, CD players, cassette decks and even the R50 transmission line speakers, which were all the rage in 1971.
The original DacMagic digital to analogue convertor was released to wide acclaim in 1995 and since then Cambridge Audio has been at the forefront of analogue & digital technology with cutting edge products like the Azur and 850 series, Minx sub sat systems and many more. Today we are spoilt for choice with something from the AX, CX, Edge or Evo range bound to suit your taste and wallet.
Cambridge Audio Alva MC Cartridge Review
"Cambridge Audio's new Alva... sits a price point that's largely populated by moving magnet designs, yet shows them a clean pair of heels in so many ways. It is more engaging and less opaque sounding than all of its opposition, I think. In other words, you get a taste of analogue esoterica for a relatively affordable price. If you're looking for moving coil thrills in a user-friendly moving magnet package, then hear this if you can." Stereonet
Our Take On The Cambridge Audio Alva MC Cartridge
Designed in the UK by a Cambridge Audio design team that included the late great Dominic Baker, this product seems to be something of a labour of love. Attention to detail is everywhere, not least in the 68° angle seen running top to bottom - a call-back to their flower power founding year of 1968. Then there is the knurling which echo’s the, er, knobs on their high-end Edge series of components. The build quality is exquisite and quite a step up from others at this price point, and with a rather robust output of 2mV (low output MC’s are typically 0.5 mV or less), Alva MC can confidently be used with any competent moving magnet phono stage.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: High-Output Moving Coil for outstanding musical detail & universal compatibility
- Exposed Cantilever Design: Reduces unwanted resonance and vibration
- Elliptical Stylus: Improved frequency response and lower distortion
- Designed and Engineered in the UK: Bespoke Cambridge Audio design
- Manufactured in Japan: By a specialist moving coil cartridge maker
- Stylus: Elliptical
- Cantilever: Aluminium
- Output Level: 2mV @1kHz
- Frequency Response: +/- 1dB 30Hz-20kHz
- Tracking Force: 2 grams
- Recommended Load: 47kΩ
- Stereo Separation: 25dB @ 1kHz
- Trackability: 70um/2gr
- Weight: 7 grams
- Manufacturer’s Warranty: 2 Years (does not cover stylus wear)
Note: Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE