The mantra with sound systems today seems to be that they should be heard, not seen. If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, downsizing a turntable setup isn’t so simple. Minimalist turntable setups are typically comprised of a pair of bookshelf speakers and an integrated amplifier. And, let’s not forget the vibrational havoc speakers can pose to your precious and sensitive setup.
If you’re looking for a truly compact and near vibration-free experience for your record player, then look no further than Andover Audio’s Spinbase. It’s an ingenious, all-in-one, plug-n-play speaker system designed specifically for turntables. It’s a near perfect solution for apartment dwellers or rooms that can’t accommodate larger systems. The Spinbase’s simplicity, performance, and sheer bang for the buck left me awe-struck. Read on to see why I liked the Spinbase so much and how Andover Audio has addressed the unit’s shortcomings since my original review.
WHAT IS THE SPINBASE?
At first glance, you might confuse the Spinbase for something else. Its 18 x 3.25 x 13.5-inch dimensions (W x H x D) make it a perfect fit for just about any turntable. The casual passerby might think that the Spinbase is a turntable platform or run-of-the-mill audio component.
Take a closer look and you’ll quickly see that the Spinbase is four products in one: A powered speaker system, phono preamp, headphone amp, and Bluetooth streamer in one compact enclosure.
The Spinbase has a single volume knob on its minimalist front panel. Turn the volume knob clockwise to turn on the unit. The knob sits on top of a metal speaker grille that flanks the unit’s front and sides. Apart from having a Class D amplifier, the Spinbase is otherwise an analog throwback— there’s no remote control. Adjusting the volume is a manual endeavor.
That amplifier powers two woofers and two tweeters. Andover Audio says the Spinbase’s driver arrangement produces an expansive 270-degree stereo image. I’m typically skeptical of marketing claims, but short of pulling out my protractor, I was simply awe-struck by the breadth of the Spinbase’s soundstage. Unlike a typical two-channel speaker setup that gives you a single sweet spot, I could walk from one side of the Spinbase and around to the other with virtually no audible off-axis penalty. The speaker’s sound was smooth and consistent from one side to the other.
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