The SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

A big thank you to Andover Audio for sending their SpinDeck belt-drive turntable for review. All opinions are 100% ours and no monetary compensation was received for this rave review.

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

I’m absolutely in love with the SpinDeck from Andover Audio. It’s sleek and beautiful, without being too gimmicky or faux retro. It’s just a great quality design that has all the classic appeal while still having all the newest technologic advances in turntables.  

I was recently telling a friend about our turntable tech upgrade and someone else commented about how silly it was to buy a new record player when you’re playing old technology anyway. And, while I get the idea in theory that old technology can absolutely be played on a dinosaur of a turntable, I 100% disagree with his sentiment.

For one, a lot has changed in the world of record playing since they first came out.

I know, I’ve owned my share throughout the years.

My first record player was an old, light blue 45 player that came with a handle. It was a drop-in design that was hailed as “portable”, although it was far too heavy to actually take with you most places. If it breaks, like mine eventually did, there is unfortunately no way to actually fix it yourself. Oh, and I’m pretty sure it was tearing up my records due to the drop in design and because maintenance couldn’t really happen in an enclosed unit.

After that, I got an all-in-one turntable unit. That sounds small, but I assure you it’s not. It’s actually a large piece of furniture. As in, a wooden box bigger than a sofa chair and with speakers built into the front of them {usually covered in terrible 70s fabric}. I had one in my first house for years. It was an oversized end table in between the couch and loveseat and it held our lamp and my beloved old camera. Oh, and it just so happened to also play records.

When that got to be too much, we “upgraded” to the record player we currently have. You know, the one that’s older than me and featured in this post. This is the older record player that acquaintance probably had in mind when he made the comment about old tech being fine for vinyl.

The Andover Audio SpinBase with our older record player

The record players of the 70s and 80s

Ahhh, the 80s. When life was simpler and when records were still readily available of all brand-new hit music. When people would debate the merits of cassette tapes over records {hahahahaha, all you cassette tape fanatics look like fools now, huh?} and when CDs still cost as much as a fancy dinner out. That was our old record player’s heyday.

That’s back when people had stereo systems in their living rooms. Those components lived in a big, thick wood {probably oak} cabinet and usually had a glass door so you could admire your component collection. In addition to this huge wood unit, you also needed huge speakers on big, bulky stands in order to actually hear your music, and these were also trimmed in wood {probably oak}. It all was connected by threads of speaker wire and yards of cables, but luckily the system was so massive that it covered all the unsightly mess.

This setup usually took up an entire wall in your living room, and typically there was a small TV on top as well as all the stuff you needed for TVs – like a VCR, a tape rewinder {real thing, I swear}. Even if you wanted a bare-bones system to just play records, it still required a good deal of this stuff.

I don’t know about you, but none of this list fits my living room aesthetic. This is more my vibe.

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

But, up until recently, we had a gorgeous collection of vinyl and a really heavy, and heavily connected, record player that needed a half a dozen things in order to work. It also required a lot more maintenance than you might expect. Oh, and did I mention it was set up was in a small room that the kiddos took over with LEGOs? Sigh.

But, not anymore.

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

Turntable of today: The SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

But, here’s where I tell you all the advances in turntables throughout the years, improving on their designs and bringing them into the digital age. For one, they now are plug-and-play with virtually no setup. Those belt drives that took forever to get just right are in the past, and need constant adjusting for the perfect sound, all while worrying you were going to ruin your beloved records? Never again will you have to mess with them again thanks to the SpinDeck.

Oh yeah, remember that gorgeous and sleek SpinDeck turntable I was talking about before I went on my tirade about record players? Well, that’s what you want playing your music. It has everything you need, nothing you don’t. It’s what happens when minimalist design meets high precision engineering.

One look and I was already in love and couldn’t wait to get it spinning. Thankfully, this bad boy was connected and up and playing within minutes of being unwrapped.

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

Plug and Play with the SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

The SpinDeck came pre-set and pre-mounted, so the tone arm and counterweight were already balanced and the Ortofon OM5 cartridge was already installed. Literally all I did was take it out of the box and remove the wrapping, pop the platter on on the spindle, and then loop the belt around motor pulls and platter. Then you just plug it in and connect to a speaker and you’re ready to play.

The SpinDeck was made exclusively for Andover Audio by Pro-Ject Audio Systems, and it’s just what I expected when clean, European design meets high-end audio. Pro-Ject is an Austrian company that is well known for well-built, high-end turntables. They are especially renowned for their excellent tonearms and use of high-end materials in every part of their turntables. The SpinDeck is absolutely no exception.

What I love most about the SpinDeck is that it’s retro in all the right ways. In terms of looks, it nails the retro minimalistic vibe. In sticking with mechanical engineering that is tried and true, like the belt-drive, it knocks it out of the park.

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

Pair the SpinDeck with the awesome SpinBase

I talked a lot in this post about the clunky setup of turntables of yesteryear, and then I talked about a sleek and modern turntable with retro style. But, did anyone wonder when I was going to talk about the actual sound of the SpinDeck?

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

Well, if you’ve been paying attention then you know that I already did talk about it. We were raving about the SpinBase last week and telling you how it had changed record playing for us forever. Well, that rave was written when it was paired with our old record player, so imagine how much we love it with the upgrade to the SpinDeck belt-drive turntable.

Pair the SpinDeck with the SpinBase and it’s the best of all worlds. You have your minimalist design, your European engineering, and your high-end audio that not only plays records, but also connects to Bluetooth so you can play all of your favorite streaming music as well.

Oh, and did I mention that it all stacks neatly and looks beautiful in just about any living space? No more stereo system with an entertainment center and big old speakers on stands. The SpinDeck and SpinBase is as compact as a suitcase system, with actual high-tech audio.  

SpinDeck belt-drive turntable

Fill your room with the vinyl you love

I’ve talked about the SpinBase’s IsoGroove technology, but I don’t think I mentioned how amazing the 270 degrees of sound is with the SpinBase. It sounds great everywhere in our large living room, and even into the adjoining dining room. Around the corner in the kitchen sounds remarkably good considering the angles and layout of where we put the SpinDeck and SpinBase in relation.

In the living room, however, you get a stereo effect from anywhere you can sit, stand or listen. Considering that it’s roughly 1/20th of our previous speaker size, I was expecting a huge reduction in sound and quality. If anything, I find that it sounds better and fuller than our big and bulky professional speakers.

The SpinDeck belt-drive turntable Specs

  • Made by Pro-Ject in Europe Exclusively for Andover Audio
  • Pre-Set Tonearm and Counterweight
  • Pre-Mounted Ortofon OM5 Cartridge 
  • 8.6” Aluminum Tonearm with Sapphire Bearings
  • Belt-Drive with Silicone Belt
  • Speed: 33, 45 rpm (manual speed change)
  • Platter: 11.81 in (300 mm) Low-Resonance MDF with Felt Mat
  • Low-Vibration Synchronous Motor & AC Power Supply
  • Pre-Mounted Gold-Plated RCA Interconnect Cable
  • Special Turntable feet for Effective Decoupling
  • Acrylic Lid
  • Available in Black or White
  • 16.5″ x 12.75″ x 4.5″ (dust cover on)
  • 8.8 lbs

The SpinSystem from Andover Audio

I’ve talked a ton about the SpinBase and the SpinDeck turntable, but I haven’t mentioned the fabulous SpinStand that Andover Audio also makes. The SpinStand is a stylish storage system for your vinyl collection, all while showcasing the SpinDeck and SpinBase in a compact footprint only a tiny bit bigger than the SpinBase.

If you have some Andover Audio headphones, you will love that they even they have a home on the SpinStand. Move aside oak entertainment cabinets, Andover Audio has replaced you for good with the sleek and stylish SpinStand that is a conversation piece all on its own. It’s the ultimate compact vinyl-listening setup and the perfect SpinSystem for any living room or music room.

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