Andover Audio SpinSub review: Deep, vibration-free bass


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Turntables, and the vinyl records we play on them, are extremely sensitive to vibration. A delicately balanced tonearm with a tiny needle glides inside a fine spiral groove precisely cut into a vinyl platter to reproduce sound that must be amplified twice: First by a phono preamp (to bring the signal to line level) and then by an amplifier or self-powered speakers. Any vibration transferred to the turntable can degrade this process or even cause the tonearm to skip.

Until Andover Audio wowed vinyl lovers with its SpinBase stereo speaker system, one would have scoffed at the notion of putting a turntable directly on top of a speaker, to say nothing of locating a subwoofer anywhere near one. Putting a subwoofer in the same stand as your turntable? That’s downright anathema.

Well, Andover Audio is poised to upend the audio world again: The all-new $299 SpinSub is a compact, vibration-free subwoofer that uses IsoGroove technology to prevent vibration from transferring to the turntable, even if the subwoofer is installed in the same piece of furniture. How did Andover Audio conjure this seemingly dark magic? Read on to find out.

andover audio spinsub Andover Audio

The Andover Audio SpinSub subwoofer is specifically designed to amplify bass response from a turntable. It uses dual force-cancelling drivers to eliminate unwanted vibration.

Specs and Design

The Andover Audio SpinSub is a compact subwoofer whose size and footprint resemble an album cover extruded into a three-dimensional cube. The SpinSub is approximately 14.25 x 12.75 x 11.25 inches (WxHxD) and should fit perfectly into many open-sided audio component racks or open-sided record album shelves. And it of course works perfectly in Andover Audio’s own SpinStand turntable stand. The SpinSub weighs in at a very respectable 21-pounds and its 19mm-thick, vented enclosure is comprised of rigid MDF (medium-density fiberboard).

The SpinSub comes in your choice of black or white fabric-covered cabinet that gives the SpinSub a decorator-friendly dressing. Andover Audio sent me the white model, whose fabric cover is a very light gray. I found the aesthetic to be a perfect complement to any white or black-colored furniture and accent pieces.

For such a small footprint (by subwoofer standards at least), the SpinSub achieves a very respectable frequency response of 32Hz to180Hz -3dB. That’s more than deep enough to reproduce a cello’s lowest notes and bass lines common to most music.

spin trio in boxes Theo Nicolakis / IDG

Andover Audio sent a complete Spin System setup consisting of the SpinSub, 2nd-gen SpinBase, SpinStand, and SpinDeck turntable (not pictured).

The SpinSub is powered by a Class D amplifier capable of 100W peaks. In my relatively large 24 x 34-foot listening space, the amp had no problem delivering the goods at moderate to high volume on cuts from The Eagles, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, and Sade; as well as soundtracks such as the Dark Knight Rises, Greatest Showman, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The SpinSub sports a 3.5mm input instead of the traditional RCA input. The included 2-meter braided-nylon cable plugs directly into the sub output of any 2nd-generation Andover Audio SpinBase.

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