Andover Audio’s SpinBase MAX Turntable System Looks to Up the Performance Ante on Its Predecessor

Considering how well the original Andover Audio SpinBase all-in-one turntable system fared in our hands-on review, we figured the company’s updated SpinBase MAX was worthy of bringing to your attention.

The compact SpinBase MAX all-in-one audio system incorporates a two-way vented stereo speaker system featuring a pair of Class D-powered 20mm soft-dome tweeters and active 3.5-inch round woofers using sophisticated DSP processing to produce a 270-degree soundfield. The unit comes in a black or white finish for seamless integration with Andover’s own Spin collection, is set for mid-=November availability, and sports an SRP of $499 — whereas the original SpinBase went for $300 — but the revised feature set explains why.


Actually, we’ll also let Bob Hazelwood, director of engineering for Andover Audio, do some of the explaining. According to Hazelwood, the SpinBase MAX adds “larger woofers and more power to increase bass output and overall loudness. We also added Bluetooth transmission so listeners can use their wireless headphones or earbuds, and a switchable high-pass filter that lets the SpinBase MAX play even louder when used with a SpinSub.”

Thanks to Andover Audio’s patent-pending IsoGroove technology, the SpinBase MAX can be placed directly below a turntable. That IsoGroove tech is said to be a proprietary means of preventing feedback, resonances, and/or other audio-disruptive noises that typically occur when a turntable is placed next to a speaker (or speakers, plural).

Design-wise, the SpinBase MAX offers a clean, classic design with a heathered fabric wrap and glass-like acrylic top. The main control is a single large knob on the front panel that can be used to turn the unit on or off, as well as for volume adjustment. Meanwhile, bass and treble controls for EQ adjustments and a selectable high-pass filter for use with a subwoofer are on the rear panel.


The SpinBase MAX has a line input and built-in preamp, the latter of which is intended to work with turntables that lack a preamp of their own — such as Andover’s own SpinDeck belt-drive ’table, which we recently reported on here.

Much like the original SpinBase, the SpinBase MAX receives Bluetooth music signals from a phone — but now, users can also transmit their ’table-based music to external speakers or headphones. The SpinBase MAX enables users to wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth, and a headphone output offers quiet listening. Its wide variety of inputs make it easy to connect another sources, if so desired.

The SpinBase MAX can be pre-ordered here and at participating dealers. A full array of SpinBase MAX features and specs appears below.




connects to any turntable
built-in phono preamp
Bluetooth pairing (to your phone)
Bluetooth transmission (to wireless speakers/headphones)
larger-diameter woofers
illuminating touch-capacitive controls
bass and treble EQ controls
selectable 100Hz high-pass filter
IsoGroove noise-free technology
heathered speaker fabric (matches Andover Audio SpinSub)
RCA cable with ground connector

bass and treble EQ controls
high-pass (100Hz) filter switch
Class D amplification
30w rms per channel
Frequency range: 48Hz to 20kHz
Dimensions: 18 x 3.25 x 13.5 inches (w x h x d)


mcrushing's picture

This is a lifestyle product, not a hifi product. From that POV, it's a cool piece of industrial design. But on a decidedly hifi-oriented blog, I think the conversation to have is about recommendability.

I tend to cringe when friends "getting into vinyl" put interior design ahead of sound. Yes, Fremer seemed to think the OG Spinbase sounded acceptable, and for someone with $500 to spend and MUST have a one-box solution for existing TT and BT sources, what else is there? But if you read these comments, you know what analog really has to offer. Should you tell people to get this?

I don't *want* to be a snob. If your interest in audio gear is more aesthetic than aural, all good.

But my advice to someone considering this is always going to be THERE'S SO MUCH MORE OUT THERE, MAN. $500 could buy you a cool vintage setup. $1k will give you the Spinbase's functionality in an also great-looking box with PS Audio's Sprout/Elac monitor bundle. Both will give you a taste of the spiritual deep-listening experience I'm in this for – and an upgrade path to boot.

msilgalis's picture

I think products like this are beyond "lifestyle". Have you heard it? I haven't, though I was thoroughly impressed by the original at a friend's house. It certainly didn't sound "lifestyle". It sounded alive. Frankly, most "audiophile" systems are eyesores. "Audiophiles" seem to have no problem investing in $300/ft cables but cheap out on racks and other furniture to display their gear. Cable management seems to be an anathema.

Aesthetics do matter. They matter a lot. Most people's systems live in common areas that are used for entertaining guests. Whenever I see cable spaghetti... yuck.

mcrushing's picture

Yeah, I haven't heard it. (And I should have asked "WOULD you recommend" instead of "SHOULD".) But I honestly do want to know... and also I may taken us outside the scope of the post, but this got me wondering about others' experiences bringing people into the fold. So thanks for the responses.

"Lifestyle" gear CAN sound good, and I've recommended it. I bought my dad one of those Riva portable speakers Fremer once gushed about. It sounds great and he LOVES it. Mom says he listens to it CONSTANTLY...but whenever I visit, I notice it's always while he's *doing something else.*

I think listening to music, especially as a group activity, has become a lost practice. Recently I've hosted "just music" nights for friends, and attended a few put on by others. They're WAY more about music than gear, but I still find that the better the system, the easier it is for non-hifi-nerds to wrap their heads around the idea.
Watching people get swept up in the energy and texture and emotion of music they've' heard a million times is incredible fun. And it's definitely reshaped my approach when people come back and ask me what to buy.

Anyway, thanks for indulging a long comment. I'd love to hear from others about introducing newbs to the hifi magic. Might even be a cool topic for Mr Mettler to explore!

Mike Mettler's picture
Good idea re discussing how we all go about introducing newbs to our prime analog passion, mcrushing -- definitely worthy of a feature story to come!
GaryS's picture

I just purchased the Pro-Ject JukeBox E ($699) as a Christmas present for my 15 y.o. grand daughter. I intend to include a pair of Celestion bookshelf speakers I've had in storage for years. After hearing my analog system she has fallen in love with vinyl. I believe this is a great way to introduce a youngster to the hobby and applaud Pro-Ject for making such a product available. Ditto Andover Audio. I think it appropriate to occasionally review such products. These kids are the future of our hobby.

Jazz listener's picture

as a gateway product into true hi-fi. I think this is a good starter system for a teen/college/early 20-something. It gives them a good intro to vinyl, and perhaps just as importantly, gets them starting their vinyl collection, which then hopefully leads them to invest in an even better set-up once they are gainfully employed.

In terms of aesthetics, I completely agree that this is an important consideration. That being said, I don’t think it matters if you gave a full fledge hi-fi rig or a lifestyle system, both lend themselves to having an aesthetically pleasing room. I mean, a set of Devore Speakers with components in a mid-century (or even modern) console - drop dead gorgeous. Hi-fi is not the cause of ugly rooms, people are. I have been in many homes whose owners (hi-fi and non-hi-fi) don’t have a clue in terms of aesthetics and decor/design.

Anton D's picture

I admit to getting some old-audio-guy cringe reflex thinking of putting a record payer on a speakers....but I get the aesthetic and vibe of this for the pure fun of vinyl!

Ease of entry is a great thing to ponder for this great hobby.

More and more, our hobby has to stay focused on small listening spaces, too.(Headphones win, but they are so solitary. This toy is a nice way to not use up too much space in an apartment and still get vinyl joy.)

Tom L's picture

makes me think of Dagwood Bumstead.