This turntable accessory is the surprise hi-fi deal you should consider this Black Friday

Cambridge Audio Duo MM/MC
(Image credit: Cambridge Audio)

This year's Black Friday deals have all been focused on headphones, speakers, TV and even some turntables, but here's something a little more niche for hi-fi fans: a deal on a phono stage. 

Cambridge Audio's Alva Duo MC/MM phono stage is now yours for £199 at Richer Sounds in this Black Friday deal. That's a big £100 saving off its recent retail price of £299 (we originally tested it at £250 a few years ago, but the cost of hi-fi kit has risen in the intervening years).

Why is this a deal worth caring about? The Duo is a great vinyl accessory worth having if you're looking to spruce up an old turntable system, or if your amplifier doesn't have a phono preamp built-in. This sleek little box is unobtrusive, works with both moving coil (MC) and moving magnet (MM) cartridges, and sounds good while at it.

With £100 off now, this could be the budget upgrade your vinyl system has been waiting for.

Cambridge Audio Alva Duo MC/MM was £299 now £199 at Richer Sounds (save £100)
A charming, unobtrusive box that packs in phono stage duties and a headphone amplifier, this Duo will work with both MC and MM cartridges, and you can plug your wired headphones in. Add in its detailed, dynamic, energetic and spacious sound, and this is the cheapest way to give your vinyl system a sonic lift. Now even more tempting with £100 off.
Deal also available at: Amazon UK and Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio Alva Duo MC/MM was £299 now £199 at Richer Sounds (save £100)
A charming, unobtrusive box that packs in phono stage duties and a headphone amplifier, this Duo will work with both MC and MM cartridges, and you can plug your wired headphones in. Add in its detailed, dynamic, energetic and spacious sound, and this is the cheapest way to give your vinyl system a sonic lift. Now even more tempting with £100 off.
Deal also available at: Amazon UK and Cambridge Audio

But wait – the phono stage isn't the Duo's only talent. It also has a decent headphone amplifier on board, which means it can be the middleman between your deck and a suitably talented pair of headphones. Maybe these budget Award-winning headphones, perhaps?

We like the minimal, sleek look of the Duo with buttons for power and selecting cartridge options on either side of the volume dial. It's well connected, too, with a 6.3mm headphone socket, MM and MC inputs and single-ended outputs, as well as a small balance level on the back.

It's the detailed, dynamic performance that delights us the most, however. There's weight and agility to bass notes, it elicits the natural warmth of records without going overly smooth, and it's a spacious, cohesive presentation overall. We like the energetic, punchy sound, which keeps rhythm and drive going, while it's able to bring out the more soulful, emotional tones in vocals, too.

This Cambridge Audio Duo is a well-specified, charming, dynamic performer and the phono stage/headphone amp combo is hard to beat for this size and new deal price. If you're looking for a way to boost your turntable listening without spending hundreds or changing your entire system, this little Duo (with its £100 off price right now) should do the trick.

MORE:

Want more Cambridge Audio deals? The five-star Evo 75's price plummets a third time – but Black Friday stocks are limited

Looking for a new turntable? Black Friday turntable deal sees £200 off the Award-winning Technics SL-1500C

Check out all the best Black Friday hi-fi deals in one place

Or check out our Black Friday UK deals hub for the best deals on headphones, TVs, soundbars and more

Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and shooing her cat Jolene away from spinning records.

With contributions from