Andover SpinBase MAX Review: A Must-Have for Vinyl Lovers Who Want Great Sound and Convenience









What We Dig

  • Rhythmic and engaging Sound
  • Compact and stylish design
  • Easy to set up and use

What To Think About

  • No Remote
  • No LDAC or aptX
  • Could use a little more depth

This speaker is a game-changer, offering top-notch sound and convenience. Read our Andover SpinBase MAX review to learn more.

The Quick & Dirty:

  • The build quality is excellent. The unit is made from high-quality materials and feels very sturdy.
  • The sound quality is remarkable for a speaker this size. The speakers produce a rich, full sound perfect for enjoying vinyl records. You don’t get quite the depth and separation you get from separates, but it provides more than you would expect from a single box. Very satisfying.
  • The design is sleek and stylish. This unit will look great in any home.
  • The Bluetooth connectivity is a great feature. You can easily stream music from your phone or computer to the SpinBase MAX, and it sounds decent. I wish AptX or LDAC was added for an even better sound.
  • The headphone output is a nice touch. You can listen to your records in private with headphones. Unfortunately, since it’s in the back of the speaker, it isn’t easy to access.
  • The lack of a remote control may bother some.
  • The SpinBase MAX is best for people in small spaces who want an enjoyable music system (that’s compact and easy to use).


Andover SpinBase MAX Review

The Andover Audio SpinBase system has been one of my favorite products since I was introduced to it in late 2019 and reviewed it in 2020. It’s an ingenious product designed to provide high-quality sound from your turntable without the complicated setup of a component audio system. I still can’t believe how it provides such rich sound while isolating the turntable sitting right on top of it.

Now I’m checking out Andover’s next-generation system, the $499 SpinBase MAX, which introduces Bluetooth input and output, increased power, and larger bass drivers for superior sound.

To quote Bob Hazelwood, the Director of Engineering at Andover Audio:

“The SpinBase has been a tremendously successful product that our loyal customers love. But many audio buffs always itch for ‘more.’ The SpinBase MAX scratches that itch by adding 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.”

Basically, it’s set up to deliver even more impressive audio than the original in an even more stylish package. I love the new design, and while it’s a bit larger than the first SpinBase, it’s still relatively compact, and the new fabric cover makes it look elegant. If you’re tight on space but still wish for a quality audio experience, then the Spinbase MAX may be just what you’re looking for.

What’s In The Box

  • SpinBase Max Turntable Speaker System
  • Power Adapter (US Plug, 110v-220v)
  • RCA Cable with Ground
  • Quick Start Guide

Andover SpinBase MAX Review: Features

Andover SpinBase MAX Review
  • Bass + Treble EQ Controls
  • High-Pass (100Hz) Filter Switch for Sub
  • Class D Amplification
  • 30W RMS per channel
  • Four Drivers (two 3.5″ woofers and two 20mm woofers)

The SpinBase MAX is a single unit that houses a 2 x 30w Class-D amplifier, four-speaker drivers (two per side), and a built-in phono preamp, so you can connect it directly to turntables that don’t have their own.

The speakers are arranged in dual 2-way arrays with a 3-inch woofer and a 20mm (about .75-inch) dome tweeter for each channel. They play in a 270° pattern which provides the feeling of broader separation (i.e., soundstage) between the speakers and helps to fill the room with sound. Andover’s matching SpinSub can be plugged into the SpinBase MAX’s sub-output if you want an even bigger sound.

The SpinBase MAX is designed to be placed directly under your turntable. Like the original SpinBase speaker, it uses Andover’s patent-pending Isogroove Technology to eliminate the feedback when speakers are placed too close to the turntable. The speaker’s top is quite roomy and should fit all popular turntables from Rega, Pro-Ject, Technics, etc.

As I said before, I still marvel at how they manage to put a turntable directly on top of a speaker without it skipping. I’ve had some audio stands that transmit stray vibrations from someone walking on the floor to a turntable, and I’ve spent good money on isolation plinths to alleviate this. So the fact that the SpinBase MAX can support a turntable without affecting the sound quality is mind-boggling.

The SpinBase MAX also has several other features that make it a versatile and convenient audio system. It has a built-in Bluetooth receiver to stream music from your phone or computer. It also has a Bluetooth transmitter built-in, so you can play music to a pair of wireless headphones and listen to your records privately.

In addition, it has a headphone output for wired headphones, but unfortunately, like the original SpinBase, it’s still in the rear of the speaker. That makes it somewhat awkward to use, to say the least.

Speaking of the rear of the unit, the SpinBase MAX also has a high-pass filter switch, so you can direct only low-frequency sounds to the sub out, an RCA line-in for a CD Player/Streamer, etc., plus Bass/Treble tone controls so you can customize the sound. Again, since they are in the rear of the unit, they are a little challenging to use.

Of course, you also get a phono input compatible with any turntable using a Moving Magnet cartridge. On the front of the speaker, there’s a combination volume control/power switch, which operates just as smoothly as the one on the original SpinBase.

 Total RMS Continuous Power 36W 60W
 Woofer Size  1.5″x3″ (Oval) 3.5″ (Round)
 Soft Dome Tweeter Size 20mm 20mm
 Bluetooth Receive Yes Yes
 Bluetooth Transmit No Yes
 Grille Perforated Metal Heathered Fabric
 Ceramic Cartridge EQ Yes No
 Selectable 100Hz High-Pass Filter No Yes
 Frequency Range 60Hz – 20kHz 48Hz – 20kHz
SpinBase vs. SpinBase MAX (credit: Andover)

Andover SpinBase MAX Review: Sound

For my review, I set up the SpinBase MAX on top of Andover’s space-saving SpinStand, with the Andover SpinSub installed at the bottom. On top of the SpinBase MAX, I placed Andover’s semi-automatic SpinDeck2 turntable and connected it to the MAX’s phono input.

In terms of sound quality, I found the SpinBase MAX very impressive, especially compared to the original SpinBase. The bass is quite full and punchy for a speaker of its size, the mids are relatively clear and detailed, and the highs are crisp enough to provide some airiness. The stereo imaging is also very good, thanks to the angled speakers and DSP, and if you close your eyes, you can imagine you’re listening to amp/speaker separates.

With the original SpinBase, even though it was quite capable, the main drawback was its thinness in the low end. If you listened to more modern genres with heavier beats, you almost had to get a sub to feel like you weren’t missing something.

This is how I described the sound of the first SpinBase:

I loved the nice bass weight, the relative lack of coloration in the mids, and the surprisingly smooth treble (even though it’s rolled off some). This system isn’t the last word in detail or bass extension, but there are more of each than what you would expect from this small enclosure.

After listening to the MAX version, I have pretty much the same impression, except the bass is now just a little weightier, which does wonders for the overall presentation. That’s especially true on music with heavier basslines. As I said before, with modern music like the Black Pumas “Fire,” which I love to listen to on vinyl, the original SpinBase came across as a little flat. The Spinbase MAX gave the song just a little more oomph without being distorted or boomy.

With the new SpinBase MAX, the need for a SpinSub went from “must-have” to “nice to have, “and in my small office, I was even able to slightly feel the low-end impact, which is something I never got from the original SpinBase. Additionally, the MAX plays amazingly loud without distortion, blowing out my small office space with less than a half turn on the volume knob. Keep in mind that the volume doesn’t start until right before a quarter turn.

Andover SpinBase MAX Review

Speaking of the SpinSub, when I connected it to the SpinBase MAX and turned on the high-pass filter, it was like listening to a whole new system. With the speaker pushing a lot of the low-end duties over to the sub, it allowed the MAX to “open up” a bit and sound even crisper while the sub added a whole new layer of sound with its more articulate low-end.

To be honest, the SpinBase MAX/SpinSub combo sounds pretty close to the SpinBase/SpinSub combo, so if you’re already using the Sub with the regular SpinBase, you probably don’t need to run out and upgrade right away. On the other hand, the new MAX has a high-pass filter, which helps integrate the sub, and takes some of the pressure to reproduce the low end off the main speaker.

Like the first SpinBase, the SpinBase MAX has 270° dispersion of sound, which means you can get decent sound off-axis. However, if you want to hear the speaker at its best and get the full stereo effect, you need to sit in the sweet spot directly in front of the system. When sitting in front of it, you really do hear the left, right and center soundstage, and depending on the song, you can also hear some decent soundstage width.

That said, the MAX doesn’t quite give you the soundstage depth and separation you would get from two separate speakers, but when you’re looking at a speaker like this, you probably don’t have the room for or don’t want to be bothered with two boxes in your space. You get enough separation to be engaging, and when I listen in my office, I often find myself bouncing to the music, something I don’t expect to do too much with a single speaker.

Finally, I want to talk about Bluetooth on the SpinBase MAX, which sounds remarkably good despite only utilizing the standard SBC audio codec. I used both the receiver and transmitter modes, and each one provided clean, stable reception, at least in my small office. I only wonder how much better the Bluetooth would sound with AAC or AptX as codec options.

Andover SpinBase MAX Review: The Wrap Up

Overall, the Andover Audio SpinBase MAX is an excellent turntable speaker system that comes as an upgrade to an already great system. It’s well-built, sounds great, and has several features that make it a versatile and convenient audio solution. At $499, It isn’t quite the bargain the $299 SpinBase is, but if you crave a fuller sound than you’ll get from that speaker, the MAX delivers. At the end of the day, if you’re short on space and need an engaging system to spin your vinyl on, you should check the SpinBase MAX out. It’s perfect for college dorms and office setups.

This Review Utilizes Our New Product Review Rating System:

We recently launched a new rating system that lets our readers quickly identify how highly each product is rated.

Our rating system consists of four categories: weak, not bad, good, and very good. A weak rating is anything below 2.5, meaning the product is not recommended and should be avoided. A not-bad rating is anything between 2.5 and 5 and may signify a limited recommendation. A good rating is anything between 5 and 7.5, which means the product is recommended. A very good rating is anything above 7.5, meaning the product is highly recommended.

We understand that our readers rely on our ratings and reviews to make informed decisions about the products they purchase. That’s why we take great care in providing accurate and helpful reviews and ratings for each product we review. We hope this new rating system will make it easier for our readers to determine which products are worth their time and money.

Thank you for reading, and happy shopping!

Hifitrends is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Prices are subject to change at any time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *