Cambridge Audio Alva ST Turntable for only $499, RF skin-tightening machines for use on the body (Week 46, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 46, 2023

If you are looking for a turntable for yourself or someone else, you will love this week’s gift recommendation!

Cambridge Audio Alva ST turntable, $499: This British belt-drive turntable is incredibly solid and reeks of quality. It weighs 20 pounds with a beautiful brushed aluminum top plate, heavy synthetic base and a high-quality tonearm that is satisfying to use. A phono cartridge comes pre-installed and the Alva ST integrates an excellent, switchable phono preamp. A wired connection is used with your hi-fi system, and the built-in AptX Bluetooth (rare in any turntable) can send music to Bluetooth headphones and speakers. The Alva ST sold for $999 when introduced and back then I thought it was the best turntable available for under $1,000. When Cambridge reduced the price to just $599 earlier this year I was shocked, and it became difficult for me to recommend any other turntable selling between $599 and $1,000. Well, the Alva ST is temporarily available for $499, and it is an incredible deal on a high-end product of exceptional quality. It is a welcome development to see an offer like this, especially these days when everything seems to be so expensive. It’s like walking into a car dealership and getting that new Mercedes for $20,000 instead of $45,000-plus. The $499 price is only good from November 17th to November 30th, so if you want one it is best to act fast as I suspect they may sell out once word gets around. Cambridge’s website offers exceptional service with fast, free shipping, free returns and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

Q. I want to try RF skin tightening. Do you know if the small cordless models work on body fat, i.e. melting belly fat? I am on a tight budget, so is the gel necessary? Articles I have read about RF skin tightening state that using the machine every 3-4 days for several weeks starts to show results, and that once you stop the results can last 1-2 years before further treatment is needed. Would you agree with this?


A. My own experience was I started seeing results after about 3 weeks of using the machine for 20 minutes every 3 days. I achieved the final result I desired in about 6 months, and treatment every 5-7 days is required to maintain this result. I do not think you can go 1-2 years without follow-up treatment if you are using a home RF device, and should plan on weekly maintenance sessions. Gel is absolutely necessary, but the Royal brand gel that I use is under $20 for two large tubes, which should last for several months. I can’t speak to home RF machines melting belly fat, but if you lose weight they can used to tighten skin and remove stretch marks.

If you plan on using the RF device on your body I recommend sticking with the corded WarmDerm product. The WarmDerm comes with two probes, the larger of which is optimized for use on your body below the neck. It has higher power and more surface area to accomplish the job faster and more thoroughly, and I have always been satisfied with the WarmDerm’s excellent lift when using the smaller probe on my face. Your timing is good if you are on a tight budget because the WarmDerm RF machine has dropped as low as $279 on Amazon, a huge and unheard-of discount from the normal $369.99 price. It is the right tool for you and your budget, and a great way to get started for anyone who wants to try RF skin tightening.