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"This Deck is Magnificent," Raves Ken Kessler
E-Flat from European Audio Team (EAT), makers of Forte turntables, is a new, forward-thinking turntable supplied with a revolutionary flat tonearm. Although flat arms have been seen in the past, none has been able to offer the rigidity necessary to deliver the stable performance expected of modern tonearms. Thanks to the continued evolution of carbon fiber, Forte has been able to create an arm with the practical and aesthetic benefits of a flat form, but without the weaknesses.
"Guilty admission; I was not expecting to fall in love with the E-Flat," notes Ken Kessler in his hifinews.co.uk review for January 2012. "This deck is magnificent, representing far better value than something selling for [its price] deserves to do… With its E-Flat, EAT has truly come of age."
"There is no doubt in my mind that the EAT E-Flat is one of the finest turntables at its price point," reports Adam Smith, hi-fiworld.co.uk, September 2012.
Highest Quality Performance in a User-Friendly Design
E-Flat's mission is to bring to the music lover the highest quality performance, but in a user-friendly design. Ultra-flat, ultra-light and ultra-rigid, the E-Flat tonearm measures 10 inches long. A unipivot bearing supports the E-Flat, and its fully adjustable, easily adjustable counterweight is decoupled by energy-absorbing and vibration-absorbing Sorbothane.
The E-Flat's unipivot system is extremely precise and accurately balanced, thanks to components endowed with especially hard metal surfaces. Unwanted motion, which is often attributed to lesser unipivot designs, is eliminated by the high mass of E-Flat's unipivot housing and the added security of two metal guides.
A further valuable benefit of the E-Flat turntable is that its carbon-fiber arm tube can be changed by the user to address specific cartridge requirements, with either lighter or heavier tubes to establish different arm/cartridge resonant frequencies. Adjustable anti-skating and a damped cueing lever are also fitted.
Flat Arm Advantages
A flat arm tube opens up a number of possibilities for the designer – and for the listener, too. Its shape encourages the design of a flatter platter with easier, visible arm leveling, and there is no taper to accommodate. With perfect integration to the unipivot design pillar, a flat arm lacks a hollow tube to suffer the inevitable echo effects or ringing. The E-Flat arm also offers greater stiffness as well as a new and superior hanging counterweight design with very high damping properties. The E-Flat tonearm's performance is truly quiet and incredibly "fast."
Superior Two-Motor Turntable Design
This handsome and innovative flat arm is fitted to a turntable that adheres to the basic principles established by the existing models in the Forte family. A belt-drive design, it features two motors, like the company's much higher priced models. The two motors do not run in parallel, but act like a virtual 24-pole motor. The belt encircles an inner sub-platter, which is fitted with inside bearing made out of bronze bushings. The main platter rests on an inverted bearing and a ceramic ball with a Teflon lining on the underside of the main platter.
As with the larger Forte turntable, the diameter of the platter is oversized compared to those on most competitors' turntables. A diameter of 13.4" was chosen, because the moving mass is twice that of a standard 11.8-inch platter. The platter weights 15.2 lbs. Forte fits a vinyl mat made of recycled LP records to create a surface with properties sympathetic to the LPs it supports. The platter is filled underneath with Sorbothane to stop resonance, while Sorbothane is also used to damp the bearing housing, tonearm base, and magnetic feet.
In addition to the isolation provided by the magnetic feet, the bearing assembly and platter aperture are suspended. Also in common with the more expensive Forte turntables, the E-Flat exhibits an ideal balance between mass-loading and thoughtful subchassis design.
Optional Ortofon Quintet Black Phono Cartridge
You can order the E-Flat with an optional Optional Ortofon Quintet Black moving coil phono cartridge. The Quintet Black is graced with a Nude Shibata diamond, considered one of the best stylus profiles available, mounted on a high-performance Boron cantilever. The Shibata’s slim, highly polished profile allows an exceedingly wide contact area to the walls of the groove and ensures detailed and pure reproduction thoughout the spectrum, including even the most high frequency groove information.
"Guilty admission; I was not expecting to fall in love with the E-Flat, even though I find its siblings so enjoyable. The arm concerned me, but I was proven wrong: this deck is magnificent, representing far better value than something selling for €4100 deserves to do… With its E-Flat, EAT has truly come of age."
- Ken Kessler, hifinews.co.uk, January 2012
"There is no doubt in my mind that the EAT E-Flat is one of the finest turntables at its price point…"
"To accompany its sense of understated style, the E-Flat has a similarly understated brilliance to all that it does, in sonic terms. If its price is within your turntable budget, then I would say it should be very high on your audition list, as it is a truly addictive musical companion."
- Adam Smith, hi-fiworld.co.uk, September 2012