Ken Kessler, hifinews.co.uk:
"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."
Adam Smith, hi-fiworld.co.uk,:
"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."
The E-Flat is a new, forward-thinking turntable supplied with a revolutionary flat tonearm. Although flat arms have been seen in the past, none have 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.
Ultra-flat, ultra-light and ultra-rigid, the E-Flat tonearm measures 10" long. A unipivot bearing supports the E-Flat, its fully and easily adjustable counterweight decoupled by energy 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 often attributed to lesser unipivot designs is eliminated by the high mass of unipivot housing and the added security of two metal guides.
A further valuable benefit is that its carbon fiber arm “tube” can be changed by the user to address to 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.
A flat arm tube opens up a number of possibilities for the designer – and the listener. 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, no hollow tube to suffer the inevitable echo effects or ringing, greater stiffness, a new and superior hanging counterweight design with very high damping properties, the E-Flat tonearm’s performance is truly quiet and incredibly “fast.”
A belt-drive design, it features two motors, that 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 record decks, the diameter of the platter is oversized compared to those on most competitors’ turntables. 33cm was chosen because the moving mass is twice that of a standard 30cm platter. 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, and 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 Forte turntables, the Forte E-Flat exhibits an ideal balance between mass-loading and thoughtful sub chassis design.