The Prelude draws inspiration from the company’s more expensive decks for EAT’s cheapest turntable yet
You may not have heard of hi-fi specialist EAT before. While their name is an odd one (it stands for the much less strange European Audio Team), they made a favourable impression with their first few turntables. Those turntables, however, are made for more expensive tastes. The Prelude sees the company dip below £1000 into more affordable territory.
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EAT mines ideas from its more expensive offerings for its cheapest turntable yet. The heavy-weight platter helps to ensure correct speed and precision during playback. The base material is the same as in their high-end efforts, utilising a low tolerance (0.01) polished stainless steel bearing in a soft bronze bushing (vibration isolator), to guarantee “silent and smooth movement”. The Prelude also comes with a pre-fitted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge as well as an acrylic lid for dust protection.
To delve more into the nitty gritty of the design, the plinth is fabricated out of MDF, with eight layers of lacquer that give the Prelude a smooth finish. EAT opted against a mass-loaded design for the motor, choosing a free-standing motor with no connection to the board to ensure vibrations aren’t passed on so they colour the performance.
With MM cartridges more likely to be favoured at this price, the tonearm is a lightweight, ultra-stiff and resonance-free design that marries well with the “more ideal resonant frequencies of an MM cartridge.”
EAT claims that the Prelude will avoid the disadvantages that come with low mass turntables (boomy sound), and produce a performance that offers exceptional dynamics and a lack of colouration. The Prelude supports speeds of 33.3 and 45rpm, as well as manual speed changes.
The Prelude was not the only product announced. The specialist also detailed its E-Glo Petit, the smallest of its three E-Glo valve-based phono preamplifiers. Paired with any high-quality deck, EAT says the E-Glo Petit is able to deliver “a wonderfully fluid and communicative sound”.
The EAT Prelude turntable is available from March onwards for £999 in two versions, the second sporting a green finish for the motor. The E-Glo Petit is available now at £1249.
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