One of the big problems in 21st Century audio is a lack of long-term memory. A good product may have a life-cycle stretching a decade or more, but just a few short months after it’s launched, it’s all-but forgotten. In fact, there are modern classics that deserve continued coverage long after that first flush of reviews have subsided.
One such modern classic is the EAT E-Flat turntable, so named because of that extremely clever flat tonearm. This is a 10-inch woven Kevlar unipivot design, which is effectively extremely flat (naturally), very light, and exceptionally rigid, with a Sorbothane-damped adjustable counterweight, and an outrigger type anti-skate mechanism. Most modern cartridges will be accommodated with ease on this arm, but in the unlikely event you want to use the E-Flat with something truly old, weird, and (potentially) wonderful, there are even lighter or heavier arms available for ‘outlier’ compliances. Of course, having no arm-tube to speak of means there’s nowhere to house the arm leads from cartridge to pivot, so they are held in place with industrial-strength sticky tape.
The E-Flat is not simply a great arm on an OK deck; the rest of the package is up to the task, too. The twin-motor design is elegantly positioned in the platter recess, and this recess helps to make a high-mass platter take on a low-profile look. In fact, the style is reminiscent of one of the better direct drive designs from the 1980s. The platter itself is deliberately oversized at 13”, critically damped and has a ‘mat’ made out of recycled vinyl albums. EAT adds a big shiny record clamp. The polished black plinth is wooden (no ringing, but not so obviously wooden as to make it look like an old fruit box) and the judicious use of Sorbothane in the deck and the adjustable feet help to keep it and the outside world that bit more separated. A two-speed, soft-button controller sits beneath the cartridge itself.