Where the Prelude shows its compromises is possibly in its ability to hold down a precise beat. Bear in mind that by producing a turntable at under £1,000, the Prelude has to play against record players that emphasise rhythmic qualities more or less at the expense of almost every other aspect of music. But that means many systems at the price also emphasis this aspect and the Prelude is too natural sounding to play along. A system rethink is in order, and play something with less of a heavy accent and you’ll find that neutrality, detail, soundstage depth, dynamic shading, solidity, and sheer absence of character extremely alluring.
Unless you look really closely and partner the turntable way out of context (no £50,000 phono stages, please!), the EAT Prelude is every bit a high-end turntable that just forgot to get too expensive. Partner this with sympathetic giant-killers and you could build a true low-cost high-end superstar system. If you want to know what real high-end audio sounds like, without opening your wallet and saying ‘help yourself!’ to the dealer, the EAT Prelude is your turntable.
Type: Turntable supplied complete with Ortofon 2m Red cartridge
Speeds: 33/45rpm, manual speed change
Speed variance: 33 RPM: < 0.15%; 45 RPM: < 0.13%
Wow & Flutter: 33 RPM: < 0.1%;
45 RPM: < 0.09%
Signal to Noise ratio: -67dB
Effective tonearm mass: 8g
Effective tonearm length: 230mm
Downforce range: 0–3g
Counterweight mass range: 6–12g
Dimensions (W×H×D): 415 ×130 ×335 mm
European Audio Team
Distributed by: Absolute Sounds
Tel: +44(0)208 971 3909