EAT Forte C-Note

MJ25.06.2018

Analog sources

Maybe I should stop wondering. The analog set-up like this, despite its many objective shortcomings, is a show-off of plasticity and lifelike sound. Diana Krall pours out of the speakers with S’Wonderful and floods the room with emotionally charged sound. The Eat Forte is not your usual turntable – it is a turntable that sets you free from thinking about any upgrades.

100% reference

Function and form

90%
Ease of use
92%
Sound
96%
Appearance

The design of the 65kg heavy Forte is based on the idea of minimizing energy transfer to/from a turntable and employs two principles: separating drive in an outboard power supply and isolate the platter chassis by mass.

The motor stabilizes voltage by a special electronic circuit and is mounted in a heavy metal/MDF sandwich. There are actually two motors in the system that transfer the torque to the platter via silicon strings instead of traditional belts to eliminate wobble.

The rather oversized and heavy platter (20kg) is a sandwich of two alloys dampened by sorbothane to reduce resonances and made lighter by incorporated strong neodymium magnets that are carefully spaced from a cartridge not to impair its performance. The added top layer is made from recycled vinyl records creating vinyl-on-vinyl touch point. A heavy clamp is provided.

Though the whole platter assembly is a real behemoth the magnets reduce the load for bearing system which is a combination of ceramic and Teflon. The pressure of the bearing is adjustable.

The turntable’s chassis is filled with steel pellets and rests on feet that are once again combination of magnetic system, Teflon and ceramic. The Forte is supplied with C-Note tonearm which was equipped with Ortofon Cadenza cartridge for this test.

Bass management

Weight
90
Slam
88
Articulation
90

Slow Train (Hans Theesink, Direct Metal Mastering, Blue Groove LP) is recorded with natural reverberation and no electronic effects were used to enhance the natural dynamic. You can clearly hear the drier sound that is more immediate and better connects to a listener with its intimacy. The EAT Forte set up provided great microdynamic shifts and especially on voice the dynamic swings were nothing short of magic.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
95
Air
88
Transparency
85

The tonearm and cartridge set is quite sensitive which does not contribute to the silence between tracks – the surface noise is heard a grade more than I am used to. On the positive side the music is tracked in grooves with microscopic focus, no detail escapes. The turntable exhibits great tonality and grunt which is astounding. The uber-attentive approach to the resonance treatment in the whole system leads to perfect instrumental separation without sounds bleeding into each other.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
90
Dynamics
89
Temporal resolution
92

The Force Awakens (John Williams, Star Wars, Lucasfilm LP) really awakens with the EAT Forte. The main fanfares are fiery and victorious, the string section menacing and the sonic picture cohesive. The trombones induced goose bumps every time they appeared throughout the score (read: quite often) – this was not only to their brittle clarity but mainly due to their texture that was very lifelike. Now the EAT Forte brings the symphonic orchestra to my living room.

Spatial resolution

Holography
91
Soundstage width
92
Soundstage depth
90

Saying that the EAT Forte’s soundstage is spacious would be an understatement. It inhabits the space with great authority independently of where the speakers are placed, provided that you have a pair of speaker that allow for it. The saxophone in Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther (Analogue Productions/RCA Victor) is completely detached from the media, it hovers in the sound field with holographic presence. The Latin-American rhythm section and pianist are playing like devils and an acordeon that appears in the score is deliciously rich in its tonality. I expect a good performance from the EAT Forte, yet my expectations were exceeded.

Price as reviewed:234 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

AQ s.r.o., Červenka, tel. +420 585 342 232

Associated components

  • Sources: EAT Forte, C-Note tonearm, Ortofon Cadenza cartridge
  • Amplifiers: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS, Elins Audio Concerto
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: AudioQuest Earth and Water, AudioQuest Redwood
  • Power conditioning: AudioQuest Niagara 7000, AudioQuest NRG-4

Gallery

EAT Forte C-Note

Maybe I should stop wondering. The analog set-up like this, despite its many objective shortcomings, is a show-off of plasticity and lifelike sound. Diana Krall pours out of the speakers with S’Wonderful and floods the room ...

Recommended resellers

AQ s.r.o., Červenka, tel. +420 585 342 232

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