Good Enough to EAT: Forté Leather Edition Turntable with 12" C-Note Tonearm, and the E-Glo Petit Phono Preamplifier

The room presented by importer Vana LTD of Lake Grove, New York, featured (in addition to some record cleaning fluid and Okki Nokki record-cleaning machines) analog components by the European Audio Team (EAT) and loudspeakers by Audio Physik.

Lovers of antique high-end automobiles in particular appreciate the aesthetic of the 200+lb Forté turntable, all gleaming chrome, mirror black, and leather. The table with the polished F-Note tonearm installed retails for $11,495, but looked like it cost considerably more; the photo above fails to capture the sheer scale of the thing. You can add the excellent Ortofon A95 cartridge for a package price of $13,995, or you can save $1000 by getting the package with macassar wood instead of leather, or $1500 by choosing gloss black. That's not chump change, but to me it seems like good value. EAT keeps costs low via a close partnership with Austrian compatriot Pro-Ject; many EAT parts are made in Pro-Ject factories. (Here's a hint: the principles of the two companies are both named Lichtenegger.)

I was also smitten, in the Vana room, by the E-Glo Petit phono preamplifier ($1495). It's an attractive, hybrid device with flexible, easy loading, featuring JFETs and two 12AX7 vacuum tubes. It looks like a miniature version of the full-on, 6-tube E-Glo, which sells for $6995.