E.A.T. Introduces New Budget Prelude Turntable

E.A.T. (European Audio Team) importer VANA Ltd. just introduced to the North American market the new Prelude turntable. The Prelude features a new 9 inch A-Note tonearm said to be lightweight, ultra-stiff and resonance-free, fitted with an Ortofon 2M Red MM cartridge as well as a "heavy" aluminum platter spinning on a low tolerance (0.01%) polished stainless steel spindle in a soft bronze bushing.

Eight lacquer layers coating the dense MDF plinth produces a luxurious look. A free-standing motor fitted with a precision diamond-cut pulley spins the platter via a precision cut belt. A hinged acrylic dust cover is included with the Prelude, which costs a very reasonable $1195.00 (MSRP).

fivecolors's picture


In what alternative universe do live in, that you consider $1195.00 a "budget" price?


MalachiLui's picture

I think Michael meant "budget" in the context of EAT's turntables.

To me, the star of the show on this one appears to be the tonearm. The drive pulley, belt, and (rather excellent) felt mat are used on Pro-Ject's basic turntables, and the 2M Red is a decent cartridge but only $100. For the same price as this EAT, you could get a Rega P3 and install a 2M Blue. I appreciate the idea of a plug-n-play turntable for beginners, but that audience is more likely to buy a Debut Carbon to get into the vinyl/hifi universe.

Ortofan's picture

... when I bought my first turntable four decades ago, an entry-level manual turntable cost about $125. A phono cartridge with an elliptical stylus that tracked below two grams cost about $50.
Add the two, adjust for inflation and the cost for that "budget" set-up would be about $1,000 in today's money.

Trius's picture

You can certainly get a competent to really good turntable for a lot less, at least on the used market. But as another commenter intimated, do some research on what new, high spec tables complete with arm and cartridge and already set up cost, and you will find this in the budget category. I bought my first really good table in the mid-70s for about $300, plus cartridge, about $1250 in 2018 dollars. Today that same table, refurbished and fitted with a quality arm, goes for about $1.5K. I’m restoring my TD-160 and will use it for some time, but I imagine I could sell it for over $1K once I’m done.

Bigmule1972's picture

Your perspective and your opinion.

Regardless of income bracket, who are you to determine what is budget friendly? Ok, so this does not fall within YOUR budget...so what...how about the person that has dreamed of having this brand, but couldn’t afford it until this model was released.

Would you like to start debating about which color is the best color?

jl99's picture

but still, logic and good sense suggests a blind test before throwing money at a purchase. Just about all the reviewers I read say to listen first and compare. Price does not always reflect a better experience for the listener. Two or three turntables on the same surface, with the same cart, same amps, same speakers and using the same reference album. However, if you consider looks to be more important than sound reproduction, then, that is another story. Dollars to donuts, most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the $1200 E.A.T. and a cheaper U Turn Orbit, a Fluance RT83, or a Rega RP1. I am not putting the EAT down. I have never listened to one. My comment is aimed the process not the product.

CCFK's picture

Do you understand how words work? It is the least expensive table in EAT's line of turntables. That makes it a budget model. Easily offended and not being able to understand simple written English is a terrible combination.

jl99's picture

Or so they say. Viewing the industry strictly as an outsider, but as a former business owner, price is more a function of cost. If you have to recover your expenses with a small volume you have to sell at a higher price. Given all these machines are hand-built - often only after the manufacturer sells a few - price reflects management's skill over engineering and manufacturing know-how. The bottomed line? In this old cowboy's experience, price often has little to do with performance. $1200 bucks for a turntable? Put it up against a few $300 machines and see how it stacks up.

Jim Tavegia's picture

I love to hear how that comes out for less than half the price with the same cart.

Ortofan's picture

... apples to apples. Put the Prelude up against the Rega Planar 3 equipped with the Elys 2 cartridge.
For that matter, compare the Prelude with the similarly priced Pro-Ject Classic.

Sgood@verizon.net's picture

Project re-badged with some weeks?

dazeofheaven's picture

companies. I will quote MF from an earlier column:
"In 2003 after Vaic exited the industry, she began having tubes made for her by Tesla Vrsovice and three years later when the owner decided to retire she bought the company, moved the manufacturing facility to another location away from the center of Prague and renamed it EAT.
While in Vienna looking for an Austrian distributor, she met Heinz. They later married and she was able to expand her business to include electronics and turntables.
While the two are a couple, the two companies are distinct brands with separate sales and distribution networks. EAT turntables are manufactured in the Pro-Ject factory but the company has its own floor and its own designers. Nonetheless anyone familiar with Pro-Ject turntables will recognize some familiar components, especially the sub-platter/bearing assembly as well as the dustcover and hinge assembly, which the B-Sharp shares with similarly priced Pro-Ject turntables...

WaltonGoggins's picture

1- Lots of competition in the price range; The Planar 3, the MoFi Studio Deck, the Pro-Ject Classic and 1Xpression Carbon, the new Technics SL1200 and 1500.

2- A fairly small outlay is needed to move up a class. EAT's own BSharp is $400 more, with nicer everything. Just upgrading from the dog 2M Red to a Blue takes up half the upgrade difference.

Chemguy's picture

You don't belong here. It's AnaloguePlanet.

You should read the title carefully before you join a group.

ChrisS's picture

Don't engage.

Get rid of him.

Audiolad's picture

I disagree calling this in any way similar to Pro-ject. The most important part of any turntable is the arm. As far as cost $125 & $50. In 1973 I bought an $AR turntable with a Shure V15 Type II for $165. Those turntables have a cult following today, and I'm sure the same quality would be near $1000 today. Cost are relative to the times, and $1195 is a good price for the quality with any 2M cartridge. Since you can upgrade at any time to the Bronze or Black with line contact stylus it all any record junkie would need. I bought Rega RP1 when it was available and was required to replace the arm wires with new(better) clips because the junk on it broke. Now I have high quality RCA cables, new wire, custom acrylic platter, low center of gravity counter weight, and an Audio Technica AT-150mlx cartridge. The total cost is more than $1195, and I'm sure it is no better with the upgrades than E.A.T. Prelude.

peter the not so grear's picture

I bought a SOTA star Vacuum with a Zeta arm and Carnegie 1 LOMC for $2400.00 in 1986, that's $70.00 a year. now that is some budget!!!!!