All the parts for the C-Sharp are developed and made in the factory in Prague which is able to keep costs down, otherwise they would of needed to be out sourced and then the costs of the player go up considerably. And when you look at the quality of this unit it is hard to believe that it only costs 2,498 which is very good as this is a high end product which looks stunning with its carbon fiber tone arm and chassis. On their website it describes how EAT wanted to design a turntable that looked elegant andstill had the performance of a high end product, I think that they have certainly achieved that with the styling of the C-Sharp as it one of the nicest designs I have seen for a while, and when you get to actually play with one it is even better in the flesh. Features and Build Quality
I think I have already made it quite clear how impressed I am by the build quality of this turntable which looks stunning, with its carbon fiber chassisand tone arm the build quality is beyond reproach. The turntable platter is made from a mix of aluminum and magnesium alloy which is very heavy and gives the weight that is needed for a sturdy and balanced feel to the way the turntable platter moves. The sub platter belt drive sits underneath and both are sitting on a bronze bearing which is lubricated with a silicon damping liquid and additional liquid is supplied with the turntable.When you first get the C-Sharp it comes boxed and in parts which needs to be assembled and is supplied with white gloves to make sure you do not get dirty finger prints all over the turntable. It is boxed well with plenty of packaging and foam to protect the delicate parts from getting damaged in transit and the main table comes with three screws that need to be removed once you take the table out so that the chassis has its suspension that it requires when the platter is placed on the table and also the belt drive fly wheel which sits under the main platter. The tone arm is already fixed to the table but needs to have VTA adjusted, and its Anti-Skating compensator fitted, which uses a nylon thread and needs to be passed round the back of tone arm and connected to a small peg which sits on the side of the tone arms main body, I found this easy enough to do.
I was impressed to find out that the main Vinyl Matt that is fixed to the turntable is made out of recycled vinyl, this is a company who thinks about the environment as well which is a nice touch and Jozephina told me this at the show. The clamp is a very solid piece of aluminum and can be screwed down to the turntable to clamp the platter but this is only needed when you are removing the platter for maintenance purposes as it is best to not screw it down when playing music.Once you have assembled all the parts which should not pose too much of a problem for most people who have some knowledge in turntables oris a seasoned audiophile, or something a long those lines.The table gets its power from a separate box which has three buttons on it and in the middle is the Stby or Stop and to the Left is 33rpm and to the Right is 45rpm and they both have light's that flashes when pressed and then stays lit when at the right speed, it only takes a few seconds for the table to reach the necessary speeds so not long.
Once all this is done it is time to put on a record and that means some listening to some music which is the best part of every review. Performance and Sound Quality
For listening tests I will be using the Koetsu Red T Moving Coil Cartridge with the C-Sharp turntable, the Koetsu in its self represents a high end quality cartridge and the C-Sharp should hopefully bring out the best from it. I will also be using for the review my Wilson Audio Sophia 2 Speakers which are incredibly revealing of any source component and an excellent speaker for reviewing purposes. The amplifier will be the Prima Luna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated Amplifier which I have just reviewed and is an incredible amplifier in its own right and powers the Wilson's perfectly, for the phono stage I am using a Tom Evan's Audio Design which is a simple but an excellent phono stage. Cables are from Transparent Cables for the Speakers.
I must also mention that for this review I have been supplied by Hi Fi Racks Limited a beautiful rack to put the C-Sharp Turntable on and it looks the part and also makes a big difference in the stability of the turntable and also any component that is placed upon the rack as it of such good quality, they make some great racks which can be custom madeif needed.
For the selection of demo material I have selected 3 albums on vinyl which I know well on CD and on HD HDD recordings so can make a good judgement on how they compare and also the performance of the C-Sharp turntable as a player which is so vital in expressing the music content, especially on vinyl as the music is pure analog and no digital conversions are taking place at all. The albums are from Gregory Porter, Roger Waters and London Grammar which I know a lot of people will be very familiar with as they are great artists.
The first album I am going to listen to is from Gregory Porter and Liquid Spirits which is a stunning Jazz album in his unique style, and the first sound I notice when putting the beautiful tone arm down is the lack of any, well unwanted sound that is, it is extremely quiet. The C-Sharp has a very low noise when playing music which is great and something that I would certainly put down to the quality of build and the tone arm's extreme rigidity, the carbon fibre tone arm is such a joy to use as it is weighted perfectly and touches down on the vinyl with such precision that the needle is just touching the record and then the fun begins.
Liquid Spirit is the title of the album but also a great track which has an excellent double bass playing and on the vinyl, it sounds so natural and has an almost tangible affect while the piano and percussion plays which is very solid and and strong and the C-Sharp keeps it all nicely under control as the bass is nice and tight. The sound stage is wide and deep as the Wilson Speakers throw out an nice acoustic image of the sound stage, I am very impressed with the C-Sharps control of the music and the natural tone that it creates, it is easily the best version I have of this superb album. It is amazing how you can notice how suddenly an album could sound digitally processed and then you put on a vinyl recording which is all analog and things seem to fall into place and sound better than its digital counterpart.
Musical Genocide is another of my favorite tracks from the album and the vocal clarity is just superb, with real impact and definition that underlines what is remarkable about this turntable in that it can really start to show what it is capable of. It just gets better as instrument separation is spot on and you can easily pick out each part as they have a lovely tone and texture to the melody. It starts to show you what equipment can really do in the chain of the system when you have great audio components like the C-Sharp as I have not heard a turntable better than this in my room before and it really is in another class that it certainly moves the game forward for mid priced players.My next album is from London Grammar and is another favorite and the track I love is Hey
Now which has some surprisingly low bass output and I really wanted to see if the C-Sharp could keep this in control as I have the high resolution version in 24bit 48Khz and it sounds amazing with very low frequency extension.I play the track Hey Now and I am treated to a delightful presentation with great vocals and the drums in the distance playing and then the low frequency comes in and the Wilson Audio Sophia's dig extremely deep and my room resonates as Hey Now is played but the C-Sharp keeps it all under control with an excellent rendition of this track and again I love the analog sound that this system is presenting, not an overly digital processed mix but a complex melody which the C-Sharp captures perfectly. There is no overhang from the bass at all as it is kept so tightly controlled. The Koetsu Red T Cartridge really is very good and the C-Sharp certainly helps to get the very best from it.
My last album that I am going to listen to is from Roger Waters and it is a reworking of the The Wall which had its release timed with its cinema release of the same name, it is a brilliant album which I am sure most of you will already know.In the Flesh is the opening track and it starts with the lonely trumpet sounding while a propeller plane fly's overhead and then an almighty crescendo of bass and guitars and the C-Sharp keeps everything well controlled with the leading edges of each note clean and clearly defined beautifully. It is a complex track which could trip up some turntables that do not have the quality to keep the music in time and fully under control especially when it comes to its finally climax which is loud and full of extreme guitar mayhem that Roger Waters love so much.
The next track Thin Ice gives you an excellent idea of of the scale and grandeur of the sound stage as it is wide and deep that the speakers throw out, as the album is recorded at the live event in the stadium with thousand of people, and it feels like you are in the middle of it all such is the clarity of the record.
Another Brick in The Wall is undoubtedly the most famous track from this album and has great space around the instruments, the acoustic sound stage is presented very wide across with guitars playing and drums beat from side to side across the stage. It is a masterfully crafted track and one that I never get tired of. Then the strong drum beat kicks in with the bass being so tightly controlled, again this shows great ability from the C-Sharp turntable of managing this track in all its complexity.
Comfortably Numb is another track favorite from the album and the kick drum has real presence in its delivery. It has a full orchestra playing and you can pick out the violin playing so eloquently, then Roger Waters goes into a stunning guitar solo and the C-Sharp presents a powerful rendition of this track, showing that it can handle all types of music, and handles it very well indeed. The quality and tone has a very airy quality to the music which is good as it manages to create a very wide and deep sound stage. The leading edge of notes are so well defined with no decay or bloated bass which suggests a high quality turntable. The tone arm plays a big part in how well the C-Sharp performs as its build quality is superb and the carbon arm is so rigid it makes a massive difference in keeping the Koetsu cartridge stable and balanced while the platter is rotating, obviously a lot of R&D has gone into developing this tone arm for the C-Sharp and it has paid off as the results speak for themselves with some of the best vinyl music I have had the pleasure in listening to.Conclusion and Final Thoughts
For the money the C-Sharp is really in a league of its own sitting at the 2,498 figure as I cannot think of a better player at this present time to match the C-Sharps strengths and quality, it is so well made and a beautiful turntable to use. EAT has produced a tremendous product which does not cost a fortune and is at reach for most people to buy and I would strongly urge anyone who is in the market for a high end turntable to look at the new C-Sharp from EAT as it has so much going for it, it gets a full recommendation from The Speaker Shack as one of finest mid priced turntables on the market today.What I find satisfying with vinyl is the time you take playing the music, it makes it feel all that more personal and intimate, it is something that you have to look after and care for and love it like you do anything that needs care and attention, and when you do it rewards you with some magical music.I would like to thank Guildford Audio LTD for letting me use the Turntable for review purposes, you can find them here if you are interested in this player Guildford Audio Website
, Absolute Sounds UK Distributor
, EAT European Audio Team Website
Here is some video shot with Gregory Porter on Vinyl playing Liquid Spirit from my Youtube channel