E-Flat’s mission is to bring to the music lover the highest quality performance, but in a user-friendly design. Ultra-flat, ultra-light and ultra-rigid, the E-Flat tonearm measures 10in long. A unipivot bearing supports the E-Flat, its fully (and easily) adjustable counterweight decoupled by energy- and vibration-absorbing Sorbothane. The E-Flat’s unipivot system is extremely precise and accurately balanced, thanks to components endowed with especially hard metal surfaces. Unwanted motion often attributed to lesser unipivot designs is eliminated by the high mass of unipivot housing and the added security of two metal guides.
A further valuable benefit is that its carbon-fibre arm “tube” can be changed by the user to address to specific cartridge requirements, with either lighter or heavier tubes to establish different arm/cartridge resonant frequencies. Adjustable anti-skating and a damped cueing lever are also fitted.
A flat arm tube opens up a number of possibilities for the designer – and the listener. Its shape encourages the design of a flatter platter with easier, visible arm levelling, and there is no taper to accommodate. With perfect integration to the unipivot design pillar, no hollow tube to suffer the inevitable echo effects or ringing, greater stiffness, a new and superior hanging counterweight design with very high damping properties, the E-Flat tonearm’s performance is truly quiet and incredibly “fast.”
This handsome and innovative arm is fitted to a turntable that adheres to the basic principles established by the existing models in the Forte family. A belt-drive design, it features two motors, like its ‘bigger sisters’. The two motors do not run in parallel, but act like a virtual 24-pole motor. The belt encircles an inner sub-platter, which is fitted with inside bearing made out of bronze bushings. The main platter rests on an inverted bearing and a ceramic ball, with a Teflon lining on the underside of the main platter.
As with the larger Forte record decks, the diameter of the platter is oversized compared to those on most competitors’ turntables. 33cm was chosen because the moving mass is twice that of a standard 30cm platter. Forte fits a vinyl mat made of recycled LP records to create a surface with properties sympathetic to the LPs it supports. The platter is filled underneath with Sorbothane to stop resonance, while Sorbothane is also used to damp the bearing housing, tonearm base and magnetic feet. In addition to the isolation provided by the magnetic feet, the bearing assembly and platter aperture are suspended. Also in common with the dearer Forte turntables, the Forte E-Flat exhibits an ideal balance between mass-loading and thoughtful subchassis design.