Ikeda IT407-CR1 Tonearm 307mm (12') - SF range: 0-5gr - on behalf 2016

IK 09 TA 407CR1
NZ$ 7,500.00 ea (incl. GST)
Ikeda tonearms & cartridges

You will be able to hear the breath of LP/SPs !

New

The Ikeda it-407 tone arm is a High Mass design and has been called big, rigid, and beautiful. Built for “dynamic balance,” although it can support a cartridge weight of 6 to 38.5 grams, the stylus pressure ranges from 5 grams to utter weightlessness.

FORUM QUOTES:

I am running the new Ikeda 9TT cartridge on the Ikeda IT-407CR1 arm and it is sublime. .........wdemars

That arm should work beautifully with any Koetsu. I use a Koetsu with my Fidelity Research 64fx (10" arm) -- FR being Ikeda's previous company, and the 64fx being heavy, though not quite as heavy as the other FR offerings. Sounds splendid with wood or stone bodies (but especially the stones), platinum or non. The FR64fx also worked wonderfully with the Ortofon Kontrapunkt "a" and "c" (now superseded by the Cadenza Red and Bronze, respectively ............mulveling

Specifications

Reviews

Videos

Specifications

Ikeda IT-407CR1 (Long Arm)
Type: Dynamic balance
Overall length: 388mm
Effective length: 307mm
Overhang: 12mm
Tracking error: +2°~ - 0°35'
Stylus force range: 0g ~ 5g (in 0.5g step)
Mounting hole diameter: 31mm
Arm height adjustment range: 25mm - 60mm
Max. arm board thickness: 35mm
Cartridge/Headshell balance range: 6g - 38.5g
Headshell weight: 17.2g

Reviews

If you truly love listening to vinyl and you can afford it, you owe it to yourself to hear this arm. If you can’t afford it, don’t let it get anywhere near your system or you’ll have real regrets.
Jack Roberts

n regard to bass, the Ikeda let each cartridge I use go very low, and the bass was very fast with no trace of boominess. Again, the Shilabe was the perfect match for the Ikeda tonearm, together they create a bottom-end in my system very much like live music. The bass had both power, slam, and great decay. 

Whether I used the Shilabe, the EMT, or the Shindo SPU, the sound always had great PraT; which resulted in my being drawn into the music and involving me in the performance. Overall, music was incredibly fun to listen to with the Ikeda tonearm in my system. I think it’s amazing that a tonearm can do such good job of handling the energy of these great moving coils and still have such great macro- and micro-dynamics.

History
samu Ikeda was born in 1929 in the Koto district of Tokyo. His pursuit of a perfect analog sound is a legend, which began in the 1940s. Dissatisfied with the production at a previous audio company in 1964, he decided to form his own company, the now-legendary and world famous Fidelity Research Inc. Its products have been desired and owned by audiophiles and music fans the world over, including the Imperial Household Agency and the Imperial Family.
 
Ever since the end of WWII, Ikeda-san has been making phonographic equipment. The early moving-coil cartridge out of Japan was one of his developments, and many of the Japanese cartridge-makers apprenticed under him. From the mid-sixties through the early eighties, cartridges like the FR 1 and MC 201 and tonearms like the FR 12, FR 14, FR 64, and FR 66 from Ikeda-san’s company Fidelity Research achieved international acclaim. He pioneered the use of silver wire, featherweight styli, yoke construction, and pioneered higher-efficiency magnets which allow for coils with fewer windings.
 
Fidelity Research’s first two products, the FR-1 cartridge and FR-64 tonearm were big hits in Japan. When Ikeda-san introduced the FR-7, which featured the world’s first “empty core, four pole structure” and the FR-64S tonearm in 1978, the company became a major business including being a big player in the Tokyo Stock Market. Unfortunately, due to many unfavorable circumstances including the popularity of the CD, Fidelity Research was forced to close in 1985.
 
Nevertheless, Ikeda San's enthusiasm continued and in that same year, he established a small audio company, Ikeda Sound Laboratories Company. This new company was a place where he was able to do things that had been impossible under the mass production company that Fidelity Research had become. He came out with the 9-series of cartridges, and the IT-407CR1 and IT-345CR1 tonearms. The 9-series took the empty core technology of the FR-7 and added a groundbreaking new development: the world’s first moving coil cantilever-less cartridge, much like the London Decca moving iron cartridges. The new tonearms were improved over the FR-64 and FR-66 by eliminating more vibration through the use of a combination of aluminum, zinc-bronze, stainless steel and brass to form an extremely rigid and musical tonearm.
 
Mr. Ikeda is now in his mid-eighties, and has handed the work over to IT Industries. The spirit, technology and craftsmanship continues to live on with the new company. IT has been with Mr. Ikeda all along in the production of his products. I was assured that IT Industries was still making everything by hand in Japan. Now, the wonderful and beautiful Ikeda products are once again available in the United States. We can all say a word of thanks to William Demars of Beauty of Sound located in East Greenbush, New York for importing them to the United States once again.
 
Description and Setup
 
The Ikeda 325 is listed as the short tonearm and the 407 is described as the long tonearm. The 407 is a dynamic balanced tonearm, so one balances it and then dials in the prescribed tracking force. Tthe VTA adjustment is not as easy as it was on the old FR tonearm, yet it is not difficult to loosen the nice large thumb screws and move the arm up and down in small increments. The supplied headshell is very nicely built and easy to work with.
 
I used the Ikeda 407 on a beautiful brass and burled wood pod that Mr. Demars supplied with the tonearm. A tonearm pod is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that almost everything in the setup is more easily adjustable since you can simply move the pod. The curse is if you bump the pod hard enough to move it, out comes the protractor and you have to get to the right spot again.
 
The pod was furnished at my request and is not the subject of this review, it was just a learning experience for me. What I should be saying is that setup was easy and mounting different cartridges was a breeze. Like the revered Fidelity Research arms, this tonearm is made for heavy moving coil cartridges and, man, does it make them sing.
 
Listening
 
Just in case you don’t know it, there is no perfect arm for every cartridge. The most versatile tonearm I have ever used was the Clearaudio Universal tonearm. It was an incredible arm for the Benz-Micro Ebony TR, the Miyabi cartridges, and several other cartridges I tried with it, but was not the best for some of the heavy, low compliant cartridges or vintage cartridges like the ADC XLM. 
 
Likewise, the Ikeda is great with the high mass, low compliance cartridges that didn’t work as well with the Clearaudio Universal. Its detachable headshell makes it possible to use it with several cartridges you can’t use with tonearms with nondetachable headshells. For example, it worked great with SPUs and EMTs in their own head shells.
 
Of all the cartridges I tried in the Ikeda tonearm, by far the best match was the Miyajima Shilabe; the combination was simply magical. This may not be the least colored way to listen to music, but you will be hard pressed to find a more emotionally involving and fun way to listen to music. With this combo in my system, the sound was big, dramatic, and very tactile.
 
The Shilabe cartridge is among the fastest, quickest cartridges I have heard at any price. This mates very well with the slightly warm, damped sound of the Ikeda 407. This combination allows the colors of music to come alive in your listening room, with great drive and scale. The midrange has a beautifully warm, colorful texture with lots of drama.
 
In regard to bass, the Ikeda let each cartridge I use go very low, and the bass was very fast with no trace of boominess. Again, the Shilabe was the perfect match for the Ikeda tonearm, together they create a bottom-end in my system very much like live music. The bass had both power, slam, and great decay. I especially loved the way upright basses sounded with this combo. The bass was equally good with the EMT TSD15, but with that special drive and power of the EMT.
 
Whether I used the Shilabe, the EMT, or the Shindo SPU, the sound always had great PraT; which resulted in my being drawn into the music and involving me in the performance. Overall, music was incredibly fun to listen to with the Ikeda tonearm in my system. I think it’s amazing that a tonearm can do such good job of handling the energy of these great moving coils and still have such great macro- and micro-dynamics.
 
With each cartridge I tried with the Ikeda 407, the midrange was liquid, sweet, yet still sounded plenty detailed, and fast. I think this is probably because of the arm’s ability to handle vibrations, and the quality of the bearings. In light of o f its scary, real-sounding midrange, this has the be the SET amp equivalent of tonearms.
 
Yes, the Ikeda has its own distinctive sound, and a fun sound it certainly is. I own a Shindo Mersault RF-773 12-inch tonearm and I have had the privilege of reviewing the DaVinciAudio Grand Reference Grandezza 12-inch tonearm. These three long arms are all magnificent. The Grandezza is the best with lighter moving coils, the other two work best with heavier moving coil cartridges. The Shindo arm is limited pretty much to the Shindo SPU cartridge, Ortofons that are SPU A cartridges, or the EMT cartridges that are being made for it. Though all three tonearms sound a little different, they are the three best tonearms I have had the privilege to use. All three had a relaxed musicality that the VPI 12.7, the Tri-Planar, the Clearaudio Universal, and the Helius Omega Silver did not. I feel truly lucky to have been able to hear all these tonearms in my system, but the three 12-inch arms mentioned above are simply wonderfully, emotionally involving.
 
Let me close by saying thanks once more time to Bill Demars for letting me have the privilege of reviewing this magnificent tonearm when it is so hard to come by. If you truly love listening to vinyl and you can afford it, you owe it to yourself to hear this arm. If you can’t afford it, don’t let it get anywhere near your system or you’ll have real regrets. 
U.S. Importer's comment: 
 
Many thanks to Jack Roberts for his insightful and thorough review of the Ikeda IT-407CR1 tonearm. Jack's comments about it's sound and looks are the hallmarks of this legendary tonearm. The arm-pod is actually made from a phenolic tube, not wood. Phenolic is known for it's extreme density and anti-resonant character and was chosen for this reason. It was custom-made for me. I have secured the spike cups the surface-base with bees-wax. This prevents the arm-pod from sliding around. Also of note is the arrival of the new Ikeda 9TT moving coil stereo cartridge. It sounds amazing on the Ikeda arm!
 
Again, sincere gratitude to Constantine and Jack for their years of great work for the audio community.
 
..........Bill Demars
Simply put, it’s a massive machine that gets the best out of your vinyl without you – or it – having to try very hard, it seems you can afford not to!
HiFi World
Don't be fooled by its conservative looks, this is a brilliantly conceived, superbly engineered vinyl spinner. A memorable - seminal even - high end product.
 
HIGHLIGHTS:
- supreme musical ease
- unerring speed stability
- flawless engineering
- excellent fitted tonearm

What it gives then is brilliant sound out of a (very big) box, with a superb fitted arm that sings with almost any highish mass moving coil cartridge. It presents a relaxed, easy, nonchalant sort of sound, but one that is nevertheless immensely satisfying. The best thing is that it’s very devoid of character, or obvious strengths or weaknesses for that matter. 

Hitherto known for their bespoke premium priced audio tubes, Euro Audio Team have just launched a brand new high end turntable featuring an Ikeda tonearm, no less! David Price gets into the groove...
 
Jozefína Krahulcová, CEO of Euro Audio Team (E.A.T.) is a redoubtable character. Bubbling with enthusiasm for this, her company’s first (but not last, I am assured) high end turntable, she exudes confidence despite the time not being quite right for the launch of such an esoteric, luxury product. “I am a big fan of vinyl - it’s the best way to listen to music,” she tells me, “and I’ve got a very nice classical music collection. I wasn’t happy about the turntables on the market, so I decided to do this...”
 
Ebullient she may be, because the new E.A.T. Forte isn’t just another derivative design – another ‘me too’ premium priced product there to have a presence in the market. It shows some interesting thinking – certainly in its unique combination of clever techniques used by various other designs – and the reappearance of a seminal tonearm from a past master of the art – Ikeda.
 
It is a fixed subchassis “mass design”, in the tradition of the great nineteen seventies direct drives. Indeed, featuring a separate motor unit, massive platter and string belt drive, it actually reminds me very much of Marantz’s fabled TT-1800, their late high end design that never was – and also certain top Micros of that period. Whilst the outward appearance may ring bells, so to speak, the inside engineering is quite different. The plinth is a metal filled, MDF box of backbreaking weight, with beautiful gloss lacquered wood veneer. Debates rage hard on online forums about the merits of this, but suffice to say that just as the sprung subchassis approach works best when the springs are as unintrusive as possible (a la Avid), so the high mass approach works better the higher the mass is – and the Forte is certainly heavy...
 
The platter is the next most noticeable thing, largely on account of its huge 400mm diameter. It weighs 19.9kg, and is a two part affair with the inner section of the platter made from soft alloy, and the outer part made of a harder material. As you might expect, the main bearing (in the Forte’s case inverted with a ceramic ball mating to a Teflon cup) needed to handle this sort of weight and resultant pressure is vast, but it is given a helping hand by magnetism no less – with the be bottom half of the platter incorporating neodymium magnets to lower the pressure on the bearing. This ‘semi magnetically suspended design is an elegant working compromise, but tweakers won’t be delighted to learn that the bearing pressure is not easily adjusted and is best left to the factory setting. Finally, the platter comes with sorbothane damping, and the matt is made from recycled vinyl records; a massy record clamp is supplied.
 
Interestingly, the Forte is a twin motor design, the designers choosing to specify two low torque AC motors generating 2,700Kj of torque via twin pulleys and long diamond cut string belts. This is coupled with an active speed controller, and located in a separate enclosure which is made of sandwiched metal and MDF. This has two speeds, switchable by a push button, and there’s a digital display offering stepped speed increase or decrease (if you so wish). One particular fun feature is the way this speed display counts its way up to 33.333RPM (or 45RPM) when you switch on, steadily climbing to normal operating speed.
 
As you might expect, Technics SL1200-style 0-33.333 RPM in half a second starts are not available from a turntable with a platter that weighs more than most turntables. But this is of course to miss the point; the designers of the Forte assert that the higher the torque to the motor, the more intrusive it can be. By using twin motors, only gently connected to the platter which itself is so heavy it resists the short-term, momentary dynamic wow imposed by the stylus, the idea is that the motors spin the platter up to speed in a reasonable time and momentum does the rest. The motors then don’t engage with the playback loop directly, that 20kg platter acting as a filter to speed variations. 
 
The twin motors seem to work as twin turbochargers on car engines, supplying unstressed lazy torque rather than delivering needlessly (and possibly intrusively) high amounts. Regular readers will know I personally am a big fan of direct drives, but I do find E.A.T.’s approach interesting and very thorough. They have obviously designed the Forte well aware of the vagaries of belt drives, and all the problems it imposes, and would contend – I am sure – that it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it! This is reflected in remarkably fine speed stability [see MEASURED PERFORMANCE].
 
I find the deck itself a paragon of simplicity; it really is the sort of turntable you buy if you’re not into fiddling. Once located (which given its size and mass is easier said than done), you – ermm – just switch it on and off and that’s your lot. No suspension springs to twiddle, no fine speed to set, no intricate assembly of umpteen bits from a kit before it works. Essentially, the EAT Forte is a plug and play turntable – but for millionaires! It is, of course, immaculately finished, and whilst I may prefer functional, machine-like looks of the Avid Acutus or the arresting geometric grace of the Michell GyroDec, I can see that it is an attractive thing to have in your house – providing you’ve got one big enough, of course...
 
Another key part of the Forte is of course the tonearm. Although notionally badged as an EAT product, Jozefína makes no bones about the fact that it is designed and manufactured by Ikeda. Indeed it is a chrome finished Ikeda IT407 12” design, mounted on a sorbothane damped heavy metal base. If you’re not a Japanese hi-fi nut, you might be shrugging and saying so what – so think of it as being a bit like Lexus getting Bristol to supply engines for their top limousine [see ARMS AND THE MAN below] . More remarkable is that Osamu Ikeda was reputed to be in semi retirement, and extremely unlikely to ever make any tonearm for anybody ever again...
 
Originally launched in 2006, the 12” IT407 is a fairly high mass dynamically balanced design that traces its lineage all the way back to Fidelity Research days. Precision radial ball bearings are used along with a thread linked, weighted bias compensator and there’s a locking counterweight at one end of J-shaped polished arm tube, and a detachable headshell at the other. The build quality and finish of this arm is equal to the SME Series V, which really needs no more explanation – but suffice to say it is absolutely exquisite to hand cue, feeling as silky as the top SME in use. My only gripe would be the slightly fiddly arm rest lock, which isn’t the best ever devised, even if it does the job.
 
Once again, the debates around tonearms are manifold; everyone ‘in the know’ has their favourite, and just to make life interesting, they rarely agree. The Ikeda arm brings no innovation, no fancy tonearm materials, no special damping systems or clever ‘active counterweights’; rather it’s an utterly conservative high mass design that relies on impeccable and consistent construction to achieve its sonic goals. Put a decent moving coil in (in my case a van den Hul Frog), dial in the tracking force, bias and vertical tracking angle (all very easy and elegantly done) and you’re off!
 
SOUND QUALITY
 
Having just spent a long and most enjoyable period with Avid’s Acutus, and of course my own Sony TT-S8000 (a late seventies Japanese direct drive that makes most moderns look like Fisher-Price playthings), it was a sobering experience to see the E.A.T. Forte in my equipment rack, let alone hear it. It is massive; bigger I would say than two Technics SL1200s in a row. The sound is concomitantly large, as imposing as the deck’s physical bulk. I was fascinated, as in my system I haven’t come across anything quite like it...
 
First then, a little bit of perspective. I found the Avid Acutus (at a mere £3,000 less if you fit it with the SME Series V tonearm that it so obviously wants) to be a breathtaking vinyl replay tool – masses of energy, vast amounts of detail and tremendous energy that had me perching on the edge of my seat. Put on some power pop like Simple Minds, or heavy electronica like The Prodigy and it was time to fasten your seatbelt for – as they say – the ride of your life.
 
Immense and cowering as the Forte may be sonically, it is not like the Avid. It is an altogether less intense experience. Don’t take this to be in any way disparaging, as actually it is more versatile. Slip on some John Coltrane and you can sip a snifter of Scotch, light up a Silk Cut and tap your toes just as the Right Honourable Ken Clarke would his Hush Puppies. You can relax into the music, think about next weekend’s visit to the in-laws or what colour you’re going to paint the front door when the weather gets better. With the Avid, you’d have the vagaries of the recording etched into your cranium, and may well be thinking, “a great piece of music, but this early sixties cross-paired mic recording isn’t ideal”. Back to the E.A.T. though, and you’d be bathing in the languid, luxuriant sounds of Johnny Hartman singing, ‘Lush Life’, sitting up straight totally transfixed with your heart up where your Adam’s Apple should be. My point is simple; the Forte takes you into the music as far as you want to go, yet demands nothing from you.
 
On the very surface of things, it is less detailed than the Avid. It doesn’t put a magic marker under every attack transient, underlining when the note starts, and yet it is no less fast and no more unstable – indeed it seems even more speed-stable than the Acutus, which is really saying something. I found with Yes’s ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’, my reference Sony only just nosed ahead in the leading edge of the bass guitar stakes. The TT-S8000 is utterly exceptional in this respect, and a little ahead of the Avid, whereas the E.A.T. was, figuratively speaking, just millimetres behind its back bumper. But whilst the lithe direct drive with its light platter and clever quartz lock speed control servo system could just about inch ahead on leading notes, it lacked the E.A.T.’s immense stability. It was as solid as the proverbial lump of granite sticking out of the briny. The scale, the epic expanse of its soundstage and the utter unflappability of its performance beat the Sony into a cocked hat.
 
Peter Gabriel’s ‘Solsbury Hill’ was another case in point. Brilliant of course as the song is, it’s a slightly murky mid-seventies analogue recording and one that doesn’t flatter a turntable of any size, price or weight. I found the Forte was able to unpeel the song, rather like an onion skin, giving me great insight into every layer of the production, yet without sounding in any way forced or strained. I remember the Avid doing this too, albeit with more drama and seemingly more detail, although I still found the E.A.T’s presentation more naturally ‘right’ on an instinctive level. Its dynamics were formidable, and yet less explicit. With such innate power, it was able to deliver the contrasts in a more effortless way, like a slumbering giant waking up to brush away an irritation without bothering to raise an eyelid. Again, by contrast, the Sony seemed a tad breathless – which is not something you ever say about it in less illustrious company...
 
Tonally, the Forte was superb. Its bass is immense, unflappable and without fault – save for being fractionally slower to switch on than the Sony. Alternatively, it may be right and the Sony is simply a little 'nervous' with the leading edges, etching them artificially hard in a characteristically direct drive way? The E.A.T. is also sumptuous in the best tradition of vinyl; cue up The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ from an original seventies pressing of ‘Who’s Next’ and you really know that’s a valve bass guitar amp being used. It’s the sort of bass that doesn’t need to make any apologies – there’s no issue with the recording, or the rest of the replay equipment, it’s just there like the elephant in the room. 
 
Yet it doesn’t overpower, or slur notes, or dominate the mix in any way; put on some nineteen sixties freakbeat from Ice (the most famous band to come out of my own Sussex University, which isn’t saying much) and yes, sure enough, you can tell it’s recorded in someone’s bathroom in Brighton. Cue up 4hero’s ‘Escape That’ however, and you’re into low frequencies the like of which you rarely hear outside of Wembley Arena. Powerful as the E.A.T is below the stairs, let’s just say it’s not gratuitous.
 
Across the midband, you have a massively expansive sound. It makes the Sony – and to a less extent the Avid – seem rather stuck between the speakers. Yet instruments are not quite as accurately located as with the Acutus, which if it were a policeman would be a Miami-based member of CS1. The E.A.T. isn’t imprecise, it’s just big enough in its soundstaging for you not to have to ask questions; “the guitar’s over there, the lead vocal is over there, okay, fair enough!” Nor is the midband quite as icily clear as the Acutus or the Sony, but it’s actually no less detailed or informative, it’s just the way it presents the information is altogether more relaxed. Now, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Ikeda arm is at least partly behind this state of affairs. It’s so redolent of all those hours I used to spend languishing in Japanese hi-fi shops in and around Tokyo, listening to that country’s high end fare. Think massively polished, with easy information retrieval that would never even think of throwing it at you. Yes, it’s an ever so slightly ‘hi-fi’ sound, but a gorgeous one – and mates brilliantly to the E.A.T’s mellowy, moody, subtle sound.
 
As befits a turntable of this immense speed stability, the treble is a joy. It is slick and easy, beautifully polished and wonderfully atmospheric – yet sharp and incisive in a way that never dominates. Miles Davis’s ‘Kind of Blue’ was majestic; smooth, vast in stage and deliciously, naturally musical, and with a wonderfully natural top end. If ever there was a turntable/arm combination to flatter a cartridge’s natural treble ability, this is it. Once again, my reference players both turned in a superficially slightly more detailed rendition, but it wasn’t in any way more informative. Rather, it was if the brightness control had just been turned up a bit. The Avid was brilliant, pushing you right up close to the cymbals, the Sony had wonderful ‘snap’, whereas the E.A.T. took a gentle step back from the hi-hats, giving a less ‘in your face’ rendition that was – all said and done – a tad easier and more satisfying to listen to.
 
CONCLUSION
 
At this level, you’re not going to get a bad turntable, so the question then is – what kind of good one do you want? As with fine wines, great watches, top restaurants and seven star hotels, at this price you’re buying something that suits you like the best bespoke tailored suit. And so whom would the E.A.T. Forte suit? Well, the standard fitment of the Ikeda arm means this is far more like a turntable package than most decks at this price, which come sans tonearm, requiring you to make this big decision. The Forte is a case of ‘add cartridge and go’; it even requires relatively little set up as it is not a skeletal design which demands various layers be bolted on to various others.
 
What it gives then is brilliant sound out of a (very big) box, with a superb fitted arm that sings with almost any highish mass moving coil cartridge. It presents a relaxed, easy, nonchalant sort of sound, but one that is nevertheless immensely satisfying. The best thing is that it’s very devoid of character, or obvious strengths or weaknesses for that matter. Simply put, it’s a massive machine that gets the best out of your vinyl without you – or it – having to try very hard, it seems you can afford not to!
 
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ARMS AND THE MAN
 
In 1964, the former factory manager of Japanese tonearm specialist Grace decided to start his own business. At the age of thirty five, Osamu Ikeda formed Fidelity Research Kabushiki Kaisha and by the mid nineteen seventies his company was making world-class tonearms and pickup cartridges. Ikeda was no copyist, taking out several international patents and finessing his designs like few others. Indeed, so respected was he in Japan that his products were even used by the Imperial Family. The late nineteen seventies were the glory days for Fidelity Research, with the FR64 series of tonearms his strongest product, being a superlative device at a time when there was a relatively paucity of competition. 
 
After the demise of Fidelity Research, the great man came back with Ikeda Sound Laboratories Company. An altogether smaller and specialist affair, he designed, built and inspected every product by hand. It was a chance for yet more innovation, not least the world’s first MC cartridge without a cantilever. The new IT345 and IT407 tonearms were launched in autumn 2006; coming in twelve and sixteen inch versions respectively. E.A.T.  use a specially modified, gloss finished version of the former. (since updatded to Ikeda IT407-CRI 12" tonearm & Ikeda 9TT catridges)
 
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MEASURED PERFORMANCE
 
The EAT Forte carries an Ikeda IT407 12in (307mm) arm with detachable headshell. This is a solid affair made from various metals Ikeda say, rolled not diecast. The arm feels solid and ‘dead’ in the hand and indeed it measures like that too. For a long, tubular arm it is surprisingly free of a main arm tube mode, expected around 200Hz or lower. In this region there is no sign of vibration, although a small bump at 120Hz could possibly be due to primary flexure. Otherwise, the IT407 is a very ‘quiet’ arm all the way up to 3kHz and should give excellent bass quality and fine sound staging as a result, as well as a pure midband. Above 3kHz, as accelerations rise, the headshell becomes as active as most, so here the Ikeda is less distinguished. Also, 12in arms roughly halve the tracing distortion generated by a 9in arm and usually sound smoother and silkier as a result, although often not as ‘fast’.
 
The EAT Forte turntable produced some amazing results. It was just 0.1% slow, a negligible amount and low speed drift below 1Hz was lower than usual too, resulting in a very low unweighted Wow and Flutter value of 0.072%. This suggests the EAT Forte will have much the same grip on pace as a Direct Drive. Weighted wow and flutter was low too, as is to be expected, measuring 0.061%. 
 
An unusual combo this may be in appearance, but it is a good deal more sophisticated under the skin than one might imagine. It’s a great pairing. NK
 
SPEED STABILITY
 
Don't be fooled by its conservative looks, this is a brilliantly conceived, superbly engineered vinyl spinner. A memorable - seminal even - high end product.
 
HIGHLIGHTS:
- supreme musical ease
- unerring speed stability
- flawless engineering
- excellent fitted tonearm
reference midrange, robust low frequency, sweet top-end and a simply unreal midrange, like Miles Davis in your room quality.
Peter Breuninger

I am winding down my time with the 9TT.

It has been featured with the IT-407 in a series of video shoots on the Onedof turntable and now on the surprisingly excellent Triangle Art Signature turntable.

The 9TT offers a holographic midrange more 3D than the Koetsus I've heard or owned (Rosewood, Rosewood Siggie, Pro-IV, The Urushi Vermillion), although I've not heard the $10K plus Koetsus, but the 9TT falls well under this price point.

It is very low in output so I would not use a tube phono stage with it without a SET.

My results are based on the Wyetech Ruby P1 combo; reference midrange, robust low frequency, sweet top-end and a simply unreal midrange, like Miles Davis in your room quality.

Videos

IKEAD Tonearm & 9TT video