E.A.T. E-Glo S Phono Preamplifier and LPS Linear Power Supply

Happy Marriage

Equipment report
Categories:
Tubed preamplifiers,
Phonostages
E.A.T. E-Glo S Phono Preamplifier and LPS Linear Power Supply

European Audio Team (E.A.T.) has taken the ECC83 dual triode tube and merged it with solid-state electronics to create the E-Glo S phonostage. When coupled with the LPS external linear power supply, the E-Glo S enjoys improved performance and offers increased listening pleasure. The package price of the E-Glo S with LPS is $3795 (purchased together).

The E-Glo S ($2995) has the capacity to handle signals from moving-magnet or moving-coil cartridges. The input section is a hybrid that uses J-FETs and ECC83 tubes to provide gain. The RIAA EQ is fully passive in two stages, and there is no global feedback in the unit. Beyond that, E.A.T. doesn’t provide much information about the design. The E-Glo S supports one input and output per channel (both single-ended RCA), and has provisions for adjusting gain, capacitance, and input impedance, and offers a switchable subsonic/rumble filter.

On top and front the E-Glo S is housed in a silver-grey alloy enclosure, with gloss-black panels on the sides (Macassar wood side panels are optional). The front panel has the “EAT” logo in the lower left corner with the E-Glo S logo in the lower right corner. Labeled selection indicators for load impedance (10, 30, 50, 90, 100, 1000, 47k ohms), load capacitance (50, 150, 270, 370, 520, 620, 740 pico-Farads), gain (45dB, 50dB, 55dB, 65dB, 70dB), and the subsonic filter are grouped in the center of the front panel. (Note: the load impedance and capacitance values are listed as shown on the front panel and in the user manual of the unit under evaluation. These selection values may be different from the current production unit.) 

On the rear half of the top of the E-Glo S are two stacked cylinders, which protect the tops of the ECC83 tubes protruding through the chassis. Towards the front of the top plate are the control switches for the phonostage—the power switch is located on the left, while the selection switches (impedance, capacitance, gain, and subsonic) are located on the top right. Those switches set the values desired by the user for the cartridge being amplified, and the selection is shown via illuminated LEDs on the front panel. The rear panel houses the 18-volt DC power input connector, a center chassis ground lug, RCA inputs for the cartridge phono cable, and RCA outputs.

The LPS ($1295) is a separate dual-output power supply capable of powering two devices (e.g. the E-Glo S and select E.A.T. turntables). Used in conjunction with the E-Glo S, the LPS provides a more robust power supply than the one that comes with the E-Glo S alone. The LPS is full-wave bridge-rectified with 8800µF of capacitance and uses discrete devices for DC voltage regulation. E.A.T. claims 0.05% voltage regulation stability, less than 1µV ripple at 18-volt DC (10µV at 15-volt DC), and excellent (though unspecified) temperature drift. The LPS has the same basic chassis as the E-Glo S with silver-grey alloy on the top and front of the unit with gloss-black side panels. On the left side of its front panel are the “EAT” Logo, a power switch, and an LED indicator. On the rear are the IEC power connector for AC input, a center chassis ground lug, 18-volt DC output (to power the E-Glo S), and a 15-volt DC output that can be used to power select E.A.T. turntables (like the C-Sharp, C-Major, E-Flat, etc.).

Installation and setup of the E.A.T. combo were fairly easy with the exception of two issues. The first is the placement of the pairing of E-Glo S and LPS. While they “look” nice with the E-Glo S sitting on top of the LPS, functionality suffers because of the EMI generated by the AC inlet circuitry within the LPS, resulting in audible 60-cycle hum being emitted from the E-Glo S’s RCA outputs. This hum is stronger in the left channel (which sits closest to the AC power inlet on the LPS). Therefore, I suggest increasing the distance between the two chassis by using footers/spacers until the hum is diminished, or (preferably) placing the LPS on a different shelf. This leads to the second issue users may have to overcome: the location of the RCA inputs. 

Reading the manual (and reading the labels on the back of the unit) will save the user from doing what seems normal: plugging the phono cables into the inside pair of RCA connectors closest to the ground lug. In fact, the E-Glo S’s output RCA connectors are on either side of the central ground lug and its input RCA connectors on the outer sides of the unit. This is less intuitive but checking the manual and reading the labels will save the user from making a connection mistake. That being said, the main reason for bringing this RCA connector location to your attention is that the distance between the input connectors is just under 8-inches and that can/will cause problems for some bundled phono cables, which may not reach both RCA inputs. So, check your phono cables for proper spread before installation. If necessary, an early check will help the user seek an alternative cable ahead of time. Beyond the items just mentioned, the remainder of the setup should go without issue.

The E-Glo S was used in conjunction with cartridges from Lyra, van den Hul, and Excel Sound, using the Basis Audio Vector IV, Graham Phantom III, and Klaudio tangential tracking tonearms on the Basis Audio Debut Vacuum ’table. This approach (using multiple cartridges and tonearms) allows for the specific characteristics of the upstream components to be taken into account during phonostage evaluation and lessens the possibility of a singular influence on the outcome of the item under evaluation.