Acoustic Research EB-101 TurnTables

EB-101

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
Rick Seneris   AudioPhile [Aug 21, 2016]

I have had several AR turntables since in the early sixties. Recently I started getting back to record players to prove to myself that CD's do sound better than records (I was wrong). I have also tried several turntables and of course AR xa turntables and an AR ES-1. To make the story short, I played around AR turntables. They are too sensitive and likes to move around like Jello. The tonearm likes to jump off to the next groove if there is so much floor traffic. I did several experiments on how to cure this problem. Why does it use 3 suspension spring on a sub chassis? To prevent vibrations from the motor from getting back all the way to the tonearm and cartridge and to prevent feedback howls. That's all! The way I figured it out, vibrations from the motor mount getting to the 3 springs have a much longer path to go and by the time whatever vibrations left after passing through the springs they are in such a small amount that they are actually absorbed by the T sub-frame and no longer undesirable in the form of rumble. How do you get rid of jounce (bounciness)? Pack the 3 springs with soft foam materials the length of the unmounted springs. The extra foam in the springs will further absorb any vibrations from the motor and at the same time makes the platter more stable. I buy my foam from Home Depot at the tile department sponge section. I made a punch to punch out the foam from the sponge and punch the center hole with a leather hole puncher. It work 100% on all of my AR turntables. In fact I started collecting AR's, modify them and sell them at eBay.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jim Libert   AudioPhile [Apr 10, 2014]

I own an AR EB101 since about 1988.
Never could totally get used to the funky suspension. I did get a spring upgrade kit with Thrust bearings didn't help too much so finally opted to mount a shelf on the wall to keep the turntable from skipping whenever I walked on the carpeted floor. I want to protect my priceless Shure V 15 type M-R cartridge and needle since they are obsolete and don't trust the new ones (Jico) from Japan. Its a bit nerve racking every time you lift the needle. The lift mechanism is mounted on the sprung chassis so when you lift the arm springs move the table away from you. So you have to be careful not to skip the stylus on the record. I owned a TD 320 Thorens which I promptly returned on Ebay. what a nightmare. the auto mechanism did not work properly and I did not want to break my needle. I love the AR all manual mechanism with no complexity or moving parts of the Thorens. I recently upgraded my AR with higher quality gold plated RCA's and a cork music Hall mat (expensive for what it is $ 50.00). and arcrylic mat. I think the AR is very well made and simple enough for me. Tonearm allows for all adjusts I have ever needed. Very well made turntable indeed. I have no plans to sell in the future.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
richard elliott   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 06, 2003]
Strength:

sound. durability. value

Weakness:

needs good isolation to really sound it's best

proven solid basic design principles executed with nice build quality. arm adjusts for angle and tilt.dial calibrations on arm settings accurate. sounds very clean, lets you listen "into" the music. on a good album (say a beatles white album) you will hear detail that will expand the meaning of the preformances,verseslesser turntable/arm combinations. even came with a dropper bottle of oil for bearing-which turned out to be a lifetime supply. you just can't fit that much oil into bearing.

Similar Products Used: japanise direct drive turntables-a little better than the dj tables in use now (Like technics 1200) i got this and never looked back
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2002]
Strength:

Sound, looks, build, performance

Weakness:

none that I can find

An incredible table for the price. I'd been told about the AR tables and how solid they were. I kept my eye out for one and when I caught an EB101 for sale on Ebay, I grabbed it. My EB101 came with an upgraded arm which was a Linn Basik Plus no less. What a find! My table had no cartridge and so I paired the Linn arm with a Grado Labs Sonata cartridge and a Sonic Frontiers SFP-1 Phono Amp. I couldn't be happier. I agree with a prior reviewer in saying that this table won't make bad recordings sound great....but it will make your solid LP's sing. This is a good, solid, basic table. It's built like a Sherman Tank so it should last for years. I like the fact that this table is so easy to use, it pairs easily with external units( like my SF phono amp ), and it's easy to upgrade. For under a $1000.00, this table can't be beat!

Similar Products Used: Yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jackson   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2002]
Strength:

Rock-solid build quality, appearance, ease of use, ease of setup, ease of adding components, sound reproduction.

Weakness:

no longer made. what a shame.

My AR EB101 came complete with a Linn Basik Plus tonearm which was a huge plus and one of the reasons I purchased the table. I bought my table mostly because I had so many LP's in my collection which were being neglected. I wanted to play my old LP's but I didn't want to mortage my house to get into a good analog set-up. I wanted a Linn table but couldn't find one under $1000.00 that was worth the money. I'd heard about the ease of setup and build quality of the AR tables....and luckily found one on-line. True to form for a table seller, my AR EB101 came with an upgraded arm but no cartridge. Since getting the table, I've strapped a Grado Labs Sonata to the Linn arm and I am very, very happy. I agree with one of the other reviews of the EB101....this table isn't going to make bad recordings sound great, but it will allow you solid performance with clear, dynamic sound. For those getting into analog audio/turntable, the EB 101 is a great starting point. Why? It's a solid unit in terms of build quality and it's ease to setup and upgrade components. What more could you want? Though I have heard " better " setups which cost thousands more by the way, for the money....this table can't be beat!!

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, Rega, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jackson   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2002]
Strength:

Rock-solid build quality, appearance, ease of use, ease of setup, ease of adding components, sound reproduction.

Weakness:

no longer made. what a shame.

My AR EB101 came complete with a Linn Basik Plus tonearm which was a huge plus and one of the reasons I purchased the table. I bought my table mostly because I had so many LP's in my collection which were being neglected. I wanted to play my old LP's but I didn't want to mortage my house to get into a good analog set-up. I wanted a Linn table but couldn't find one under $1000.00 that was worth the money. I'd heard about the ease of setup and build quality of the AR tables....and luckily found one on-line. True to form for a table seller, my AR EB101 came with an upgraded arm but no cartridge. Since getting the table, I've strapped a Grado Labs Sonata to the Linn arm and I am very, very happy. I agree with one of the other reviews of the EB101....this table isn't going to make bad recordings sound great, but it will allow you solid performance with clear, dynamic sound. For those getting into analog audio/turntable, the EB 101 is a great starting point. Why? It's a solid unit in terms of build quality and it's ease to setup and upgrade components. What more could you want? Though I have heard " better " setups which cost thousands more by the way, for the money....this table can't be beat!!

Similar Products Used: Yamaha, Rega, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael H.   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 25, 2001]
Strength:

Ease of setup, build and sound quality, ability to modify.

Weakness:

No longer made

After enjoying my vintage AR XA turntable (in my bedroom system)for several months, I decided to purchase another AR for my main system. I had also looked into tables by Systemdek (no longer made) and the usual suspects (Pro-ject and Music Hall) but chose to stick with AR. I have not been disappointed with my decision.

The sound from this table is very smooth. No, it will not change the world or make crummy recordings sound better, but it lets me enjoy MUSIC (as opposed to enjoying equipment) and, that is what I am looking for. Build quality is excellent and it should last me for the next twenty years or so (unless of course I get the urge to go on a buying spree).

I have been able to put together a great little analog system composed of this table, Mission M71 speakers (bought at a great price from Upscale Audio) and a combination of my Rotel RA 931 int. amp, and my Creek 4040 int. amp. The problem with this system is, I can't decide which amp I like best. The Creek on paper should out perform the Rotel but the Rotel manages to hold it's own!

If I feel the need to make an improvement in the sound quality of this set up, it will be with a Creek MM phono stage (model 8) and replacing the Ortofon OM-10 cartridge with a higher quality cartridge. I will also eventually replace the mat with a Audioquest sorbothane mat.

Needless to say, I am quite pleased with this purchase. I give this table a 5 star rating, not because it can compete with the Linn's or Sota's of the world, (of course it can't) but because I believe it is still one of the best turntables to be had in its price category.

Similar Products Used: AR XA, tables by Signet, Technics, Kenwood, Classic Marantz and others thru the years.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Duane Barker   an Audiophile [Sep 14, 1998]

This turntable has been out of production for several years,but as there are still plenty available on the used market and there are upgrades still being made for this model I thought I would post a review anyway.The EB-101 made in the mid to late 80s is virtually identical to the ES-1 revered by audiophiles in its day except for the plinth.The EB-101 has square edges and corners whereas the ES-1 has rounded corners and edges.Both of these models use the same Japanese-sourced tonearm,adequate but not great.Both of these models use a 3-point sprung aluminum suspension with a fiberboard armboard.Both are belt drive with a metal outer platter resting on a belt-driven inner platter,also made of aluminum. Now for the sound.In stock form,the table sounds good,making very good use of whatever cartridge is fitted to the arm.My own EB-101 worked well with a Shure V15VMR as well as a (better sounding) Sumiko Blue Point (the original model with the P-mount adapter).The sound was lively,dynamic,with good bass extension.
Then came the upgrade bug.I ordered a new tonearm- a Morch UP-4 unipivot with silver armtube wire and "yellow" armtube for moving-coil cartridges- and a Merrill damped acrylic subchassis and spring kit.I got quieter backgrounds and a more lush sound,and the unipivot arm tracked my few warped records much better than before.I also upgraded to a friend's Talisman Alchemist B phono cartridge shortly after buying the new arm and subchassis.I noticed more retrieval of detail and greater clarity over the Blue Point.
A couple of years went by,and the upgrade bug bit again.This time I sent in my inner platter and had George Merrill install a new spindle/center bearing.The new spindle has a true chrome hardened ball bearing in the bottom,where the original just has a rounded bottom.I also ordered Merrill's black turntable oil and his booklet on setting up and tweaking turntables.The combination of new bearing and Merrill oil quieted the noise floor even more and again I noticed some improvement in clarity.
My next was in the platter.Wanting a Merrill acrylic/lead outer platter but not being able to afford one at the time,I had a new outer platter cut out of 3/8" acrylic by a plastics company in town.This sounded better than my aluminum platter,with a warmer sound and greater immediacy to vocals.This kept me satisfied until I could afford a true Merrill outer platter and outer clamp.I ordered and received a Merrill outer platter and clamp.The outer platter is a milky acrylic about 1/2" thick and covered with a thin coating of lead,which is itself coated with a material that closely resembles the "mechanical impedance" of vinyl.The outer clamp is a cirlce of metal coated with a scratch-resistant black paint.With a Merrill center weight to clamp the label of the record and the outer clamp in place
my turntable can now play almost ANY record,regardless of how warped it is.George Merrill's unique clamping system is the most effective on the market except for a vacuum clamping system,but they have their own problems.Merrill's has none that I can see.
What was the improvement in sound? Again,there is more of a palpable presence than before,and even less background noise.Yes,ticks and pops are still noticeable,but slightly less than before.There are still two more upgrades I haven't tried- the hgiher torque motor with its own outboard power supply/line conditioner and a new inner platter made of a type of resin and the screw-down center clamp it comes with.I intend to try the motor/power supply upgrade as I've heard from owners that it makes a BIG improvement and I am looking to improve the sound of my piano recordings.As for the inner platter/screw-down clamp,I doubt that I will.At $330 it seems a little pricey,and besides,a friend of mine has a true Merrill table with that upgrade and the center clamp takes several turns to screw down.Seems like too much extra work to me,even though my freind swears that the new inner platter/clamp makes a big difference! But then,I thought the same thing about a new platter several years ago,so...who knows?
Anyway,to sum things up:If you are looking to buy a turntable that sounds good but don't want to spend a lot of money,I suggest you seek out a used 80s model AR.Often the previous owner has upgraded to a better tonearm than the stock model,and George Merrill's mods- all of which are still being produced,by the way- can make that turntable into a killer model.I have no plans to ever sell mine and upgrade to something newer,because I have heard several Linns,Well Tempereds,Sotas and Merrills and only one Merrill model I heard with a Graham arm and Kiseki cartridge is a big improvement over mine- and the combination costs almost $5000.So,to me at least,nothing less than $5000 will be an upgrade from what I already have.I think I'll keep my AR.I give my own model four stars and after an upgrade in motor/power supply it will probably rate five.I give the stock model four stars compared to tables that retail for less than $1000.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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