Fluance Reference Series Turntables

I've had some interest in trying one of these turntables since this past winter. After reviewing the specs, I settled on the RT84 or RT85 in walnut. Unfortunately, they had been out of stock since January with only one (small quantity) restocking in February that I missed.

Well, I got a notice yesterday that they would have them back in stock today, and finally placed an order for the RT85 in natural walnut. This TT seems pretty robust for the $489.99 (with $10 coupon) price tag. It has a solid wood plinth, servo motor spinning the belt drive, acrylic platter, adjustable feet, Ortofon 2M Blue stylus, and a beautiful gloss finish. It took a long time to get the order placed due to traffic crashing their website, but I finally got a confirmation email with an order number and estimated arrival date.

If anyone else was waiting on these to come back in stock, now's your chance!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear impressions from any members who may already have a Fluance turntable.
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Comments

  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,592
    I just got the email too. Ordering the 85.
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,280
    I own Fluance speakers and like their sound.

    Don't know a thing about their TTs but it sure looks like a good package deal to me. B)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 5,050
    I *think* @halo has a Fluance TT...
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • halohalo Posts: 5,154
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    I *think* @halo has a Fluance TT...

    Yes, I have the RT82 in gloss black. I replaced the OE Ortofon cart with my Nagaoka MP-110.

    The playback speed accuracy is excellent. Also, the 3 cone shaped feet do a fantastic job at isolating vibrations from the turntable. I don’t need any additional isolation material(s) like I did with the vintage Technics Sl-Q2 and SL-Q3.

    I replaced the OE interconnects with AQ Golden Gates to my Bottlehead phono preamp.

    I like the ‘table quite a bit. It was $275 with free shipping and a $25 coupon code when I bought it. They use Technics headshells so it’s pretty easy to swap carts (I have a Technics overhang gauge tool and I double check with a protractor).

    The table feels very solid. I highly recommend you use a pair of nitrile gloves when unpacking it and turn the box upside down to get the ‘table out of the box rather than trying to lift it out from the top. Just open the bottom of the box, flip it over, and let gravity take the ‘table out for you. It’s all wrapped in closed cell foam and plastic wrap so you aren’t going to hurt anything.

    Enjoy the new table @scubalab and let us know what you think once you get it set up!
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,757
    Victor - Thanks much for the detailed review! Based on what I had heard/read on the Fluance turntables, I was sold on them for a sub-$500 turntable. I'm looking forward to it.

    I was a little disappointed that they changed some of the specs of the lineup. I swore one of the lower numbers (like the 82) came with the acrylic platter when I first started looking at them. Now, the only one with the acrylic platter is the 85. The 84 *used to* have the acrylic platter, but they decided to include the 2M Blue (instead of Red) on the 84, and downgrade to the aluminum platter to keep the price the same.

    Another thing that Fluance did that I know was intentional was the timing of the 'restocking' of the RT84 and RT85. I got an email on Monday saying that all day yesterday, they were offering 20% off EVERYTHING. I called them to see if that included out of stock items, but unfortunately it didn't. I then asked when they might be getting the 84 and 85 back in and was told "you'll hear VERY soon on fresh stock, just be patient a little longer". Literally minutes after I hung up, I got an email saying they'd have them for sale at 11 AM (EST) today. 20% off sale ended 11 hours prior to that... :( Timing intentional? I think so. But, I can't blame them. With the popularity of these and amount of people on the wait list, why discount?

    I will say that their customer service has been phenomenal. Every time I called in the past 6-8 months (2 or 3 times), they have been VERY friendly, patient, helpful, and never in any way rushed me off the phone. They've always been very happy to help answer any questions I had on the lineup or stock.

    -Al
  • halohalo Posts: 5,154
    I’m surprised to hear this as the 84 and 85 both were supposed to include the acrylic platter. I know that many people have been waiting a very long time to get the tables with the acrylic platters. That seemed to be the biggest thing holding back the production but they managed to get review samples with the acrylic platters out to some people.

    Regardless, I agree that they seem to be a very good value. The selling point for me was an accurate belt drive to isolate the motor from the platter. The cone feet were a welcome bonus as the three feet make leveling the table much easier and they actually isolate the table (like I mentioned earlier).

    Good call on the Walnut finish > the Piano gloss black (it is a dust and fingerprint MAGNET).

    You won’t need a platter mat with the acrylic platter. Just drop the record directly onto the platter.

    Enjoy!
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,757
    Thanks Victor. I was wondering about the need for a mat, as I did notice it's the only one that doesn't include one.

    As for the acrylic platter options, you are correct in that the 85 AND 84 used to both have the acrylic platter. For the additional $50, jumping to the 85 gave you the better cartridge (2M Blue over 2M Red) and that was the only difference. I guess customers were asking for more options with the 2M Blue standard, so Fluance decided to put the Blue cartridge on both the 85 and 84. To separate the two and keep the price on the 84 at $449, now the 84 has the lighter/less expensive aluminum platter. But, I swear that there used to be three options with the acrylic platter (85, 84, and I think the 82). So, if you were going to upgrade to a different cartridge, the 82 would have made sense since I think it only had the OM-10 stylus, but offered all of the other options as the 83, 84, and 85. I could be entirely wrong though... Did your 82 come with the aluminum or acrylic platter? I guess that would tell me if I was right, or remembering it wrong.

    I like the walnut finish since it'll blend well with the finish on the Monitor 11 speakers I have. I love the look of a nice wood grain with a good finish!

    I'm thinking this will be a nice improvement over the AT LP-120 I have now (with a Rega Cartridge). I'm confident that the AT is the source of the slight hum/buzz I still get when listening to vinyl. I like the fact that the Fluance has no built in pre-amp, has RCA jacks to upgrade the IC cable, and has the belt drive motor isolated. Glad to hear that the cone feet work so well for you! Maybe now I can get rid of the ugly/stinky isolation pads I'm using now...
  • pawelmwopawelmwo Posts: 79
    Got the RT-83 during their 20% off sale. Can always upgrade the cartridge. And it was $279.99 before tax.
  • jeremymarcinkojeremymarcinko Posts: 3,462
    edited August 14
    Fluance makes pretty decent stuff. I had some of top tier bookies several years ago and really really liked them. Sold them to “upgrade” to some Wharfedale Diamond 10.2s which I didn’t like near as much.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,179
    chumlie wrote: »
    I just got the email too. Ordering the 85.

    Nice! Baller!!
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ W1070; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - 1) Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold; 2) Sony PS LX410/Grado Green
    Phono Stage - PS Audio GCPH, Parks Audio Budgie; CD - Marantz DV4001
    Preamp - Dared SL2000a, Luminous Audio Axiom II; Amplifier - Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers - SDA 2A (x-overs etc...); Epos Epic 2; Polk Audio Monitor 70 (my first)
    __________________________________________________
  • halohalo Posts: 5,154
    edited August 15
    Al,

    AFAIK,

    The RT82 featured the aluminum platter with the Ortofon OM10 cart

    The RT83 featured the aluminum platter with the Ortofon 2M Red cart

    The RT84 featured the acrylic platter with the Ortofon 2M Red cart

    The RT85 featured the acrylic platter with the Ortofon 2M Blue cart

    Here is my RT82:
    ddz9sf84lu1b.jpg


  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,757
    Pawelmwo - nice pickup! I was going to do the same thing, but by the time I got home and decided, the 83 was out of stock in walnut... :(

    Very nice setup Victor! And yeah, now that you mention it, my memory played some tricks on me. That lineup sounds right. The only change this go-around is the 84. They put a 2M Blue on it and took the acrylic platter off to keep the price the same.

    I had that same Nagoaka MP-110 cartridge on a Rega turntable. Really liked it a lot.
  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,592
    Looks like the natural walnut is sold out.
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,757
    Yep... glad I got my order in yesterday. It was a hassle with the website crashing, but I'm pretty sure I ordered the right thing... Guess we'll see next week!

    I think the walnut is only sold out in the RT85. Too bad they couldn't 'make' some 85s out of the walnut 84s by swapping in the acrylic platter from a gloss black 85 if the demand is there!

    Did you get yours ordered yesterday @chumlie?
  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,592
    Nope. Hope they have one left tomorrow in black. PAYDAY !!!
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,585
    chumlie wrote: »
    Looks like the natural walnut is sold out.

    Time to go with unnatural walnut, then...

    :#

    jeepers, I'm channelin' @Viking64.

    :|

  • pawelmwopawelmwo Posts: 79
    scubalab wrote: »
    Pawelmwo - nice pickup! I was going to do the same thing, but by the time I got home and decided, the 83 was out of stock in walnut... :(

    Very nice setup Victor! And yeah, now that you mention it, my memory played some tricks on me. That lineup sounds right. The only change this go-around is the 84. They put a 2M Blue on it and took the acrylic platter off to keep the price the same.

    I had that same Nagoaka MP-110 cartridge on a Rega turntable. Really liked it a lot.

    I ended up with the black. It's not ideal but it was a good deal. Of course the following day they have all the other models back in stock with no more sale. Ugh :)
  • halohalo Posts: 5,154
    I hope they come out with a plinth finished in a high gloss white. That finish will hide the dust that collects on the table unlike the piano gloss black (it's insane how bad it is - check out some of the reviews on YouTube).
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,585
    edited August 16
    I dunno -- dust here is kinda grey. ;)

    When we got married, Mrs. H née (Miss P) had a dirt colored Ford Fiesta. Kinda beige-ish. It was convenient for two kids ;) in grad school... didn't need to be washed very often; looked about the same clean as dirty.

    :)

  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,617
    edited August 16
    halo wrote: »
    I hope they come out with a plinth finished in a high gloss white. That finish will hide the dust that collects on the table unlike the piano gloss black (it's insane how bad it is - check out some of the reviews on YouTube).

    Maybe not... I probably have to dust my KEFs every other day to keep them presentable. As Doc said, dust here is grey. :)
    Not Tom or Trey or Jim just Micah
    KEF Q150s, NAD 1152 preamp and 4452 tuner courtesy of DaddyJT, NAD C352 playing power amp, BJC Belden cables, Technics SL3200, Marantz CD6004 courtesy of Clipdat, Salamander Archetype rack, Millenium Falcon :)
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.

    Resident Child of Club Polk
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,585
    I suspect premium priced hifi componentry would be a tough sell in dust grey.


    B)
  • pawelmwopawelmwo Posts: 79
    The walnut seems to have the same gloss finish. Wonder why they don't offer a matte or dulled surface. I've thought about it and once it's setup you are not really touching the base are you? They give you the gloves to handle it. At the same time you could go about dulling it with some fine grit sand paper just like you would any piece of furniture. But that is a bit extreme on an expensive piece of base.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,585
    pawelmwo wrote: »
    The walnut seems to have the same gloss finish. Wonder why they don't offer a matte or dulled surface. I've thought about it and once it's setup you are not really touching the base are you? They give you the gloves to handle it. At the same time you could go about dulling it with some fine grit sand paper just like you would any piece of furniture. But that is a bit extreme on an expensive piece of base.

    [emphasis added]

    Umm... is this a thing?
    Do folks actually buy shiny furniture & then dull it with sandpaper?
    Or do they have their factotum do it for 'em?

    B)




  • msgmsg Posts: 4,967
    This is exciting. Looking forward to seeing your setups and hearing your impressions.

    Now if you will excuse me, I must go consume Coffea Arabica and address subsequent factotum urgency.


    I disabled signatures.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,585
    edited August 17
    Freshly ground and roasted beans, eh, what, old chap?

    xcaa0cs3mcab.png

  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,592
    Quick shipping. Mine is in town already. Delivery Monday.
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,967
    Fedex? Call and see if you can pick it up yourself at the depot?
    I disabled signatures.
  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,592
    msg wrote: »
    Fedex? Call and see if you can pick it up yourself at the depot?

    UPS. I have to do some systems re-arranging so Monday is fine.
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,967
    lfjkmx7nkrpq.png

    I disabled signatures.
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