Over the years, Fluance has made a name for itself in the realms of home theater systems and hi-fi speakers, but it started making turntables in 2016 and, to date, its RT81 ($250) is one of our favorite entry-level turntables you can buy. It’s beautiful. It has a built-in preamp, so you can just hook it up to a pair of bookshelf speakers (no external amp needed). And it’s pretty affordable.
Now the company is making the jump to more premium models with the launch of its new Reference series. The line consists of four different turntables — RT82, RT83, RT84, RT85 (the higher the number, the more premium the model) — and, according to the company, each is “meticulously designed using the strictest standards to reproduce audio recordings exactly as the musician intended them to be heard.” Essentially, they’re high-fidelity turntables that are designed to make your current records sound even better.
The main differences between the Reference line and Fluance’s other turntables have to do with the cartridges (aka the needle, which sits in the grooves and reads to the record) and the platter (aka the base of the turntable, tasked with eliminating vibrations). The Reference line has better of each. All the new turntables come with an Ortofon cartridge and an S-shaped tonearm, although the specific cartridges vary. The RT82 has an Ortofon OM 10 cartridge. The RT83 and RT84 both have a 2M Red cartridge. And the RT85 has a 2M Blue cartridge. Both the RT82 and RT83 rock a 1.22-pound aluminum platter. And the RT84 and RT85 both have a 3-pound frosted acrylic platter.
Again, the Reference line is designed for audiophiles. All of the models support 33.3 and 45 rpm playback, but they do require additional amplification. It’s also worth noting that for anybody whose current amp doesn’t have a built-in phono stage, they’ll need to purchase a separate phono preamp, which is obviously another added cost.
Fluance’s Reference line of turntables are available now: RT82 ($299), RT83 ($349), RT84 ($449) and RT85 ($499).
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