Review of the Fluance RT80 High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player
We now live in a world where anything and everything is being produced in digitalized forms, and music is possibly one of the most impacted by this movement. Music has transitioned from the analog to the digital format and the days of cassettes have been replaced with subscriptions to streaming services.
Fortunately, the likes of the turntable have continued to survive and even thrive. Audiophiles who crave for the analog experience are on the constant lookout for the turntable that will cater to their auditory tastes while at the same time fitting their budgets. Fluance may not be one of the first brands that would come to mind for turntables, but here we go over its HT80 High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player in detail.
Fluance is a speaker company based in Canada that manufactures home theatre systems, turntables, and music systems and pride themselves with delivering quality without the high cost. They certainly did not cut corners with the RT80. This model can be classified in the range of a beginner audio enthusiast, but looks and sounds more expensive than its retail price. It plays LP and EP vinyl records at outstanding quality whether they be vintage albums or newly purchased ones. This is then coupled with a tonearm that allows for a smooth movement of the stylus, which is particularly important in helping prevent vinyl scratching. Reverberation is addressed by the sound isolation feet and aluminium platter, allowing the most discerning of ears to hear pure sound.
Some of the components used to manufacture the turntable include the following:
- The Audio Technica cartridge for crisp sounds
- A Texas Instruments preamp for clarity
- A felt slip mat for the reduction of static build-up
- The beautifully finished piano black cabinet that reduces vibrations
Also included in the RT80 are a tinted dust cover, a 6’ RCA cable, the 100-240 V AC power adapter, and in my opinion, the deal makers: lifetime customer support and a 2-year warranty.
The RT80 is promptly delivered and smartly packaged, ensuring that it is kept protected as well as possible. It cannot be said enough how beautiful this turntable looks, and its stylish build will fit in quite nicely whichever room you decide to put it in. Fluance does provide an online tutorial that allows the assembly and initial setup to be done efficiently.
Aesthetics aside, the RT80 delivers well above its price point. Many enthusiasts say that it is comparable and at times better for sound quality when compared to turntables at least twice its cost. Regardless of the age of the album played, the tones come out beautifully, and records that tend to skip or skate on other turntables don’t appear to do so when played on the RT80. Audio fidelity is pristine, and the little nuances of music such as instruments playing in the background come out clear. Originally priced at around 300 dollars, the release of the newer RT81 has dropped the price by $100.
It is important to highlight that the RT80 automatically stops at the end of the record, a convenient feature not present in all turntables as it is will prevent unnecessary wear of the stylus. Also, the RT80 is perfect as a starter turntable as the cartridge is compatible for upgrades in the long run.
As with any turntable, there may be instances that defects are found with its components, but their customer support is prompt to respond to concerns and replace the turntable when necessary.
Though the overall build of the RT80 is very tastefully done, the included felt map may appear tacky in contrast. This can easily be replaced by a rubber mat but for an extra $20. It is also worth mentioning that the RT80 does not come with speakers, so this is another piece of equipment to purchase, and it is important to be looking for a high quality model to complement the turntable.
The turntable, being a sensitive piece of equipment, can pick up interference, and it is found to emit throbbing noises if situated near other electronic appliances. This is easily rectified by relocating the RT80 but it is something to be on the lookout for.
In the same manner, it is important to remember that there are several considerations in achieving excellent sound quality. The record wear and tear, the album quality, and proper installation and grounding all contribute to a better (or worse) experience. Any issues found with a turntable may in reality be caused by the environment it is in, so a little patience and tweaking is part of getting the most out of any turntable.
It has been observed to emit a loud electrical pop, but this can be solved by ensuring that the preamp is switched on before the turntable is. Also, it is important to let records settle and play for an extended period of time to assess if it does have any inherent defect, as the sensitive components need to adapt to the climate it will be used in.
In summary, the RT80 High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player is a great turntable for audio enthusiasts of exacting tastes and even more so for beginners wanting to purchase their first turntable. It blows other turntables in the same price range out of the water, and can certainly compete with its more expensive counterparts. The stylish build complements any room, assembly has been made as painless as possible, and the sound clarity and quality is excellent. Speed adjustment is straightforward and the detail it can produce is astounding.
Issues have been found with unpleasant sounds, popping noises, and humming in the background, however their customer support has proven to be quite helpful and more often not, the defect is resolved by a replacement unit. In other instances, fluctuating speeds are resolved by letting the RT80 play for a few days to allow it to correct itself to the records.
The RT80 turntable is well worth the investment and will make any listener bring out the records and enjoy them from start to finish, without having to spend a fortune on their very first purchase.