Belt Drive featured Fluance Ortofon RT85 Turntable Turntable Reviews 2019 Turntables

Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable Review

Just earlier than the Vacation, Fluance, a proudly Canadian, online-only Hello-Fi firm launched a four-model-strong range of reference turntables: the RT82, RT83, RT84, and RT85.

Fluance claims this batch of turntables is meticulously designed beneath the strictest standards and full of audiophile grade know-how providing an unparalleled analog expertise.

Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable Wood Finish


Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable

  • Gloss End
  • Acrylic Platter
  • Velocity Management
  • Removable Energy Cable
  • Provided Cartridge


Of the four reference turntables of their lineup, Fluance despatched me the top-end RT85 for evaluation. So far as turntables go, my expertise has been from a DJ’s perspective. I have the normal DJ set-up of two Technics SL1200 MK2’s and a mixer. Most of my vinyl listening is in the type of me spinning discs for fun, scratching sometimes and for lack of a greater description, beating the crap out of my decks. I’m tough with them however they’re built like tanks and have by no means let me down within the 25 years I’ve had them. So, I’m comfortable to see what a high-fidelity turntable would supply as compared.

Now, I had no gauge on what to expect. I haven’t sat down just lately and put a report on, just to pay attention for a whole afternoon – we simply had our second baby a couple of months back, so time spent with my other “children” (my Technics) has been few and far between. But when I’ve the prospect I’m actively mixing, not just sitting and listening. A number of of my pals own entry-level hi-fi turntables from the likes of Professional-Ject and Rega. And they’re absolutely smitten with them, so it was now my turn with the RT85.



Steady Loop (Four.5 x 915 x zero.6mm) 0.17 x 36.02 x 0.02”


DC Motor with Servo Controller, analyzes motor velocity 500 occasions/sec


Underneath-mounted 7-point silicone isolation with decoupling isolation ring




Acrylic, 12” Diameter (30cm), 0.62” (16mm) Peak, 3lbs (1.5 kg)


Static Balanced, S-Sort Aluminum


3.95 oz (112g), adjustable


sure, sure, yes, Adjustable


36 AWG Litz Cable / 7 Strand


zero.99 oz (28.2 g)


0.76 inches (19.2 mm)/ 8.82 inches (224 mm)


H-4 Bayonet Mount




0.3 x zero.7 mil/ Aluminum/ Half-inch


20-25,000Hz/ 25dB at 1kHz/ 1.5dB @ 1kHz


47okay ohms/100pF


5.5mV/ zero.25oz (7.2g)/ 0.35oz (10g)


zero.035 – 0.063oz ( – 1.8g)/ 20°



RCA (Gold-plated)


No – Separate Phono Preamp Required



100 – 240V AC (50/60Hz)


16.5 x 5.5 x 13.75” (419.1 x 139.7 x 349.25mm)


7.4kg (16.3lbs)


Fluance, Turntable, RT85, Ortofon, Belt Drive, Turntable Critiques 2019


Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable Black

My preliminary impressions have been favorable. On the entry degree, Hi-Fi turntables often comply with a minimalist aesthetic, where they seem like stripped right down to the necessities. To this finish the Fluance RT85 follows go well with, nevertheless it’s superbly finished. The primary plinth is a multi-layered wood chassis, properly completed in gloss black. It is supported by three rubber spike isolation ft; two up front and one in the rear, with the front right adjustable for degree. A precision servo-controlled belt drive motor encompasses a velocity regulating optical sensor that constantly measures and adjusts variances in linear velocity and acceleration within a number of hundredths of a % at a wow and flutter of zero.07%. Apparently, the decoupling of the drive from the plinth calms motor vibrations and prevents noise from reaching the stylus. The S-shaped tone arm, counterweight, velocity selector, belt loop, and fittings are also all black. Around again are gold-plated RCA outputs, energy, and ground.

With each of Fluance’s 4 turntables, a special Ortofon Cartridge is provided. The RT82 consists of the Ortofon Tremendous OM10 cartridge; the RT83 and RT84 embrace the Ortofon 2M Pink Cartridge, and the RT85 consists of the Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge. Also totally different is the provided platter. The RT84 and RT85 function a frosted acrylic piece which not solely seems spiffy but is believed to reinforce the sonic qualities due to its high density and larger mass – ‘stable inertia’ to realize a extra consistent velocity while additionally damping unwanted vibrations. The RT82 and RT83 include a metallic platter however may be simply upgraded to acrylic by way of their website.

Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable


Unpacking the RT85 was a prolonged affair. It was well-packed, and every component was rigorously separated and supported to ensure that it arrived with out situation. Since I run a DJ set-up, I don’t own amplifiers with built-in phono preamps because the mixer acts because the preamp. So, I made positive to request one from Fluance they usually graciously provided considered one of their own. Fluance also provides a very detailed start-up information which I found useful.

The dust cover is a regular plastic cowl however with nice wanting hinges. I might have favored a mushy closing cover for the top end turntable. There’s an audible bump when the duvet is closed while the needle is on the vinyl.

One thing I was very glad to see was the velocity selector. A good friend of mine owns a Rega RP1 and it doesn’t have a velocity selector which suggests you must physically remove the platter and modify the belt to vary the velocity. That may drive me nuts!

Except for the Fluance provided preamp, different related gear was my trusty NAD 326bee for amplification, powering Q Acoustics 3050i flooring standing speakers which I reviewed not too long ago. Once I used to be all set up it was time to provide this pet a run via!

In Use

At first, I took to operating by means of a few of my favorites. Every part from hip hop to some funk classics. From the start, I observed that the beneficial counterweight for the tonearm and cartridge made the tone arm actually mild. It is perhaps my DJ bias, however I favor a bit more weight than the one beneficial by Fluance and I was concerned the needle may skip across the surface of the vinyl. I rechecked my set up; made positive the plinth was degree, rebalanced the tonearm, reset the required monitoring pressure and anti-skating values. I’m positive I’m within the minority right here but I just want a barely heavier arm. It may be to the detriment of my vinyl but including a contact extra weight was simpler to stay with.

The vaunted ‘speed regulation’, was a curious observe for me initially in that the RT85 appeared to spin quick when the tone arm was lifted only to quiet down after a couple of seconds later before properly regulating the velocity. The only option to mitigate this was to raise the tonearm and keep in mind to wait a couple of seconds for the velocity to manage after which place the needle down. It’s not a deal breaker however it is noticeable and mildly irritating.

I had to struggle the urge to touch the vinyl as I usually do and stored the dust cowl on for many of my listening, so I wouldn’t give it a shot.

While the RT85 is sort of substantial in look, I did discover that having solely three isolation ft slightly than four made the deck vulnerable to wobbling or tipping over if nudged accidentally. Again, unfairly in comparison with the Technics which is far heavier and planted on four ft, I noticed I couldn’t be as exhausting on this turntable as I’m with my DJ gear, as typically the needle would bounce or even worse, I might worry flipping the turntable deck itself! So, I backed off.

I noticed that I wanted to provide the RT85 a fair shake so reached out to a few associates who owned turntables to gauge their listening habits after which arrange a vinyl listening get together of types to have them over for a Sunday afternoon of listening.

Fluance RT85 Reference High Fidelity Turntable Blue

As luck would have it, we had a good bit of snow on the Sunday afternoon in question so my buddy Dave—who owns a pickup truck—was the only one who was capable of conquer the climate and make it over. Armed with a stack of vinyl and a case of beer, he arrived ready to offer the Fluance a pay attention. I reset the counterweight back to its unique weight, cracked open a beer and then took a back seat and let Dave take control of music selection and management of the turntable. His preliminary impression was that the build quality was excellent and that the RT85 really appeared stylish. He too, nevertheless, felt that the tonearm was unfastened and not as weighty as we might have appreciated so we added a couple of grams again to the tonearm once more.

Dave’s musical tastes differ from mine but since I requested him to pay attention, I was glad to have him play what he most popular. He additionally drinks totally different beer too.

Impossible Spaces

Sandro Perri “Impossible Spaces”
Kicking issues off with a Toronto Artist Sandro Perri. Dave has been into this man’s music for a while now and with this LP I understood why. I lack any of the style perception to explain this album. Suffice to say it’s good, actually good. Launched in 2011, Pitchfork listed it as #38 of their prime 50 albums to buy that yr, and what an incredible start to a Sunday listening session. And, it’s a terrific companion to chilly beer. This was the kind of LP that allowed us to turn up the quantity to fairly loud levels. I’m unsure methods to describe the sound we have been hearing aside from warm. With supply direct engaged on the NAD, we A/B’ed a number of the tracks with our iPhones by way of an Arcam rDAC, the identical recording digitally was much brighter, and crisp when compared to the RT85. Digital vs vinyl isn’t all the time the perfect comparison however once we went again to the report it was decidedly warmer and softer.

Looping State of Mind

The Subject “Looping State of Mind”
I’d never listened to The Subject before, however I feel I’m going to should make a couple of purchases now. This was nice. Dave noted that he was listening to sounds that he hadn’t beforehand heard on his personal setup. This might be partly because he has bookshelf speakers at house and was hearing the bigger flooring standing speakers in this setup. However it was value noting. From monitor to track we discovered no flaws and have been simply having fun with the sound. One thing we both observed was that though the spec of the RT85 talked about auto stop, it never stopped when the needle reached the top. In some instances, and this is typically depending on the vinyl, the needle would skip right onto the paintings in the middle if we didn’t reach it in time. I want to see this remedied in future iterations.

Sticky Fingers

The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers”
Dave introduced this by as I’m slightly embarrassed to say, I hadn’t heard till Spiderman Homecoming got here out. I don’t often take heed to basic rock. It’s not that I don’t like it, I simply didn’t develop up with it and with all the music on the market I hadn’t stumbled across (or paid attention to) it till now. In any case, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking is a tune-and-a-half. I beloved it. So, Dave brought the LP by for a great pay attention too. The air of warmness continued here, so I introduced my Technics down to match. It’s fitted with an Ortofon Concorde MkII Membership Cartridge and the distinction in sound was noticeable. Hello-Fi purists are positive to eat me alive here however the Technics and MkII have been louder and cleaner.

I decided to attempt a couple of totally different audio system to see how they fared as compared. My Monitor Audio RX2’s are a bit brighter in sound general and altered the sound from too warm to barely heat.

Switching out the amp to my Cambridge Audio CXA60 additionally helped with this a bit. I tried my B&W 683 (s1) towers instead of the RX2’s and that proved to be the most effective sounding combination.


Amar “Splinters”
The Splinters LP on AMAR was very clear by way of this setup. The highs have been crisp, and the bass was very deep and outlined. Tracks like D Bridge’s Out of Town simply opened up and the frenetic sound came alive. The bass on Danny Scrilla’s ClockWerkz just pounded.

A couple of days later, I had my aha second! I took delivery of a pair of Fluance’s new Ai60 Powered 6.5” Bookshelf Audio system (evaluate coming quickly). With powered speakers I was capable of take away the amplifier from the equation and take heed to a full Fluance system. This configuration was just nice. Like throughout great. Listening back to Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, the warmth all but disappeared and the overall sound was brilliant and crisp whereas retaining its low-end grunt. This proves that system matching is vital. Potential consumers ought to look to audition Fluance RT85 with a couple of totally different methods first to realize the kind of sound that they prefer.


At an MSRP of $499.99, FLUANCE’S RT85 presents an fascinating proposition. It’s a superbly constructed and handsome turntable. It compares properly to other Hi-Fi turntables from rivals like Rega and Professional-Ject and delivers top-tier efficiency at an entry-level worth.


  • Great Seems
  • Full rich sound
  • Provided cartridge
  • Removable Power and RCA Connectors

Would Like To See

  • Tender Closing Mud Cowl
  • Much less unfastened tonearm
  • Faster belt velocity regulation

There are a number of minor sticking factors for me which might just be part and parcel with owning a belt drive turntable vs a direct-drive one and as such are moot. I’ve come to the belief via this assessment course of that I personally am not a Hi-fi Turntable customer which was shocking as I’ve lengthy lusted for one for my front room. I’m just too accustomed to a DJ deck.

Dave didn’t share the identical conclusion as me.

He was fairly impressed with what Fluance had to supply, especially provided that there are lower-priced options inside the vary. Fluance can only get higher from right here. These turntables look to kickstart an elevated design language for their line and I’m curious to see how this influences future product.