Fluance RT81 Turntable Demo

hey everybody welcome back to their
product review this time I’ll be taking
a look at the RT 81 by flu wants this is
what I believe is their top-of-the-line
turntable as of this taping it comes in
a walnut finish I can’t wait to check
this thing out it looks really cool but
does it perform well we’re gonna find
out but before we do all that I just
want to say that the fine folks over at
flu wants sent me this free of charge
for me to check out and my opinions are
my own now I’m gonna start with an
unboxing video and then gonna take some
time out really run this turntable
through its paces and then I’m gonna
come back and finish up with a review so
let’s get started so this is the box
that it comes in it had a little bit of
shipping damage right here I don’t think
that’s gonna affect the deck itself it
feels like it’s pretty well padded on
the inside but we’re gonna find out so
I’m gonna grab my exacto knife here and
just sort cut and along the seams here
got a little pinched up there and when I
come around the other side do the same
thing here I will say that the tape shop
is nice and if you look at this corner
it’s actually stapled together which I
think it’s pretty sturdy package that
way and we’re gonna just cut along the
top here split the seam yes there we go
so it says right up top here please
retain original packaging for warranty
purposes now this does come with a
2-year warranty but I believe some of
their speakers come with a lifetime
warranty so anyway we have a box within
a box here now this is gonna be a little
tricky so I think I’m gonna have to do
my pineapple upside-down cake technique
there we go
oh it is tightly packed in there okay
and I’m gonna flip it back over cuz I
think this is the bottom alright heard a
little bit of movement
should be fine though we’re gonna cut
this tape like so right across I’m
excited to see what this thing looks
like in person and one last piece of
tape all right there we go maybe I did
that wrong let’s see this could be the
Bottineau okay got one piece there and
here is the rubber turntable mat that it
comes with all right we’ll set that
aside I’ve got some documentation all
right here’s the turntable and we have
one little accessory right there which
is the 45 rpm adapter I’m not gonna
worry about that right now
let’s just cut this bag how about there
we go that might be easier there we go
much easier I’ll get that oh that’s nice
I like that I’m gonna set that aside for
now okay so there’s the motor nice metal
spindle here and I take that off and
move that lock and let’s get rid of this
real quick there we go okay so let’s
start setting this thing up real quick
this has got to be the platter nice this
is a looks like solid aluminum put that
right there
what’s nice they they include this
little ribbon here to help you attach
the belt to the motor drive just like
that that was pretty easy okay what else
we got here
this looks like oh this is the power
supply and let’s see this looks like the
counterweight that we need Plus this out
oh yeah and we have the head shell which
I like is the quick-release style oh
yeah let’s let’s bust out this turntable
Matt set this right on there like that
feels good so this is real easy you just
connect like that and boom you’re done
let’s do the counterweight next and
we’ll just pretty easy to do that just
screw it on cool so this does have the
markings on it so that you can do the
the old-style technique where you you
find the sweet spot where the tonearm
just balances perfectly and then you set
the tracking force using this dial I’m
gonna use a stylus weight to do this I
just find it it’s faster easier and I
don’t always have to rely on that well I
am pretty impressed so far I like the
build quality on this it looks great but
how is it gonna sound I am excited to
find out play it through many different
speakers and in different environments
with different records can’t wait to let
you know how that all goes but you don’t
have to wait because it will find out
right now
hey everybody welcome to the review
portion of this video now I had a chance
to really play around with this
turntable put it through many different
setups I used it on a live stream I used
it with the built-in phono preamp and
without and in both cases I didn’t
really hear a big difference the one
sort of interesting thing is that I
didn’t find it really necessary to use
the ground cable I don’t know if it’s
just modern components and a modern
turntable don’t necessarily need it it’s
more for a vintage setup but even with
this setup I don’t find I need it
another thing I want to note is the auto
stop it has this feature to where when
the tonearm gets to the you know the
run-out groove the infinite loop it will
continue to spin for I would say a good
twenty to twenty five revolutions before
the turntable eventually just stops it
doesn’t pick up the needle like this
turntable is a semi automatic once it
reaches a certain point in the arc of
the tonearm it will bring it back up and
bring it back to the resting position
this one doesn’t do that which is kind
of nice because you know certain
releases have a special infinite loop
like sergeant Pepper’s by the Beatles
and you can turn that off
first up this thing looks great it’s got
a classy look about it it’s got a very
heavy plinth to it and I think that’s a
solid MDF is what they use with this
nice wood veneer I like the matte finish
of this tone arm and stuff the the
anti-skate works well this knob is very
classy it’s very easy to use I like the
fact that it’s you don’t have to change
the belt to change the speed of the
record and unlike the u-turn orbit
turntable these hinges are spring-loaded
and so the dust cover will stay up
actually like that it’s smoked out it
looks pretty classy so either way it
looks great like this or you could pull
it off altogether and remove those
hinges and it’s gonna look really classy
to the fit and finish on this is
exceptional I had really no issues with
the build quality of this very easy to
set up as you guys saw I like that it’s
a quick release head shell so you can
switch it out or if you want to you know
get in there and inspect it it’s easy to
take off I like the fact that it’s got a
built in preamp which is really handy
for someone who’s just getting into it
now I know some of you were like oh well
don’t use that it’s gonna be crappy and
yeah I agree
any preamp that’s gonna be built into a
turntable is not gonna be as good as a
standalone preamp however I’m looking at
this as someone just getting into the
Hobby and for under I don’t know under
$500 $400 they can get this plus a pair
of powered speakers and you’re good to
go you have a turntable set up so that I
think is really great but the fact is
you can turn it off if you don’t want to
use it
so the big elf in the room is the speed
of this thing how accurate is it I went
on Amazon and I looked at the most
critical reviews and a lot of people are
saying that this is not accurate and
then there’s a high percentage of Wow
and flutter now to me
Wow and flutter I expect that on this
price point of a turntable it’s less
than $300 it’s around the 250 dollar
mark and it’s not gonna be that accurate
and you’re not gonna have like a quartz
motor in there that’s gonna regulate the
speed I I get that for that price point
you’re not gonna get that accuracy
however I was expecting it to be in the
range of 33 and a third so what I did
was I got an app on my phone and I’d
made a baseline using my a TLP 120 which
has a direct drive motor and it was
right on the money 33 and a third so
okay this this app is pretty accurate so
I tested it on this turntable and it
came out out of the box around thirty
three point seven eight which is not bad
I was okay with that but I wanted to
kind of fine-tune it now the only way
you do that is underneath the turntable
it’s it’s actually really quite annoying
and you got to make sure you have your
tone arm locked here your platter is
gonna fall out cuz you got to turn the
whole thing over so I would suggest just
pulling the platter off removing it then
flipping everything over and then once
you get in there I used a small
flat-head screwdriver and it’s weird cuz
there’s not really a slot in there I
couldn’t see one I used a flashlight I
tried to really look in that hole and
it’s just like there’s like a piece of
rubber that’s between the screw I’m
assuming there’s a screw in there I’ll
put connected to a pot and then you have
like this paper board sort of backing so
you’re kind of like guessing that I
think I’m turning something and so I
adjusted it very minutely it just gave
it a little bit of a turn tested it
again I got it to thirty three point
four nine and I was like you know what
if that’s good enough for me I don’t
want to overshoot it and mess it up more
so the adjustments kind of an
so just know that going in I would
suggest running this turntable for a
couple hours or so or over a couple of
days just to get it kind of warmed up
when you first get it and then go in
there and fine-tune the the motor there
okay so now aesthetically the one thing
I really don’t like about this turntable
is right here this flue wants it feels
cheesy like for as classy as this
machine is I this feels like something
that should be on the dust cover so
another thing is it comes with a 45 rpm
adapter this is probably the one of the
more cheaper components of it it’s
plastic it’s a spacer I like the fact
that they did include it it’s not
necessary component and I kind of wish
they had a place for it right up there
like this turntable does otherwise I
mean it’s just it’s just sort of out
there and it doesn’t quite have a good
spot to be well overall I believe that
this is an excellent turntable for
someone who’s just getting into the
hobby yes – and $50 seems like a lot of
money but honestly if you spend less
than that you’re gonna be missing out on
some key components and you got a look
at it this way it’s an investment that
will continue to give back as your ears
get more sophisticated as your
collection grows you can then upgrade
the cartridge you can also upgrade to a
preamp a better speaker sound system
this thing is gonna match that up to a
certain point you don’t wanna mean it’s
gonna carry you along for a very long
time and with that I give this turntable
four-and-a-half pompadours out of five
so if you guys are interested in picking
this turntable up you should be aware
that there is a model beneath that’s
called the RT 80 and it has a felt mat
instead of rubber and it comes with the
1891 cartridge which is a step below
this one I don’t think it’s gonna be
terrible for your records I just think
it’s worth the extra fifty bucks
pick up the RT 81 you get the wood
finish nice rubber mat and the 80 and 95
e which is just it’s a workhorse
cartridge it’s not the best in the world
obviously but it’s it’s a good
entry-level one and it’s easily
replaceable you can find replacement
stylus pretty much anywhere you go from
music stores to electronic places if
they sell turntables oftentimes they’ll
have this replacement stylist right
there on the shelf so it’s an easy
pickup that way if you’re an emergency I
know I’ve had that happen before so
anyway guys I want to know you have to
say be sure to leave me a comment down
below let me know you think until then
thank you so much for watching I’m your
vinyl geek and I’ll catch you on the
flipside hey guys thanks again for check
out this product review now if you want
to see more I put a playlist right there
as well as a video that YouTube will
choose for me so have fun and click away

Fluance RT81 Turntable Specs

Cabinet MaterialMDF
FinishHigh Gloss Walnut Real Wood Veneer
Dust CoverYes – Tinted
Drive SystemBelt Drive
MotorDC Motor
Motor IsolationThree Point Rubber Isolation
Speed33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM (78 RPM – No)
Speed Variation+/-1.00% – Speed Adjustment Guide
Wow And Flutter0.20%
Signal-To-Noise Ratio (Weighted)67dB or higher (A-weighted, 20kHz LPF)
Signal-To-Noise Ratio (Unweighted)60dB or higher (unweighted, 20kHz LPF)
Diameter Of Platter12″, 30cm
Weight Of Platter1.22 lbs (553 g)
Height Of Platter0.62 inches (16 mm)
Turntable MatRubber
Tonearm TypeStatic Balanced, S-Type
Supported Cartridge Weight3.5 to 6.5g
CounterweightYes – 3.53 oz (100 g) – Adjustable
Anti-Skating AdjustmentYes
Pivot BearingYes
Cueing LeverYes
Tonearm MaterialAluminum
Tonearm Wire36 AWG Litz Cable / 7 Strand
Effective Tonearm Mass28.2 grams
Effective Tonearm Length224mm
Headshell MountH-4 Bayonet Mount
Tonearm Height17mm
Cartridge TypeDual Moving Magnet (MM)
Cartridge ModelAudio Technica: AT95E
Replacement StylusATN95E
Stylus0.4 × 0.7mil Bonded Elliptical (Diamond)
MountHalf inch
Frequency Response20-20,000Hz
Channel Separation20dB at 1kHz
Channel Balance2.0dB or less at 1kHz
Load Impedance/Capacitance47k Ohms/100pF
Output Voltage2.5mV +/–3dB
Cartridge Weight5.7g (+/- 0.5g)
Headshell Weight10.7g
Cartridge Height0.67 inches (17 mm)
Recommended Tracking Force2.0g +/–0.5g
Vertical Tracking Angle20 degrees
Rubber Belt DesignContinuous loop (joint-less)
ConnectorRCA (Gold-plated)
PreampYes, PHONO/LINE Switchable
Phono Output2.5mV +/–3dB
Phono BypassYes, all electronics bypassed when using external preamp
Line Output140mV (–17dBV)
Ground TerminalYes
Input100V – 240V AC (50/60Hz)
Output12V / 500mA
Dimensions5.5 x 16.5 x 13.75 inches / 14.0 x 41.9 x 34.9 cm (HxWxD)
CertificationsFCC Certified, RoHS, CUL/UL
Unit Weight14.1 lb (6.4 kg)
Operating Temperature20°C

Fluance RT81 Turntables

Fluance is a leading manufacturer of musical and audio equipment. For over 100 years, the company has provided customers with quality audio equipment and musical instrument components. The Fluance RT81 high fidelity turntable features a tonal reproduction system that assures optimum performance with any recording format. With the award-winning RT81, you’ll enjoy the highest fidelity and ultimate expression of quality in your recording craft.

Built-in speakers with true acoustic quality deliver smooth tones from your hi-hat up to the head unit. A high fidelity turntable that has a built-in phono stage eliminates the need for an additional amp. An innovative high-fidelity RF circuitry that offers superior sonic reproduction is built into the unit. A built-in phono boost feature lets you add another component or signal source without installing an additional subwoofer.

The exceptional precision engineering of the Fluance RT81 turntable makes it compatible with all types of equipment. It comes equipped with a convenient control switch that makes switching between tracks easy and reliable. A clear tonal reproduction ensures that your recordings come alive. A built-in phono preamp adds the perfect finishing touch to this high fidelity unit. A high fidelity RF processor gives you that authentic audio quality that other systems are unable to match.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in convenience, quality, durability, and value, then the Fluance RT81 Professional Vinyl Stereo turntable is truly for you. You’ll get plenty of uses out of it thanks to its versatile features. Its compact size is suitable for both recording sessions and practicing in your home. You can take advantage of the built-in microphone and equalizer so you can record voice separately from acoustic sounds.

The Fluance RT81 turntables allow for fast and efficient loading and unloading of your music material. The built-in phono preamp enables you to plug in a high-quality stereo cartridge with a flexible tonal range. Alternatively, you may choose to use a cartridge, which will give you even greater flexibility. The cartridge contains their revolutionary transducer technology that was first developed to eliminate needle noise within music files. Unlike other brands, however, the cartridge is designed to reduce high frequencies that are associated with overly active electronic circuitry.

The tonearm included with the Fluance RT81 is constructed of sturdy aluminum alloys that are lightweight and durable. A precision-tuned bearing assures smooth tracking as well as long hours of hassle-free enjoyment. At the rear of the tonearm is a convenient carrying case that makes it simple to transport your equipment. The included phono preamp allows you to plug in a high-quality stereo cartridge with a flexible tonal range.

Fluance RT81 Turntable FAQ

Fluance high fidelity vinyl turntable

Fluance high fidelity vinyl turntables are a perfect addition to any home recording studio. With features such as easy to use controls and a variety of styles to fit your style, the Fluance high fidelity turntable is a must have for both professional and private studio recording environments. The Elite Vinyl Turntable from Fluance offers top of the line audio quality with its Class A aluminum tonearm, which is capable of playing most all types of vinyl and comes with a belt. Many high fidelity Turntables offers a belt drive unit, but the Elite has a hi-frequency frequency that is able to drive even the most demanding high fidelity records. This turntable also boasts an ultra-smooth leg tone, a state-of-the-art design, a shock absorption saddle, and high fidelity output.

The Elite also features a tonearm designed specifically to play records at high speeds without damaging the delicate fibers that are needed for listening and mastering. The record player is also lightweight and is easy to carry due to the lack of large components. With a high fidelity record player, you can enjoy hours upon hours of your favorite music without having to worry about replacing your records. This high turntable record player is also compatible with most computer systems and can be connected to a VCR, CD, or DVD for even more enjoyment. For the ultimate in high fidelity, consider adding the Fluance high fidelity vinyl turntable to your personal recording studio.

You can find many other types of high fidelity units for sale on the market today, so take advantage of all the options available. Many people have been satisfied with their Fluance high quality turntables, which were designed by engineers that have created a name for themselves in the industry. You will be able to listen to your favorite records for years to come with a Fluance high fidelity vinyl turntable.

Last update on 2021-08-25 / Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

3 verified buyer reviews
  1. After considering the uturn Orbit and the AT LP120, I decided to go with the rt81. I made the correct decision based solely on aesthetics. This table is stunning. Some customers say that the setup is complicated, but it is no more difficult than any other turntable. Just be patient, carefully read the well-written notes, and watch the Fluance setup videos on YouTube. You’ve got this! It’s not difficult; it just took me about five minutes.

    After a week of listening, the rt81’s sound is as lovely as its presence. There are no speed problems, just warm analog sound. As compared to my other table, a Pro-Ject Debut III with acrylic platter and Ortofon OM10 stylus, the sound quality is on par with, if not better than, the more expensive setup.

    Another useful feature is the auto-stop function; just be prepared for the platter to spin for a few seconds before it eventually shuts down.

    The rt81 is in a league of its own as an entry-level turntable. If you don’t want to DJ and just want a high-quality, attractive home turntable, this thing will not disappoint.

  2. If you’re not a DJ and are debating between this turntable and the (apparently super popular) Audio-Technica LP120-USB, I suggest this one. The RT81 is the third record player I’ve tried in my attempts to rekindle my record collecting interests at a reasonable price, and it’s the clear winner. I first tried one of the Audio-Technica LP60s, but it felt too cheap, so I went with the AT LP120-USB. But, considering the hype, I swear it sounded too muddy/mid-rangey. So, before returning it, I grabbed the RT81 and played the same record on both devices. To my ears, the RT81 sounded better than the 120-USB; brighter/clearer, less’mid-rangey.’ What’s odd is that both systems come with the SAME cartridge, the AT95E, so my conclusion is that the RT81’s on-board preamp is superior to the 120-USB’s. I read another analysis of the 120-USB by a fellow who appears to be an expert, and he mentioned how there is a compromise of sound quality to get the USB feature to work, so I can only agree with him.

    I was also looking for a decent automatic turntable, and although the RT81 isn’t completely automatic, it does offer the very basic feature I was looking for: it stops turning the record when a side is finished, rather than going on and on as I get distracted with other stuff, or forget it’s on, and so on. Granted, it’s a little amusing in terms of what it delivers: the tone arm does not raise and return to its cradle. The platter actually comes to a halt. It simply comes to a halt, with the tone arm/cartridge resting on the record. It bothered me at first, but then I realized: so what? As a result, it wins by being a great-sounding record player with a hint of automated features.

    I wish Fluance had done one thing differently: included a slot for the 45 rpm adaptor, and made the adaptor more than just a cheap piece of plastic. There’s no place to put it, while the 120-USB does. But, hey, whatever. 99 percent of the time, I’ll be playing 33 1/3 songs.

    Finally, the RT81 is stunning; the photos do not do it justice. It’s a very nice piece of gear. I don’t need my record player to play backwards, have crystal sync, or be variable speed; if you do, obviously, go for the 120-USB. I haven’t put it through its paces yet, since I just recently purchased it, but for the time being, I’m very happy with the RT81.

  3. I’ll start by saying that for the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The tonearm is awesome, the Audio Technica cartridge is transparent and mostly uncolored, the rubber mat is high quality, the base is sturdy and strong (which is a very good thing), the built-in preamp is sufficient to get you started and enjoying your favorite records (though I do suggest having an updated external phono preamp as your next upgrade), and the turntable just looks fantastic. It’s fantastic!

    However, I discovered that the turntable speed is not as consistent as I would like to see it. I let it “burn-in” for 48 hours on the 33RPM setting before playing a song. Halfway through, the sound became distorted, so I checked the RPM and discovered that it was spinning at 29.8RPM. So I raised the turntable and changed the speed with the trimpots on the bottom, but I still can’t get it to spin at a consistent or reasonable mean average speed of 33.3RPM. I just tested it again as I write this review, and it ranges from 32.8 to 33.5 RPM. Fluance does have two trimpots at the bottom of the turntable to change the speed, but doing so needs me to unplug it and place it somewhere high enough for me to adjust, which I had to do four times so far. The speed difference does not disturb my wife, but when listening to piano or orchestral parts, I can clearly tell that the pitch and speed of the notes are fluctuating, which becomes a minor disturbance during focused listening sessions. I’ll admit that I’m using an iOS app to calculate RPM and don’t have another turntable to verify its accuracy, but based on other online reviews I’ve read, this appears to be a widespread issue.

    Will I suggest this turntable after that? Without a doubt. I looked at the market and did not see the same level of value as I did with this. I don’t think you’ll find a better bang for your buck in the $200-$300 price range, based on the cartridge, construction materials, helpful YouTube tutorials (check out their channel), and aesthetics. While the RPM problem can be distracting when listening to fragile pieces, it is less noticeable when listening to more modern “louder” records.

    – Beautiful design
    – Sturdy construction
    – High-quality tonearm and cartridge
    – A good-sounding preamplifier

    – Rotation speed is not as precise as I would like it to be.
    – The RPM change is located on the bottom and is difficult to reach.

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