Fluance RT85 Turntable

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dinglehead, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    hey all.

    Recently picked up the Fluance RT85 turntable - and have been putting it to use for the last 10 days or so.

    I’m absolutely LOVING this thing - it’s hands down better than the LP120 I upgraded from.

    RPM results on the iPhone look good:
    RPM results for fluance RT85

    And the table itself looks great!
    Night at the Opera

    I’ve been going back and forth between the stock Ortofon Blue and my MP110. I like both. The 110 seems to have more bass response and a smoother delivery overall while the blue spins more accurate and clear.
     
  2. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Here is the RPM readout:

    [​IMG]


    And the picture....

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Looks like a very nice and shiny finish with real walnut veneer too. Checking the specs, looks like it's setup for Lofgren B alignment, so has plenty of slot length in the headshell. Tonearm effective mass seems really high at 28.2 gm, but they may be including the cartridge, can't tell for sure. Presumably it's a standard SME type headshell so should be able to swap in others too. Supported cartridge weight only goes to 7.5 gm, but I guess most would probably stay with the Ortofon anyway, or they may have aux weight available (or you can easily add some mass yourself). Nice to see the DC servo motor control with optical sensor at this price, should assure long term speed stability, though no user accessible speed trim (pitch) adjustment I can see which will turn off a few people viewing from the DD side. Auto stop switch in the back you can enable or disable so the record doesn't spin all night after you doze off in the easy chair. Overall looks like a pretty nice package for under $500 with the 2m blue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  4. SpeedMorris

    SpeedMorris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa
    $236 cartridge. Acrylic platters usually seem to sell for $100 or more. People seem to like the basic $250 RT81 if the speed is right. So you get $300 in upgrades plus the speed control and plinth finish choice. Seems like off the charts value if the mechanics (speed control) prove reliable.

    It seems like you'd have to be crazy to buy the RT84 for $50 less, though. (I wonder if $500 will turn out to be an intro price for the 85?)
     
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  5. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OP may be able to confirm, but I believe the RT85 does have essentially an outboard speed box/power supply that has a dial for speed trim.

    Owning an RT80 already, which has the auto stop switch, I can tell you I would find it hard to live without. A lot of times I am listening to records while working, cooking, cleaning, etc. and flipping or changing it just has to wait a few minutes. The 10 seconds or less of runout groove noise is tolerable, but several minutes would be agonizing. It's nice to get this without having to stick a Q-up on the plinth.
     
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  6. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Am I seeing correctly that your RPM results are showing .17% w/f? Their published spec is .07%, though I don't know how accurate the RPM app can really be.
     
  7. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I have NO IDEA how accurate the W/F measurement on that app is.
     
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  8. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    So.... I know I’m apparently supposed to let that Ortofon Blue break in over 30-40 hours or so....

    But I’m kinda digging the 110 right now.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    That does look good!

    Yeah, I have used the same app to check speed, and it's nice for a rough check. I have no idea how accurate it is, either, so it's possible it's reading greater w/f than is actually happening in playback. As long as it sounds good, I'd trust that more than an app, anyway!
     
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  10. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Sounds fantastic!
     
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  11. heavysoul

    heavysoul Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I'm definitely interested in this table. Anyone know if it's available for sale anywhere (online) besides Fluance's own website?
     
  12. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I'll tell ya. I have never had to opportunity to listen to any of the Fluance turntables, but I have always been very impressed by them.

    I have really never been impressed with the turntables in the sub $500 market. If I was in that market, that is exactly what I would buy.

    The Fluance seems like a well built and a nice looking turntable. Figure that the Blue is a $235 cartridge, and it is a nice sounding cartridge. Where most of the sub $500 turntables, usually the $400 ones have the 2M Red, which is not a nice cartridge to listen to.

    I agree with you completely. When I am cooking or doing something and listening to a record album. A 20-minute record seems like a 10-minute record !

    And before I get around to raising the arm, it is that wonderful annoying sound of the needle in the run out grooves!

    Even white seated and listening to records. Sometimes after a record has finished playing, I feel like sitting for just a little bit longer, before I get up to put another record on. So it is still annoying.

    My system volume is controlled, right where I sit, so can at least turn the volume down.

    But, on those "rare" occasions that I "happen" to drift off to sleep, while an album is still playing, it seems like there is nothing worse than to wafe up, sill mostly asleep, in the middle of the night and hear that dreaded sound of the stylus digging new grooves in the dead wax.
     
  13. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Looks like a nice Polk speaker! I like Polk speaker's, is that perhaps a Monitor 70 or a monitor 60, series II?
     
  14. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Yup! 70 Series II. I have them paired with a sub and really like them.
     
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  15. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I do too!

    Here is the audio room early on, from back in 2012.

    The Monitor 70's Series II are on the outside, an were the first pair of speakers that I put in this room.

    Later I added the pair of Klipsch Icon WF-35's (the inside pair). I was A/B ing them for a while and then I came to the conclusion that they complimented each other very nicely and ran them in parallel for a time until I moved the WF-35's to the rear, replacing the Monotor 60's.

    [​IMG]

    I have another pair of Monitor 70's Series II in my warehouse that I purchased years ago have not been opened.

    I think that they are excellent speakers, very nice sounding and nice bass too. I later put a Polk PSW505 subwoofer on the system.

    [​IMG]

    If you click on my avatar and go to my equipment listing and scroll down past my listing, I put a tour of the audio room together with photos and descriptions, of what it evolved in to years later, you might find it to be of interest.

    S&G
     
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  16. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    You know - I got these things YEARS ago and absolutely nothing in the meantime has come anywhere close to the price/performance of these things. They are surprisingly good.

    I’ve gone back to the Ortofon Blue recently on this thing and I gotta say I’m digging it too. They both (the MP110 and the Blue) have their own character and I like them both.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I have a vintage Thoren's TD-160 Super that has a Rega/Moth arm and the Bronze cartridge. I have a black stylus for it also. I also have a modern Rega RP6.

    Sometimes, neither the Bronze od the Black are a good match for some vintage 60's recordings, they just don't have the right sound.

    One of the project's that I had on the drawing board, was to put together another completely vintage system, using vintage tube integrated amps, a vintage Dual turntable that I have, with s Shure or 2M Blue cartridge and vintage 1960's Wharfedale speaker's.

    In the mean time, I had intended to try the Blue stylus on the Bronze/Black body. For records that didn't work well with the Bronze or Black stylus, I felt the Blue, nude elliptical stylus to be more like what someone would have on a decent turntable back then.

    I think the Blue is a really nice stylus and all of the 2M stylus' will fir any of the 2M cartridge bodies.

    Rock on...
     
  18. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I've actually wondered how well the Blue stylus or even the Red would work on the Bronze/Black body, partially because of what you talk about and partially in case one wanted to use a Bronze for records that benefit from that but switch it to a cheaper stylus for records that either sound better that way or are in shady condition, so as not to bust up the Bronze stylus more than necessary.

    With these Fluance turntables, one thing that is nice is they use the SME-type arm/headshell that makes it easy enough to just have a Red/Blue set up on one headshell and maybe have a Bronze/Black set up on another, and just switch them that way. But for fixed headshell arms, I would feel better about putting a 2M Bronze on if a Blue or Red stylus was a possible substitute for the good one.
     
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  19. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    As much as I wish Fluance had made VTA adjustable, I do like that they have used the bayonet mount headshell for this exact reason. I like the idea of playing around with different cartridges. I do not like the idea of having to dismount and remount headshells, leads, and re-set alignment in order to do it. I get that most manufacturers value rigidity and keeping a joint out of the signal path, but I am surprised more of them don't have models with this option.
     
  20. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    So far the VTA being missing hasn’t been an issue. But I don’t see myself venturing to far from the upgraded nagaoka or Ortofons from here so I don’t think I’m gonna need to worry about not it.
     
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  21. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I don't think you have to worry about busting up any stylus just by playing records, unless thy were in such horrible condition.

    Just clean your used records with a Triton X-100 solution and you should be fine.

    Both of my turntables have a Rega arm with a fixed headshell. Here is the vintage Thorens.

    [​IMG]

    Shown with the 2M Black stylus.

    [​IMG]

    I would completely avoid the 2M Red stylus as it is not a good sounding stylus.

    By comparison, there isn't any comparison, the Blue is way far better.

    If I started with a 2M Red, I would not even bother to upgrade the stylus to the Blue. I think I figured out that it only costs about $37 more to buy a whole Blue cartridge with the Blue stylus. Now you have a complete 2M Red that you could use either for a back-up or you could sell it.

    Since you can swap out your headshell, you could dedicate a second headshell for a 2M Bronze and just switch out headshell's to your heart's content.

    But you could even try your Blue stylus with your Bronze body. I bet that would be a better combination than with the standard Blue cartridge body.

    The OM series was replaced by the 2M series, but the OM stylus' are still available and perfectly fir the 2M body's.

    You can also, replace the 2M Bronze stylus with the OM40, at a lesser of a cost, than the 2M black stylus.

    The OM40 is a Fritz Geiger stylus cut, as opposed to the Black being a Shibata cut, which some people prefer (I couldn't tell you).
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  22. Dinglehead

    Dinglehead Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    Oh. How do Ortofon stylus upgrades work?

    What’s the upgrade path from the blue with this body? Can I just pop a bronze on there and have it be the same as replacing the whole cart?
     
  23. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    No.

    The Red/Blue share the same body and the Bronze/Black share another body.

    The stylus is most of the cost of the body. So I would not buy a Bronze stylus and pop it into your Red/Blue body. You wouldn't get the maximum benefit from the Bronze stylus and it would not be a very cost effective move.

    Once you have the Bronze cartridge body, you can experiment by switching out the Bronze stylus for your blue stylus. That would work in your favor.

    The Bronze is a nude fine line stylus, while the Blue is a nude elliptical stylus. I'm betting that the Blue stylus will perform quite nicely on the Bronze cartridge body.

    The Bronze cartridge is $439, while the Bronze stylus is $330 by itself.

    The Black stylus by itself is $576. An OM40 replacement stylus is $366 in comparison.

    Best to buy any of these from a eBay seller in Germany with excellent feedback, you will save a lot of money!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  24. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I think Nagaoka carts are approximately the same height as Ortofon, so Fluance setting things up to fit the Ortofon carts does help with flexibility. I would imagine you're getting close enough to correct VTA swapping to the Nagaoka. The RT 80/81 come set up for AT carts, which are shorter, so anything much taller may be more difficult to get right (though I have seen multiple people say they use 2M Reds on theirs and like them, so maybe it's not as big a difference as I think).
     
  25. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Nice Thorens!

    Yeah, "bust up" was a bit hyperbolic, what I meant was more about wearing the more expensive stylus, mainly on beat up old favorites and used records I might be playing for the first time. Part of my consideration is also that, should the Bronze stylus wear too much to be usable, and should I find myself needing a cheap replacement temporarily, it would be nice to just change the stylus for a cheaper one during that interim (your tip about OM styli is very interesting in this regard, and not something I had even considered). My post was really more applicable to a turntable that has a fixed headshell, because, as you say, I would just keep a headshell set up with each cartridge and have a separate Blue and Bronze.

    I do wonder, though, if the Blue stylus on the Bronze/Black body would actually sound noticeably better than on its own body, while sometimes being a better fit for certain records that somehow sound better with an elliptical than with a fine-line cut.
     

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