Today, I’ll be checking out the RT85 turntable from Canadian upstart Fluance. They have released a barrage of new products over the last few years. Entire ranges of speakers and music systems are now joined by turntables. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a few pieces and have been thoroughly impressed by the sound and build quality of their product, especially for the reasonable prices. How will the new Reference Turntable fare?
Introduction to Turntable Reviews
Ahhh, does anything say audiophile more than a turntable? What was once the only way to play music at home is now considered a luxury? What some would argue is the “warmest” sound, vinyl has made a strong comeback and as of this writing is a hot commodity. Turntables come in basically two formats, direct-drive from the motor to the platter, or with a separated motor and belt system. The modern turntable plays both 33 1/3 and 45 rpms. The components of a turntable; the motor, platter, arm and cartridge can be exchanged on most turntables. This allows upgrading and replacement of worn parts like cartridge needles. A turntable’s voltage output is very low and needs to be boosted using a phono stage. Not all integrated amplifiers or receivers have phono stages built-in so an external phono stage can be integrated.
Turntables can run complete with a tone arm and cartridge from a few hundred dollars to five and even six figures without either. Some of the best cartridges for example may run in the thousands alone. Speaking of cartridges, they come in two formats, MC or Magnetic Coil and MM or Moving Magnet. The MC format is a bit more advanced in that it offers both high and low outputs. The MM is generally more affordable and is considered mellow sounding. Those wanting more definition and transparency may opt for the more expensive MC cartridge setup. Keep in mind your phono stage has to be compatible with either or both.