Turntables are hot and it seems as though they’re getting more popular with every year. Who would have guessed that in this age of streaming music and digitally perfect audio files, vinyl records would make a comeback? Canadian audio company Fluance certainly had their finger on the pulse of record lovers, and they came out with a line of turntables that are perfect for everyone from beginners to budding audiophiles. You’ve probably heard about these, including the RT81 I reviewed a few years back (watch for a review of the all-new RT85 coming soon). If you’re into music on vinyl, today is your lucky day because Fluance is offering our readers the chance to win an RT80 belt-drive turntable!
What you need to know about the Fluance RT80
It’s worth taking a quick look at the specs for this turntable. Even though it is the company’s entry level model, I think the Fluance RT80 caught a lot of established audio brands off guard. It set a new bar for what vinyl collectors can expect from an affordable turntable and represents a real step up from the record players and beginner turntables many people start out with.
Features I like about this turntable
In April I wrote a detailed guide on how to buy a record player. If you happen to read through that post, you will immediately notice that the RT80 checks off a lot of boxes in terms of things you should be looking for. That’s a big deal, especially in an entry level turntable.
As I mentioned, I’ve spent considerable time with Fluance turntables and they all share a common design approach. So, I’m going to spike out a few features in particular that I like about the RT80.
Included cartridge is a solid choice
One of the big moves Fluance made when it began to offer turntables, was to include cartridges that are far more expensive than the ones manufacturers typically include. That’s a big win for owners, because it means their records sound much better. In the case of the RT80, Fluance includes an Audio Technica AT91 cartridge, which typically retails in the $50 range.
I’m not going to name names, but I recently reviewed a turntable from a premium audio brand with a $700 U.S. MSRP. It came equipped with a cartridge that is a step down from the AT91 found on the Fluance RT80.
MDF plinth + aluminum platter
When you pick up a Fluance turntable, you’ll immediately notice that it is heavy. The RT80 weighs 5.0 kg (11 pounds). That’s a good thing! Many entry level turntables have a hollow plastic plinth and often a plastic or thin metal platter. They’re light. All Fluance turntables are designed around an audio-grade MDF (engineered wood) plinth, and the RT80 is equipped with a cast aluminum platter. The combination of dense and heavy materials isolates the stylus from vibration for better sound, and the heavy platter also means more consistent speed.
Fluance includes a built-in Texas instrument preamplifier. That means you can connect the RT80 turntable to virtually any music system. Switch off the preamp and it can connect the traditional way to stereo amp or receiver with PHONO input. Or, use the RT80’s preamplifier to connect it to any mini stereo or portable speaker you wish—anything with an AUX input.
It’s also good to know that setting up the Fluance RT80 is relatively straightforward. You won’t need any tools, and you don’t need to do any advanced calibration like cartridge alignment—it basically amounts to putting the belt on and balancing the tonearm. And Fluance has a series of helpful videos online that can walk you through those steps in detail.
Whether you’re connecting it to an amplifier, receiver, or even a portable speaker, it shouldn’t take more than 15 or 20 minutes before you’re enjoying the analog audio of your record collection on the Fluance RT80 turntable.
Most entry level turntables get left behind when a record collector wants to move up to something better. Because the basics of this turntable are solid, it’s worth upgrading if you reach the point where you want to enhance your listening experience. Instead of having to shell out for a new turntable, you could significantly improve the RT80 through upgrades like a new stylus or even a new cartridge, a rubber platter mat or an acrylic platter.
HOW TO ENTER
After having tested over a dozen turntables in the past several years and spending extensive time with several Fluance models, I’ve told you why I like the Fluance RT80 turntable. For a chance to win the RT80, simply leave a comment below telling us the feature you like the most about it. It’s that easy! but remember, you can only enter once.
WHAT YOU CAN WIN
At the end of this contest we will draw one winner from all eligible entries to receive a new Fluance RT80 turntable.
This contest runs from May 31st to June 17th.
|We frequently have many contests running at Best Buy so check out the “contests in progress” page for more great contests to enter.|