Fluance RT85 Turntable & Preamp Unboxing, Set-Up, and Reactions


This was quite the exciting week! I ordered a new turntable and it was delivered in record time (see what I did there?). I decided to take pictures of my unboxing and throughout the set up and also make a video, which is embedded at the end of this feature.  Why? Well, I wanted to bring awareness to this company, based out of Canada, because I had been looking for almost two years for the turntable I would buy to upgrade from my Audio Technica LP60.  It was a good entry level turntable but after upgrading my whole audio system two years ago, and with the amount of records I have purchased, I needed to upgrade my turntable to match with the overall quality I was aiming towards.

I looked at many brands and reviews.  It wasn’t until some of the people in the London Vinyl Geeks group I’m a part of nudged me to check Fluance out and told me how happy they were with their turntables from them.  After doing some reading and watching some reviews on Fluance and their turntables, I decided to go with their highest end model, the RT85.   You can check out the full specs of the RT85, and their other turntables, on their site.  This little feature isn’t about me just cutting and pasting specs.  I just want to run down my thoughts/experience with getting this piece.

I also wanted to share my experience because I was afraid I was seriously going to mess up putting this turntable together somehow, but I didn’t!  I know there are many people who would have a hard time buying something like this because they may be unsure how setting it up would go.  It was relatively easy to do, except I was having some difficulty balancing the tonearm at first due to some confusion.  I go through in the video what I wasn’t understanding at first and maybe sharing that will also help someone out.

Full disclosure: Fluance didn’t send me anything or pay me anything to do this feature or give them exposure.  I bought this turntable, the extra cables, and the preamp with my own money.  Now, if they wanted to get a hold of me to send me anything as a thank you or decide to refund some or all of my purchase as a personal thumbs up from them, I wouldn’t complain! You can contact me anytime, Fluance! HA!

All kidding aside, everything I ordered was shipped carefully and fast, and every piece inside the boxes were tight and snug.  Great care was put into designing the packaging so all the pieces are protected during shipping.

For those who are not in the know, the turntable does not have a built in preamp.  Most mid-high turntables don’t have one because audiophiles like to pick and choose their components.  I chose to go with Fluance’s own preamp because I also read great things about it and I figured I’d pair them and show more love to the company.  I show the back of this piece in the video.

For those wondering why you need a preamp, what they do, and more technical specs on their preamp, check this part of their site.  This little piece does not look or feel cheap and really looks great as a sidekick to the turntable.


I should have dusted before I took this picture!

Once you get everything out of the box, this is what you get.  I go over it in the video and, already mentioned, it’s all on their site.  I was careful with everything and used the gloves provided for that extra bit of protection.  Yeah, they send gloves for you to wear! How cool is that?

This turntable and the acrylic platter have a lot of weight to them and feel very high end.  Before I even got this thing put together, I was already impressed with the quality of all the pieces.  It’s a solid wood cabinet and it includes three adjustable resonance damping feet to help balance the turntable and help with any vibrations that make get picked up.

This turntable is powered by a belt drive and I had no issues with connecting it all and wrapping the belt around the appropriate piece.  Again, I show you all this in the video.

Besides of bonus of getting a heavy duty acrylic platter included with this turntable, Fluance includes the Ortofon 2M blue cartridge. This thing alone is worth $350-400 and takes many hours to break in before you’re experiencing the audio from it you should.

This turntable doesn’t have an automatic start or return, but you can flick a switch on the back so the turntable stops once the stylus gets to the end of the record so if you have an emergency or are not in the room and can’t get to the record before it ends, you’re not damaging your stylus.

Once everything was set up and I played a few albums, I was blown away.  I’m sure I’ll continue to be the more I break the stylus in and when I can have a night to myself or with the guys to really crank my tunes.

The ease of putting this together, mixed with the high quality parts and the joy of my ears upon the first few spins sessions, makes me truly believe I chose wisely and that this turntable is going to bring me years and years of enjoyment.  It’s great that I finally have a piece to play my records on that pairs well with the other audio equipment I have in the man cave.

If there are any questions anyone has about my experience that I failed to mention in the is quick feature or video, please ask!

Enjoy the video!!!