- Fluance Reference Turntable Upgrades
- Upgrade Path
- Turntable Motor Location
- Servo Controlled Motor
- Motor Isolation
- No Internal Preamp
- Shielded Tonearm Wires
- Upgraded RCA Cables
- Separate Ground Wire
- Metal RF Shielding
- Spring-Loaded Adjustable Rubber Spike Feet
- Added Bubble Level
- Ortofon Cartridge Offerings : 2M Blue, 2M Red and OM10
- Increased Quality Control for Platter Machining
- Rubber O-Ring
- Frosted Acrylic Platter
Fluance Reference Turntable Upgrades
If you are here, you’re likely interested in the Fluance Reference Turntables (Models: RT82, RT83, RT84, RT85). You may be wondering what is different about these turntables and how they compare to the original Fluance RT80 and RT81 Record Players.
While looking similar, there are actually numerous improvements ‘under the hood’ over the RT80 and RT81 in the Reference line. Below, we will detail exactly how the Reference turntables are different. As many enthusiasts know, turntable performance is all about fine details and precision.
One of the first things that differentiate the Reference series is that it was designed with an upgrade path in mind. As the main platform is shared across all models, users are able to easily upgrade their way up from an RT82 to an RT85. This allows someone to get into the platform as a starter and as their listening becomes more advanced they can upgrade components such as the cartridge and platter for a better listening experience. It also allows for a customization of combinations so a user can pick a particular base model to get into the series and upgrade only certain components as desired. Someone may choose a RT83 for their preference for the 2M Red cartridge and down the line simply upgrade the platter to the acrylic platter.
Turntable Motor Location
One of the first visual differences you’ll notice is the location of the motor. The motor has been moved outside and away from the platter. This was done to further isolate the motor from the spindle and stylus to prevent any unwanted noise from being picked up.
Servo Controlled Motor
In addition to the location of the motor changing, the motor itself has been upgraded to a servo motor. A servo motor includes an optical sensor that is constantly checking and adjusting the speed up to 500 times per second! This significantly improves rotational speed consistency and reduces the wow and flutter to a measurement of 0.07% over the 0.2% on the RT80 and RT81.
To further separate the motor from the turntable chassis we under-mounted the motor allowing us to increase from 3 points to 7 points of rubber contact to provide ample vibration absorption preventing motor vibration from transferring to the plinth during operation.
No Internal Preamp
With our RT80/81 models you have the option of using the built-in preamp or simply bypassing it and using an external preamp. With our Reference line we chose to completely remove any electronics from the signal path to achieve our goal of maintaining the “purest path” from stylus tip to RCA outs. While there are many great preamps out there our PA10 was specifically designed to pair perfectly with the Reference line as well as being compatible with the RT80 and RT81 turntables if you wanted to bypass the built-in preamp.
Many turntable purists prefer to have their turntable components (including the preamp) separate. Largely this is for fine tuning of their system, as well as upgrade-ability of each component in the future. Different components contribute to the sound and performance of a system and those who are more particular like to assemble that system specifically to their tastes.
Shielded Tonearm Wires
We added colored heat shrink headshell wires to improve shielding from interference resulting from electromagnetic induced noise present in the environment and helps to improve terminal strength which assists when you want to switch out your cartridge.
Upgraded RCA Cables
The Reference turntables include a set of 90pF RCA cables with low capacitance to protect and maintain the purest signal path. Utilizing these cables we pair them to the PCB parasitic capacitance along with the styli specifications to reduce the frequency response deviation. Completing the system with the PA10 offers the best audio spectrum results.
Separate Ground Wire
In addition to higher capacitance cables we separated the ground wire from the RCA cable as it was determined that a separated ground wire reduced hum/noise.
Metal RF Shielding
Metal RF shielding has been added between the plinth and bottom board below the tonearm and RCA cables to provide additional protection from electromagnetic interference.
Spring-Loaded Adjustable Rubber Spike Feet
They say the most important things in life (and what to invest in properly) are the things that separate you from the ground (shoes, tires, bed). Turntables are no exception. We carefully engineered spring-loaded rubber spike feet to offer the ultimate turntable isolation. In order to prevent unwanted vibrations from impacting playback the spring-loaded design assists with the absorption of environmental vibrations while the low durometer silicone rubber material assists with vibration damping.
The spiked shape, as well as 3-point design reduces the amount of surface area that comes into contact with the turntable. The fully adjustable 3-feet design (versus having a turntable with 4 feet) also assists in easier leveling of the turntable as the front feet allow you to adjust the left and right positioning while the rear foot with an increased tensile strength spring can go up and down to easily make your turntable 100% level.
Added Bubble Level
Included with your Reference turntable is a bubble level giving you a point of reference to raise or lower the adjustable feet to be perfectly level on any surface.
Ortofon Cartridge Offerings : 2M Blue, 2M Red and OM10
The Reference line of turntables features Ortofon cartridges which are renowned by turntable listeners for their clarity and pure signal reproduction without any coloration of the sound. The upgraded cartridges offer an increased output voltage resulting in a louder volume output. The RT82 features the OM10, the RT83 features the 2M Red while the RT84 and RT85 are fitted with the 2M Blue.
Increased Quality Control for Platter Machining
We introduced tighter standards for our platter machining to meet specifications within 0.3mm for a perfectly balanced platter rotation.
The addition of a rubber O-ring inside the counterweight adds increased damping from vibration the tonearm may produce during playback.
Frosted Acrylic Platter
One of the most physically noticeable changes to the Reference Series comes with the RT85 in the form of a frosted acrylic platter. With higher density and greater mass than the metal platter (3lbs vs 1.22 lbs), the acrylic platter provides increased inertia allowing the platter to spin at a more consistent speed resulting in a 0.03% less speed variation than the metal platter. Additionally, the material weight and density assist in damping unwanted vibrations by trapping and dissipating that energy.
Acrylic as a material has a similar resonant frequency to the PVC vinyl records are made of to aid in the cancellation of undesirable reverberations for a more 3-dimensional soundstage and tighter bass. It also eliminates the need for a platter mat which depending on the material may attract more static electricity thus preventing the additional build-up of dust particles.
Overall with the Reference Series, we really focused on performance upgrades that would improve the audio experience with some changes being more subtle and perhaps not visible but all contributing to producing the purist signal path possible to achieve our vision of reproducing audio the way the artist intended. Learn more about the Reference Turntables here.
RT85 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable
The Reference turntable delivers a warm, uncompressed listening experience that commands your attention, allowing you to get lost in the music.