In this Fluance RT82 review, I will tell you about the second member of the brand’s RT line. All five turntables of this series are similar to each other visually but have differences in price and equipment as the model number increases. And to better understand what this record player is, let’s compare it to the first RT81 and the flagship RT85 to make it easier for you to decide if it is right for you.
So, in addition to the three existing RT81 colors (Black, White, and Walnut), you can find Lucky Bamboo in the RT82 lineup. It should be noted that the turntable looks amazing in any color. I prefer the wood finish because gloss is, for me, the object of fear: the feeling that all your fingerprints will be a permanent attribute of the device. Perhaps that’s why the manufacturer thoughtfully put gloves in the box. A plus to their karma for that.
Like the RT81, the case is made of MDF and weighs 14.99 pounds (the RT85 is even heavier, with 17 pounds). That’s enough weight to dampen external and internal vibrations and not worry about deck stability. In addition, the insulated feet, an attribute of every row model, are also good helpers for balancing the vinyl turntable.
The RT82 turntable also has a heavy aluminum platter with a rubberized mat, while the RT85 has an acrylic platter. It’s up to you to decide if that makes a difference. Sure, acrylic is a bit better, but I don’t see the need to overpay. The tonearm has not changed either, and I am unspeakably happy about that. The S-shape is the one I appreciate the most for the accuracy of the action. However, there was added bubble level, which will make alignment of the tonearm even easier for you.
In terms of accessories, in addition to the acrylic cover, RCA cables, and adapters, the manufacturer included a 3-foot ground cable (probably improving the RT81’s deficiency) and Motor Pulley Cover.
Compared to the Fluance RT81, some changes in the RT82 in technical specifications positively affect the sound quality. First, the motor is separated from the platter, reducing some distortions. And also, the Ortofon OM 10 cartridge, which is not the greatest, increases the sound quality by order of magnitude, unlike the AT95E in the RT81, and offers the option of anti-skating. All this is among the advantages of the turntable that favorably distinguish it from the previous model.
Otherwise, the functions remain the same. These are the two speeds of operation 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. Also, the retained autostop feature is still semi-automatic and does not return the tonearm to the holder but only lifts it off the record.
What makes the RT82 special is that it has no built-in phono preamp. For such a price, I consider this fact a disadvantage. Because if you were budget oriented, you would have to splurge extra. But on the other hand, no built-in phono stage is better than almost any external one. And that means you’ll get a much higher quality in your audio system. And, of course, I always recommend buying one and not using an internal one. So, take note that if you didn’t take care of the extra purchase up front, you wouldn’t be able to use the PT82 right out of the box. So, let’s say that for little money, you get a turntable that can be perfected through additional investment.
As you may have already realized, the RT82 offers better sound quality than the initial RT81 model. Of course, this will ultimately depend on the other components of your audio system, but the initial configuration is worth a bit of an overpriced cost, in my opinion. Nevertheless, as many reviewers have noted, the turntable delivers a bit more bass than I’d like. I noticed that as well. Otherwise, the sound is warm, soft, detailed, and not tinkling on the tops. So, if you are not a sophisticated audiophile and buy a quality external phono preamplifier – you’ll get a decent beautiful device for very good money.
- Drive type: belt.
- Operation type: manual.
- Speeds, RPM: 33 1/3, 45.
- Phono Pre-Amp: no.
- Speakers: no.
- Bluetooth: no.
- USB: no.
- AUX: no.
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