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post #1 of 189 Old 12-18-2018, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Four New Turntables from Fluance

Here's my rewrite of the press release: Fluance Releases Four New Ortofon-Equipped Turntables

Here's the full press release:

-----

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – (Dec. 17, 2018) – Fluance, engineers of serious performance, audiophile-approved Home Audio, Music Systems and High-Fidelity Turntables, launches the Reference Series High Fidelity Turntables, offering audio enthusiasts a pure, unparalleled analog experience that immerses the listener right in the heart of the recording. The four models launching today (RT82, RT83, RT84, RT85) are each meticulously designed using the strictest standards to reproduce audio recordings exactly as the musician intended them to be heard.

Ortofon Cartridges for Exceptional Musical Accuracy

Each of the turntables include an Ortofon cartridge that feature elliptical diamond styli that elegantly trace the grooves of a record’s surface, resulting in precise and accurate playback. The RT82 includes the Ortofon Super OM 10 cartridge; the RT83 and RT84 include the Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge; and the RT85 includes the Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge.

Precision Playback with Motor Isolation and Speed Control

The precision servo-controlled belt drive motor features a speed regulating optical sensor that continuously measures and adjusts variances in linear velocity and acceleration within a few hundredths of a percent at a wow and flutter of 0.07. The decoupling of the drive from the plinth supresses motor vibrations and noise from reaching the stylus, resulting in accurate speed so records sound perfect at every play.

Solid Wood Plinth for Superior Resistance to Vibrations

The multi-layered wood chassis inhibits the transfer of unwanted resonance through the system. The 3 rubber spike-type, height-adjustable isolation feet minimize surface contact under the turntables, resulting in increased immunity to environmental vibrations and allowing for greater low-frequency signal pickup and improved imaging.

Acrylic Platter for Better Record Tracking

The RT84 and RT85 feature a frosted acrylic platter that enhances aesthetic and sonic qualities of the turntables. The high density and greater mass of the acrylic material provide stable inertia to achieve a more consistent speed while also damping unwanted vibrations by dissipating the energy. The RT84 and RT85 deliver a more 3-dimentional sound with tighter bass, a fuller midrange, and overall improved clarity.

*The RT82 and RT83 come with a metal platter but can be easily upgraded with the acrylic platter

Spectacular Signal Clarity

The balanced S-shaped tonearm allows for accurate tracking of record grooves and no electronics placed within in the signal path from the stylus tip to the gold-plated RCA outputs, contributing to pure, exceptionally detailed sound.

Pricing and Availability

The Reference High Fidelity Turntables, RT82 ($299), RT83 ($349), RT84 ($449), and RT85 ($499), are available now in black and walnut at www.fluance.com.
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Last edited by imagic; 12-19-2018 at 12:10 PM.
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post #2 of 189 Old 12-18-2018, 10:39 PM
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Between the 84 and 85, a $50 difference gets you a 2M Blue. Might the most expensive of the line actually be the best value of the four?
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post #3 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 08:25 AM
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Looks like some serious competition for the Pro-Ject III and Pro-Ject Carbon.
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post #4 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Here's the full press release:

Mark,


You DJ correct? (Or you were a DJ...I think?)


Did you/do you use vinyl at all for your DJ gigs, or do you listen to records ever at home?
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post #5 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
Between the 84 and 85, a $50 difference gets you a 2M Blue. Might the most expensive of the line actually be the best value of the four?
I second to this. I wanted to get a vinyl player to start with I guess the rt85 is the best value of all considering it is good?
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post #6 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Mark,


You DJ correct? (Or you were a DJ...I think?)


Did you/do you use vinyl at all for your DJ gigs, or do you listen to records ever at home?
Strictly digital... Ableton Live.

And despite the software's name, strictly studio never live, lol.

I do own some records and sometimes have a record player in my home... but not always.
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post #7 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Paopawdecarabao View Post
I second to this. I wanted to get a vinyl player to start with I guess the rt85 is the best value of all considering it is good?
If you want to start at the $500 price range (and either have a phono preamp or a receiver that has one built in), I would consider it. I haven't really compared these very closely to other $500 options yet, but I have an RT80 and any of these appear to be a pretty good upgrade from that considering the better speed stability and acrylic platter option.
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post #8 of 189 Old 12-19-2018, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
Looks like some serious competition for the Pro-Ject III and Pro-Ject Carbon.
It seems like a good decision if they want to capture any more of the turntable market. I had been assuming that when I eventually upgrade from my RT80, I would need to go to a different brand (very possibly Pro-Ject), but they're now at least giving options that make me give them another look.

I think Fluance's continued employment of switch-operated speed selection, auto-stop, and the little dial instead of a weight to set anti-skate could give these an edge over Pro-Ject, assuming the performance is as advertised. I think I would miss those features if I moved to a turntable that didn't have them.
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post #9 of 189 Old 12-20-2018, 11:30 AM
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Here is a video just released about the new Fluance Reference Turntable line:




Regards,

John
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post #10 of 189 Old 12-20-2018, 03:03 PM
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I appreciate that they've considered upgrade path. With the RT80/81, their stated position on any sort of upgrade, even cartridge, was that they had designed the turntable to operate as sold. It didn't add up with their use of a bayonet mount tonearm/headshell, and made it seem like they maybe just threw those models together and then devoted their R&D to budget speakers. I am inclined to assume they will eventually sell acrylic platters and whatever other pieces are different among the models separately, so you could buy the RT82 and eventually upgrade it to RT85 if desired.
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post #11 of 189 Old 12-20-2018, 03:30 PM
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Here is another video Fluance released on how to setup the new Reference Series turntables. It gives a bit closer look at the features of these new turntables.




Hope this helps as well.

Regards,

John
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post #12 of 189 Old 12-20-2018, 09:17 PM
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Ortofon was known for their moving coil cartridges back in the day. In fact I have an MC-20 on my turntable. Are these moving coil also? Or is it just another moving magnet variation.

BTW, I've got it paired with a 40 year old Yamaha CA-1010 that actually has an MC input and can operate in Class A mode, albeit at only 30 watts per channel.
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post #13 of 189 Old 12-21-2018, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by erkq View Post
Ortofon was known for their moving coil cartridges back in the day. In fact I have an MC-20 on my turntable. Are these moving coil also? Or is it just another moving magnet variation.

BTW, I've got it paired with a 40 year old Yamaha CA-1010 that actually has an MC input and can operate in Class A mode, albeit at only 30 watts per channel.
The OM and 2M series are moving magnet. I actually haven't heard them myself, but I am curious how one would do on my existing RT80, especially seeing that Fluance is using them instead of the AT that came with the previous models.

Also, I am jealous of what you have described.
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post #14 of 189 Old 12-21-2018, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
Here is another video Fluance released on how to setup the new Reference Series turntables. It gives a bit closer look at the features of these new turntables.


Hope this helps as well.

Regards,

John
I wish they would throw in a cheap force gauge instead of instructing to balance the tonearm the way they do. I mean, they included a bubble level, would a few more bucks on their cost kill them? I definitely bounced my first stylus off the platter a couple of times before I got a force gauge, and it just can't be accurate to set tracking force by eyeballing "level" and then dialing to a number on the counterweight.

I do really like what they've done going to three leveling feet, though. The RT80/81's four feet seem to be good at isolation, but they don't adjust for leveling, which actually did present a problem for me. They have made some key improvements in design with these, for sure.
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post #15 of 189 Old 12-21-2018, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
The OM and 2M series are moving magnet. I actually haven't heard them myself, but I am curious how one would do on my existing RT80, especially seeing that Fluance is using them instead of the AT that came with the previous models.

Also, I am jealous of what you have described.
I have listened to the OM-10 and the 2M Red from Ortofon on Pro-ject turntables. The 2M Red is a rather bright cartridge with very decent sound throughout the spectrum...one of the best buys for the money in cartridges. I found the OM-10, which is not as expensive as the 2M Red, to be a quite decent cartridge in it's own right but not as bright as the 2M Red. To me, the OM-10 was more comparable to the Audio-Technica AT95e (I own this one) which is a good "overall" cartridge. If I were to get an OM-10, I wouldn't change it out until it was wore out if that tells you something.

I hope my observation helps,

John
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post #16 of 189 Old 12-21-2018, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
I wish they would throw in a cheap force gauge instead of instructing to balance the tonearm the way they do. I mean, they included a bubble level, would a few more bucks on their cost kill them? I definitely bounced my first stylus off the platter a couple of times before I got a force gauge, and it just can't be accurate to set tracking force by eyeballing "level" and then dialing to a number on the counterweight.

I do really like what they've done going to three leveling feet, though. The RT80/81's four feet seem to be good at isolation, but they don't adjust for leveling, which actually did present a problem for me. They have made some key improvements in design with these, for sure.
It's a shame more entry level and novice turntables don't have adjustable feet and good isolation. I can't imagine that the cost to do this would only be a $1 - $2 difference in parts but would certainly benefit the user.

John
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post #17 of 189 Old 12-21-2018, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
...
Also, I am jealous of what you have described.
You don't have to be jealous. The CA-1010 is pretty cheap on eBay. They go for less than $500 generally. I love the look, the weight, etc. I was a teenager when they came out and drooled over them.
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post #18 of 189 Old 12-23-2018, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
I appreciate that they've considered upgrade path. With the RT80/81, their stated position on any sort of upgrade, even cartridge, was that they had designed the turntable to operate as sold. It didn't add up with their use of a bayonet mount tonearm/headshell, and made it seem like they maybe just threw those models together and then devoted their R&D to budget speakers. I am inclined to assume they will eventually sell acrylic platters and whatever other pieces are different among the models separately, so you could buy the RT82 and eventually upgrade it to RT85 if desired.
Clearly IMO, this TT series is not intended for the analog enthusiast crowd...

Keeping in mind that the OM-10 is a high compliance cart, and 2m Blue is on the high side of medium compliance, an upgrade from RT82 to RT85 would be a little tricky.
Now if the RT82 and RT85 have the same tonearm, then something is definitely off... otherwise, nothing has been said about the tonearm mass...
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post #19 of 189 Old 12-24-2018, 05:47 AM
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My only quible with these is that they went with aluminum and that S shape in the tonearm. My preference is a straight carbon fibre tone because its lighter, more rigid, and damps vibrations far more effectively than aluminum. They would have some serious turntables if they went with carbon fiber tone arms like ProJect uses.

I'm happy to see that they use 3 adjustable cone feet for levelling and isolation. These are good solid turntables in every respect save the tone arm.
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post #20 of 189 Old 12-24-2018, 12:40 PM
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Clearly IMO, this TT series is not intended for the analog enthusiast crowd...

Keeping in mind that the OM-10 is a high compliance cart, and 2m Blue is on the high side of medium compliance, an upgrade from RT82 to RT85 would be a little tricky.
Now if the RT82 and RT85 have the same tonearm, then something is definitely off... otherwise, nothing has been said about the tonearm mass...
Seems like a good concern. I don't know enough about the Ortofon line to have realized there was a difference in compliance. It seems like all the Fluance turntables use the same tonearm, or at least they all look the same (and all are listed as aluminum). I would have made a faulty assumption that they considered cartridge/tonearm match and that the tonearm is compatible with both the OMs and the 2Ms (as well as the AT cartridges they included with the previous models, which again seem to be the same tonearm as the new ones).

Mind you, these are all still meant to be budget turntables, so maybe nothing is matching that exactly, anyway, but just "pretty good"?
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post #21 of 189 Old 12-24-2018, 01:08 PM
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My only quible with these is that they went with aluminum and that S shape in the tonearm. My preference is a straight carbon fibre tone because its lighter, more rigid, and damps vibrations far more effectively than aluminum. They would have some serious turntables if they went with carbon fiber tone arms like ProJect uses.

I'm happy to see that they use 3 adjustable cone feet for levelling and isolation. These are good solid turntables in every respect save the tone arm.
I wonder how much of the decision on tonearm material and shape was preference of the designers and how much was budget. I am assuming that because their previous models use s-shaped aluminum, there was an economy of scale stacking it in favor of sticking with that same tonearm for the new models. Or, perhaps the designers truly believe that is the best option for the performance of their turntables.

It is interesting to compare which features Fluance offers that Pro-Ject, for example, doesn't on similarly priced turntables, but to also assess where Fluance may have cut any corners in the design in order to keep their price down. Overall, it still looks like you're not going to get everything you'd want in this price range, so it's a matter of deciding which compromises are less desirable.
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post #22 of 189 Old 12-24-2018, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
I wonder how much of the decision on tonearm material and shape was preference of the designers and how much was budget. I am assuming that because their previous models use s-shaped aluminum, there was an economy of scale stacking it in favor of sticking with that same tonearm for the new models. Or, perhaps the designers truly believe that is the best option for the performance of their turntables.

It is interesting to compare which features Fluance offers that Pro-Ject, for example, doesn't on similarly priced turntables, but to also assess where Fluance may have cut any corners in the design in order to keep their price down. Overall, it still looks like you're not going to get everything you'd want in this price range, so it's a matter of deciding which compromises are less desirable.
In which case, I would look for a good and well documented second hand turntable.

The aluminium S tonearm is not much of an issue IMO, you can always fit a fluid damper and you're good to go... that is what I did on my SL-1210. (Ok, the fluid damper costs more than half of the RT82 )
Not knowing the tonearm mass leaves you in the middle of nowhere when you need to make decisions on which cartridge to install... no matter how well damped a platter you have or how accurate it spins if you have a tonearm / cartridge mismatch, you're done...

From experience, it takes quite a bit of tweaking / playing around with headshell weights et al, to get an Ortofon OM-10 and 2m Blue sounding good on the same tonearm...

IMO, and what I would do if I had $500 to spend, look for something more solid with better long term value in second hand.
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post #23 of 189 Old 12-25-2018, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
In which case, I would look for a good and well documented second hand turntable.

The aluminium S tonearm is not much of an issue IMO, you can always fit a fluid damper and you're good to go... that is what I did on my SL-1210. (Ok, the fluid damper costs more than half of the RT82 )
Not knowing the tonearm mass leaves you in the middle of nowhere when you need to make decisions on which cartridge to install... no matter how well damped a platter you have or how accurate it spins if you have a tonearm / cartridge mismatch, you're done...

From experience, it takes quite a bit of tweaking / playing around with headshell weights et al, to get an Ortofon OM-10 and 2m Blue sounding good on the same tonearm...

IMO, and what I would do if I had $500 to spend, look for something more solid with better long term value in second hand.
Im never going back to an aluminum wand. Ever. You can fill it with pixie dust but it will never match or beat the carbon fiber tone arm in performance.
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post #24 of 189 Old 12-25-2018, 04:50 AM
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Im never going back to an aluminum wand. Ever. You can fill it with pixie dust but it will never match or beat the carbon fiber tone arm in performance.
Didn't say or imply in any way that a damped aluminum tonearm performs better than a carbon fiber tonearm... it's only a question of being able to live with and accept a fluid damped aluminum tonearm or not, if you had to choose between replacing your tonearm and fitting a fluid damper.
Having had the opportunity to listen to carbon tonearms, I can confirm the difference is quite marginal, all things being equal.
If you mismatch the cartridge / carbon fiber tonearm combination, you can tell what the result is going to be...

From what I know, having a correct cartridge / tonearm match comes first, the tonearm material comes after.
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post #25 of 189 Old 12-28-2018, 11:42 PM
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Talking

I guess we'll see soon enough. I just put my Christmas money in a pile and ordered an RT-85 Walnut.


It should be here by Thursday (3rd of January), so I can play with it for the new year.
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post #26 of 189 Old 12-29-2018, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess we'll see soon enough. I just put my Christmas money in a pile and ordered an RT-85 Walnut.


It should be here by Thursday (3rd of January), so I can play with it for the new year.
An RT-84 was delivered to me yesterday, I guess I'll be spinning my (small) record collection soon enough. I'll be curious to read your impressions of the RT-85.

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post #27 of 189 Old 12-29-2018, 07:04 AM
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It really looks like the 84 and 85 are the same turntable, just blue vs. red for the included cartridge? They both have the speed adjustment dial on the outboard power supply box?
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post #28 of 189 Old 12-29-2018, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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It really looks like the 84 and 85 are the same turntable, just blue vs. red for the included cartridge? They both have the speed adjustment dial on the outboard power supply box?
Based on specs, that's my understanding. I'll post pics and hands-on impressions.

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post #29 of 189 Old 12-29-2018, 10:58 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkXLV View Post
Between the 84 and 85, a $50 difference gets you a 2M Blue. Might the most expensive of the line actually be the best value of the four?
Exactly why I went with the RT-85W. Truthfully I will probably go to the 2M Bronze, but for $50 you upgrade from 2M Red? You can't upgrade stylus only for twice that.


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I second to this. I wanted to get a vinyl player to start with I guess the rt85 is the best value of all considering it is good?
I seriously thought that the price for the 84 was $50 too high considering the only real difference is the acrylic vice aluminum platter. They are going to ask $100+ for the acrylic platter alone? (sooner or later, they are barely keeping up with demand for the 85 which is only available on their website for now). That just doesn't make sense to me.


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An RT-84 was delivered to me yesterday, I guess I'll be spinning my (small) record collection soon enough. I'll be curious to read your impressions of the RT-85.
Same here. My vinyl collection was destroyed by a hurricane several years ago, so I am rebuilding. Going for quality - MoFi and other 180g cuts including some half speed remastered in 45 RPM.

First replacement was a near mint DSotM and I got lucky and found one that is truly mint except not sealed for $60. I have seen sealed copies go for $4-500+ on eBay. Now, that UHQR 200 gram jobbie goes for more like $2000 and I don't see myself putting that much into a single LP ever. Roughly $4500 per pound for vinyl? Sheesh...

I used a 5% discount code that expires 11:59PM Monday and ended up paying $475 for my RT-85, so I am good! Try "SG68-5" for the discount code. I got it from their customer service people. Expires 31-December!

Last edited by Mike Ratledge; 12-30-2018 at 08:59 AM.
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post #30 of 189 Old 12-29-2018, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
An RT-84 was delivered to me yesterday, I guess I'll be spinning my (small) record collection soon enough. I'll be curious to read your impressions of the RT-85.
After re-reading the manual (attached), it indicates that it adjusts 500 times per second to get that 0.07 flutter rating. I believe it is entirely automated although it is not possible to tell before I have it in hand..

They obviously used RT81 pix modified for their website, but they indicated that there is a bubble near the speed dial to perfect the 3 leg balance, which is not in the pictures online. (?)

Have you taken your 84 out of the box or looked?


I forgot how big the PDF manual was, here's page #9
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Last edited by Mike Ratledge; 12-29-2018 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Added screencapture of manual page
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