Fluance RT84 Review – The Total Package?

Whether you are looking to buy your first turntable and want to start out the right way or if you are looking into upgrading your starter turntable, the Fluance RT84 might be a great contender. Fluance seems to position it between the mid-range turntables and HiFi turntables costing a multiple of its price. It truly is a step up from the Fluance RT82 model we reviewed earlier. On paper this model looks like a really appealing package, especially since it offers a top-notch cartridge in the Ortofon 2M Blue, let’s see if it meets the expectations.

Our Verdict

Fluance RT84

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45 RPM || System: Manual || Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Blue || Preamp: No

Pros

» Premium Cartridge. The Ortofon 2M Red is a high-end cartridge that should be the number one reason why you should get this turntable.
» Quality Materials. An MDF plinth and heavy aluminum platter.
» Classic minimal Design. The glossy plinth gives a more traditional look.

Cons

» Does not come with a built-in preamp. Vinyl beginners should be aware you need an external preamp or an amplifier with Phono input for this turntable setup to work.

Design And Build Quality

In terms of design, the Fluance RT84 has a slick but classic look with its solid plinth in glossy coating. It comes in two colors, black, and walnut which both have a premium feel. The turntable feels heavy and solid and the three feet do a great job of stabilizing and reducing the resonance. The number of buttons on top are kept to a minimum with just a start/speed button on the plinth. On the back, you will find an auto-stop button, the ground plug and RCA audio ports.

Overall, the build quality feels solid which helps with reducing resonance. The sound components such as the plugs, buttons and tonearm are easy to access to repair and replace if needed. Most of it is stuck on under the bottom of the device and can be easily accessed via the back so you don’t have to turn it upside down. Oh and to repeat something rather important, it looks great! If you are looking for an all-black turntable that has a more classic feel instead of the modern Playstation like designs than the RT84 can be a great pick.

Features

The Fluance RT84 s a manual belt-drive turntable, just like most high-end turntables on the market. Vinyl enthusiasts will often go for a manual system as it means fewer components and therefore a lowe change of resonance. However, the RT84 does come with a Auto-Stop feature that can be turned on or off via the button on the back of the device. What this means is that the turntable stop spinning once the record has ended, this can preserve your turntable and records when you for example want to fall asleep to some music.

But as said above the rest of the record playing process is manual. You have to switch on the turntable, move the tonearm in the correct position, and lower the cartridge onto the record using the lever. Quite simple but good to know when you are a beginner.

As for the belt-drive system, this is often preferred by audiophiles as it lowers the change of resonance.  This is because the motor is not placed directly underneath the platter but to the side and it also holds less components in general, this therefore means less components that can cause a rumble. 

Coming to one of the most important components, the cartridge. The RT84 holds a great cartridge in the Ortofon 2M Blue.  The fact that this cartridge costs 230 dollars if you buy it standalone should tell you something about the quality it delivers. It is step up from the 2M Red cartridge that is featured in the Fluance RT83. We will talk more in-depth on the sound it produces in the next segment but in general, the Ortofon brand has a great reputation for producing transparent and detailed cartridges and the 2M Blue is one of their top models. 

The Fluance RT84 does not come with a built-in preamp. This is quite common with high-end turntables as audiophiles often prefer to create their own audio setups. By adding a good external preamp you can achieve even better overall sound quality. For most vinyl beginners it is often easier to just buy a turntable with an already built-in preamp as this can save set up effort and costs. So while you need to take this into account for the RT84 it remains the perfect step up in creating your audio set up. Read more here on what you need in terms of preamps and amplifiers.

Setup

Setting up the turntable is relatively easy, but there are some steps you need to go through to start playing your records. You simply apply the acrylic platter on top, setup the belt wheel and put the belt around both. Then, you need to balance the S-shaped tonearm yourself, you can do this by first installing the Ortofon 2M red cartridge and the counterweight. The last step is adjusting the counterweight and the anti-skating mechanism both to about 1.8 grams so the cartridge is fully adjusted. The alignment of the tonearm is not needed as this has already been done during manufacturing.

If you want to read a more in-depth guide you can go to our article on how to perfectly set up a turntable. Or if you want to know more about the accessories and components that are included read more here.

Sound

Let’s focus on what I find the most important aspect, the sound. In short the RT84 sounds crisp and detailed. The Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge is really transparent and balanced so the RT84 does great in all genres and does not lean towards one side. It is quite detailed and will not struggle with heavier genres such as dance or metal that contain a lot of different audio layers at the same time. We can’t express enough how important a great cartridge can be and the 2M Red is one of the top models in the industry, the fact that this is included in the package for this price is the most attractive feature about this turntable.

The tracking and anti-skating do a great job as any skipping or skating is kept to an absolute minimum. The RT84 also does great in the noise reduction department as we found no resonance coming from the surroundings or the device itself, this speaks for the solid build.

Conclusion

The RT84 is a great step up from the Fluance RT 82 and RT83 since it features the great Ortofan 2M Red cartridge. This little component makes the RT84 attractive for people that are either looking for the next step in vinyl and want to upgrade their turntable or enthusiasts that want to start off and be set for decades to come. The RT84 sits somewhere in between mid-range models and HiFi turntable and offers a total package with a solid build made out of premium materials. It does a great job at reducing resonance and we found setup and usage to be rather easy. Oh and the most important buying factor of course, it sounds rich and transparent

Buying Options

Fluance RT84

Type: Belt Driven || Speed: 33, 45 RPM || System: Manual || Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Blue || Preamp: No

Looking for something else?

If you are looking for a turntable with a specific feature or within a certain budget you can take look at one of guides below.

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