Fluance has been selling sound equipment for over 3 decades, but you would be mistaken to think that this Canadian firm has just entered the market due to its unmatched turntables. They abruptly seem to be everywhere, at least with the assistance of social media. Today, I examine the budget-priced Fluance RT81 Vinyl turntable to help you determine if it’s worth your attention. 

Buy Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable on Amazon
Buy Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable on Ebay

Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable Overview

RT81 has received tons of praise, with some customers claiming it’s well constructed, beautifully designed, and generates high-quality audio output. As good as these reviews sound, the turntable lacks two essential features. These are; a USB port for converting your records into digital format and built-in bluetooth for facilitating wireless music streaming. 

Technical Specifications

The device boasts the following features:

  • Belt-driven turntable
  • RCA line outputs 
  • Built-in Preamp 
  • High-performance cartridge
  • High-mass MDF (medium-density fiberboard) wood plinth
  • Several two-speed options (33 1/3 and 45 RPM)
  • Elliptical stylus
  • S-Type tonearm

One of the RT81 features that has caught my attention is its dense plinth. Apparently, it facilitates a good bass performance by preventing unwanted vibrations that could affect the device’s delicate components. The inclusion of the preamp is also laudable, as it guarantees flexibility in audio setups. By magnifying the weak signal from the cartridge, direct connection to other gadgets becomes possible.

Do you desire to experience superior music playback? You can get just that by acquiring this device, thanks to its high-performance cartridge that enhances quality sound production. Moreover, the upgraded elliptical stylus ensures you enjoy clarity on musical peaks.

Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable Drive Mechanism

I must say that the use of a belt-driven turntable for RT81 is a design flop. Connecting the motor to the platter using a thin rubber belt to facilitate the audio playback from your records can introduce speed challenges. In fact, some customers on a platform like Amazon have confessed to experiencing issues with platter speed variations and the inability to get the platter to spin at the correct speed. 

Is Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable Automatic or Manual?

The Fluance RT81 Vinyl turntable operates in automatic mode. It has an automatic start feature that causes the tonearm to be moved from its resting position to activate the platter when it’s turned on. The stop function ensures the platter ceases motion and the tonearm returns to its resting position once your record stops playing.

Usability and Portability of Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable

RT81 is easy to set up and operate. You just need to follow the manufacturer’s guide to assemble everything and start using it. Although a first-timer can be overwhelmed initially, the setup process gets easier as they get more familiar with the guidelines.

The turntable weighs approximately 14.1 pounds or 6.4 kg, which is quite heavy. So, transporting it frequently may be less convenient than lighter alternatives. This makes the turntable ideal for stationary use in a home or professional audio setup, where it remains in a fixed location. 

Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable Design & Build

The device’s design is classic and modest. Despite being made of MDF, the plinth has a high-gloss walnut finish, giving RT81 a fashionably nostalgic look and modern feel. Speaking of the platter, it’s made of aluminum, ensuring stable rotation and durability.

Equipped with an S-shaped, the device can effectively track grooves and superbly coax music from your vinyl record. Not forgetting RT81’s RCA line outputs, preamp, and ground terminal; you can expect fascinating signal quality and high-fidelity sound that’s sure to transform your listening experience.

Connectivity & Sound Performance of Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable: Overall good, but no Bluetooth connectivity  

This turntable doesn’t have bluetooth connectivity; it usually depends on conventional wired connections like RCA line outputs for audio production.

When it comes to sound quality, the RT81 is quite good. The tonearm effectively tracks records, so there’s no doubt that the device can play your records with admirable quality. Moreover, premium components (e.g., preamp and RCA line outputs) are designed to generate pure uncompressed music just as intended by the artist.

Main Technology Perks of Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable

The inclusion of a high-quality cartridge means the player is able to capture details and tones in recordings for improved audio fidelity. Also, the S-shaped tonearm ensures that RT81 can track records effectively. This leads to accurate stylus movement and precise sound production.


You will be required to part with $249.99 for Fluance RT81. The pricing is reasonable, given that Fluance RT81 is solidly built with high-quality materials that provide superior performance and features.

How to Setup & Use Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to set up the device:

  1. Unpack all the components and lay them out for installation.
  2. Put the turntable on a flat surface, place the platter on the spindle, and align the ribbon with a motor pulley.
  3. After the belt is wrapped around the pulley, remove the ribbon tape and rotate the platter to ensure the belt is not twisted.
  4. Install the turntable mat by putting it over the spindle.
  5. Balance the tonearm by installing and calibrating the counterweight.
  6. Setup the counterweight onto the back of the tonearm. Install the weight with numbers facing forward and push until you hear a click.
  7. Attach the headshell to the tonearm and turn the lock nut until it firmly sits in place.
  8. Set the switch on the back of the unit to enable the internal preamp.
  9. Connect the power adapter to a power outlet. Also, connect RCA cables to audio outputs situated at the back of the turntable and plug the other end into your stereo.
  10. You can now use your RT81 to play your records!

To achieve a better experience with this device, ensure you regularly clean your records to maintain audio quality. Also, remember to activate the auto-stop function whenever necessary to minimize the wear and tear on the stylus. Lastly, always remove the dust cover during playback for the best audio performance.

Overall Impression about Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable? 

RT81 is a classic turntable that offers a good music experience to users. By investing in quality materials, the turntable ensures users get value for what they pay for.


The turntable produces good-quality sound, is attractive, and well-engineered.


The device doesn’t support bluetooth connectivity and is less convenient to transport from one place to another due to its weight.

Who is it for?

Newbies and audiophiles can use this player. 

Buy Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable on Amazon
Buy Fluance RT81 Vinyl Turntable on Ebay 

Final Verdict

Fluance RT81 is generally a good turntable. It looks elegant, produces clear and attractive sounds, and has convenient features that will transform your listening experience. It’s also possible to upgrade the preamp and cartridge with better components along the way, which makes it a great value. On the negative side, the player isn’t easily portable, so you cannot comfortably move around with it.