If you purchased a pair of home audio speakers in the past ten years, there's a good chance you've auditioned Fluance as an option, but the company is venturing into new territory today with the official release of two belt-drive turntables that both feature a built-in preamplifier.
The company launched a Kickstarter page back in March to fund the project and were able to successfully raise more than its $60k goal to begin manufacturing the RT80 and RT81 turntables.
Just like its Bluetooth and full-size speakers, both tables are built for simple setup, which explains why they each have a built-in Texas Instruments preamplifier to get your signal source up to line level. If you're not sure what a preamp does, it basically means that you can connect these turntables to powered speakers without using a receiver or an auxiliary preamp as the middleman.
The RT80 is the base model that includes a basic Audio-Technica AT91 cartridge preinstalled, an S-shaped tone arm and a hollow body plinth for just $199. Without actually checking it out in person yet, that's already a great price considering the U-Turn Orbit Basic starts at $179 without a preamp.
You can also step up to the RT81 for $250 that will net you a heavier, fully solid cabinet for vibration dampening, a more detailed Audio-Technica stylus (AT95E), and a rubber slip mat.
While these are by no means "audiophile" quality turntables, they definitely look appropriate for vinyl newbies, casual music fans and anyone else not looking to dive headfirst into a hi-fi money pit.
The Fluance RT80 and RT81 turntables are available to order now in the Fluance online store.