The F1 Series from Fyne Audio is their flagship range of loudspeakers and is the culmination of years of experience from Fyne’s designers. The F1 Series is designed, manufactured and hand finished at their dedicated facility in Glasgow. The F1-5 is the entry level speaker, it is a compact standmount design. To give the images a sense of scale the speaker uses a 5 inch bass driver and as with all Fyne models it is a point source drive unit with the tweeter mounted at the centre of the drive unit.
The F1-5 are priced at £4000 per pair, Fyne’s dedicated stands are £1100 per pair, but there are plenty of other options for good stands such as the popular Solid Steel SS-6. The overall design of the F1 Series in my opinion is superb, quite different and possibly even a little divisive, but it is what it is when all is said and done!
As with all F1 models the cabinet of the F1-5 is finished in a lovely walnut burr and is a high gloss finish, the overall build quality and finish is absolutely superb. The speaker itself is mounted on a machined aluminium plinth, the cabinet ported on the bottom and Fyne have a patented diffuser installed on this base plate sited directly underneath the port, this is designed to help with bass integration into a room and it makes the speakers less critical of room positioning (which is key in many UK living rooms).
The cabinet itself is fairly compact measuring in at just 321 mm high x 186 mm wide x 289 mm deep which helps too in that regard, sensitivity is rated at 87dB which is fairly typical for a speaker of this size.
On the front of the cabinet is a dial which is labelled presence which is a function many people will not have come across before, this essentially allows you to adjust the speakers output between 2.5kHz and 5kHz. In a well balanced system I find this dial is best left at the default setting of 12 o’clock, but depending on the music being played, the quality of the recording and of course the taste of the listener there is certainly scope to adjust it one way or another, you can hear what the dial does. By turning the dial clockwise you subtly increase the level of micro detail delivering a little more air and space, whereas turning the dial the other way does the opposite. If you want to bring the recording out into the room or push it further back the dial is quite effective.
I’ve used the Fyne F1-5 with a selection of different amplifiers, the Gold Note IS-1000 in its Deluxe form is £5200. Delivering 125 watts per channel this combination was superb. Bass response is taut and incredibly well extended given the compact nature of this speaker – I never once felt short-changed from this perspective, they are wonderfully detailed as well and they never shout at you, even when you push the speakers they don’t harden up and become shouty or strident like so many designs do. I would even go as far to say that when you push them that bit further they actually thrive on it, playing Jon Hopkins’ album Singularity it felt as if the speakers were goading me on to play louder and louder and of course and I was only happy to oblige!
In terms of alternative electronics I also used the T+A PA1100 E which is £4400, so a similar price point to the Gold Note and I got great results with this too. This amplifier is arguably a little more neutral than the Gold Note, but it was another combination that worked brilliantly together.
A Vitus RI-101 mk2 is arguably not a real world amplifier that would get used with a F1-5, but I must say that the speaker responded brilliantly to the Vitus when used together!
Playing through a large selection of different music and genres nothing seemed the phase or upset the F1-5, from Max Richter to Lyle Lovett via Rammstein or De La Soul, Pearl Jam and Lou Reed, they just got on with it. Some speakers excel at one particular type of music and others don’t get on with certain genres, but I never felt this once with these speakers.
The F1-5 are a fun speaker, with excellent dynamics and clarity, great bass (even though they are small!), they are very easy to listen to and easy to live with as well, they certainly won’t take over your room like some speakers can. We keep the F1-5 (and the larger F1-8) on permanent demonstration and the main demo room is up and running and sounding very good. At some point over the coming months this room will be undergoing a full refurbishment so get in before it turns into a building site for a couple of months!
Please get in touch if you any have questions