Fyne Audio are a relatively new loudspeaker company, founded in 2017, they boast an enviable reputation and pedigree within the industry, effectively rising out of the ashes of what was Tannoy in Scotland, their senior management team have around 200 years of collective experience between them, which is invaluable, especially for a young company and is something that no amount of money can buy!
Fyne Audio produce a large range of products that cover many different price points, all designed from the ground up. Fyne speakers start with the F300i series moving up through 5 further ranges of products until you get to their flagship range of the speakers, the F1 Series – which is the culmination of all of Fyne’s knowledge and expertise – essentially every speaker they make features some aspect of technology from the F1 Series trickled down.
Fyne’s technical director and one their co-founders Dr Paul Mills is an industry veteran and is the brainchild of all of their product ranges and combined with his team of acoustical and mechanical design engineers they are consistently honing their skills producing world class loudspeakers at all of their price points.
Fyne Audio has been on my radar for a little while and we first got together at the Munich High End Show in May 2022, so it has taken us a little while to get organised. With 7 ranges of loudspeakers their product line up is rather extensive to say the least – I was looking for another high quality loudspeaker brand to dovetail in with my existing speaker options, the flagship F1 Series and the F500 SP Series are the 2 ranges I am focussing on although something from the F700 Series will be making an appearance at some point too.
F1 is the culmination of all of Fyne’s engineering expertise and years of experience. There are 5 models in the range, the F1-5 and F1-8 are both stand-mount options, the 5 is a relatively compact model and the 8 is a much larger option, designed for larger rooms. There are 3 floorstanding models, the F1-8S, F1-10S and the F1-12S, the models names are easy to follow as the latter number indicates the size of the drive unit in inches.
The F500 SP Series takes the standard F500 Series and dramatically improves on their performance, using technology and components from the more expensive F700 Series, that combined with a more luxurious finish really sets the F500 SP apart, they offer tremendous value for money, superb performance, all hand built and finished in Scotland.
The F1 Series is quite distinctive with its design and overall visual appearance and the quality of the fit and finish is exceptional. All of the F1 models are only available in walnut and it’s a beautiful finish, this along with the heavy duty industrial bottom plate and the silver finish around the drive unit housing all sets the F1 out as a premium speaker and that’s before you have played any music!
The F1 Series is designed, manufactured, hand finished and tested at Fyne’s HQ and manufacturing facility in Glasgow and the F1 Series represents state of the art UK loudspeaker design. Fyne have developed a number of technologies which have been patented and the F1 Series features a number of these such as the IsoFlare point source drivers, the FyneFlute rubber surround, twin cavity reflex loading and Fyne’s signature BassTrax LF diffuser system. Keep reading for a hopefully simple explanation as to what each of these technologies does and how they help to give the speaker it voice.
IsoFlare Point Source Driver
The IsoFlare driver is a point source system, the mid-range/bass driver share a common central point with the high frequency drive unit at its centre. This single point helps to create a strong and precise stereo image, even if you are sitting off axis.
Energy is radiated from drive unit isotropically, so dispersion is very even, all of the sound you hear comes from a single point, so the sound is incredibly coherent, natural and most importantly it is perfectly time aligned, also this drive unit arrangements help to make the speaker a little less room and position dependent than other speakers.
All of the speakers in the F1 series use the flagship IsoFlare drive units, they feature a 3 inch titanium HF drive unit. It has a large Neodymium magnet incorporating a vented rear chamber to place low frequency resonance well below the crossover region which enables a very low 750Hz crossover point.
In terms of mid-range and bass the drive unit is a multi-fibre paper cone which produces a very natural sounding midrange and is extremely clean and linear, even when you are playing at loud volumes.
Fyne have put a lot of emphasis on the surround of the mid/bass drive unit. The twin roll fabric cone surround (on the floorstanding models) and FyneFlute surround (on the standmount models) effectively terminates cone energy without time-smearing, enabling them to remaining cohesively integrated to the tweeter.
The complete F1 series IsoFlare drive unit is built into a rigid cast aluminium chassis to eliminate unwanted vibrations and it is coupled to the cabinet’s internal bracing spars through a semi compliant bonding material for exceptional damping at the driver/cabinet interface.
Basstrax Tractrix Diffuser System
The lower cavity bass port vents downwards onto the diffuser, which is the point on the image to the left. This diffuser converts LF energy into a horizontally expanding spherical 360-degree wavefront with no loss of energy and the result is very even handed bass response and a speaker that is easier to set up in a room compared to a more conventional rear ported design.
The Tractrix profile wave-guides were originally applied to horn loudspeakers in the 1920’s but the application to an LF diffuser of this type is unique to Fyne Audio.
The F1 series crossover is hand built onto vibration damping fibreboard panels using the finest components. With years of experience in speaker design the engineering team were able to refine the crossover by lots of critical auditioning, computer modelling and measurements to ensure that the F1 Series is able to perform to the very highest of standards at their respective price points.
The component roster for the crossover is extensive to say the least, it includes low loss LF laminated core inductors, non-inductive thick film resistors and Claritycap’s highest grade HF polypropylene capacitors. Neotech internal wiring provides highly transparent signal transfer, connecting to the loudspeaker cable through WBT Nextgen terminals. Once fully assembled and tested, every F1 crossover is Deep Cryogenically Treated. This freezing and slow thawing process relieves microstresses in components, wiring and solder joints, maximising signal transfer and delivering greater transparency to the sound.
Further F1 series refinements include an earth terminal that grounds the driver chassis to prevent radio frequency interference effects from masking fine detail, a pair of Entreq Macro Grounding Kits is ideal and delivers an nice uplift to performance.
There is also a presence dial on the front of each F1 Series model, this gives the user some effective adjustment of HF energy and presence – this dial helps with integration into a room it can be very effective when used correctly, it doesn’t cut detail or artificially boost detail but is more of a focus control, it is very room and listener dependent and it operates between 2.5kHz and 5kHz.
F1 Series Models
F500 SP Series
The F500 SP range of speakers is based around Fyne’s popular F500 Series, but with greater levels of performance and refinement due to the inclusion of a number of technologies which have been fed down from the F700 and F1 Series. SP stands for Special Production and this unique range of loudspeakers is hand-built and finished at Fyne Audio’s facility in Glasgow.
The IsoFlare drive units in the F500 SP models are derived from the F700 Series, which are incredibly natural and accurate. The BassTrax diffuser on the bottom of the cabinet is the same type as used the F700 and F1 Series, this diffuser assists bass response and the way the low frequency is dispersed into the room, which helps with room placement.
The crossover network in the F500 SP models has been improved over the standard F500 range with a numbers of component upgrades brought in from the F700 Series, including upgraded internal cabling and superior capacitors.
The plinth on the 2 floorstanding models (F501 SP and F502 SP) uses Fyne’s 2 layer metal plinth (as seen on the F700 and F1 models), this plinth is machined from thick aluminium plates separated by spacers to aid the flow of energy coming from the BassTrax diffuser on the bottom of the speaker.
All F500 SP cabinetry has been enhanced as well with the SP models using high density fibreboard to increase rigidity and to reduce unwanted resonances and the exposed aluminium driver chassis is diamond cut. All SP models are available in high gloss piano lacquer black or white, with high gloss walnut available as a cost option.