The team behind this new Scottish name has a wealth of experience and is determined to make it count. Read our Fyne Audio F301 Review.
PRODUCT: Fyne Audio F301
TYPE 2-way standmount loudspeaker
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 190 x 300 x 271mm
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• 1x 25mm polyester dome tweeter
• 1x 150mm multi-fibre mid/bass driver
• Quoted sensitivity: 89dB/1W/1m (8 ohm)
Basically old-guard Tannoy talent marching under its own flag, Fyne Audio has wasted no time pinning itself to the UK’s hi-fi map with two, well-stocked model lines and a roll-out schedule that would make even a well-oiled multinational sweat.
In terms of the group, this is the first of the slightly larger, pricier models promising sexier sonics – though as we’ve already discovered, the tiddlers are having none of that.
After the 100mm mid/bass driver of the AE and DALI’s 130mm unit, we’re up to 150mm with a multi-fibre paper cone and a phase plug at the centre, to smooth roll-off characteristics.
Look more closely and you’ll notice that the roll rubber surround is contoured and looks a little like the outer tread of a car tyre. Fyne Audio calls this variable geometry FyneFlute technology and the aim is to provide a non-homogeneous interface and thus a more effective barrier for the cone’s energy – leading to a cleaner sound. Meanwhile, the tweeter’s protective mesh cover incorporates a ‘phase loss compensator’ that delays output for a smoother and more extended frequency response.
The F301’s bigger box makes it sound a shade more relaxed than the DALI and quite similar in tonal balance to the AE100 – notably in its upper frequency smoothness – though right at the top end there’s a little more light and sparkle. Bass is firm and well judged, but no deeper than what’s come before from the smaller speakers, but the F301 is significantly more sensitive and could probably get away with a less grippy amp than the Hegel with its mighty damping factor.
This Fyne Audio’s musical chops, however, are beyond doubt. The instrumental strands running through Donald Fagen’s ode to Mona are many, delicate, complex and convoluted, but via the F301 everything is clear and in the right place at the right time. The speaker has a deft touch with Combat Continuum’s ludicrously vast soundscapes, too. And yet nothing is in the least diffuse. Performers, instruments and special effects can be located with pinpoint accuracy and tonally they ring just as true. The ability to present fine detail in a musically coherent yet uninhibited manner is the mark of a fine speaker at any price and the F301 has it in spades. Its portrayal of Krall’s grand piano is a singular joy, delivering the attack of hammer on string and a woody richness neither of the tiddlers can quite capture. Perhaps best of all, this speaker lets the music
A FYNE START
The name might be new, but the ex-Tannoy personnel behind Fyne Audio bring with them a combined 200 years’ of experience in the hi-fi industry. Safe to say, the old cliche ‘hits the ground running’ has seldom seemed more apt. It’s probably not stretching things too far to speculate that the two model ranges Fyne Audio has launched suggest the direction Tannoy might have taken had not almost the entire senior management, design, engineering, sourcing and sales team elected to leave and advance their ideas under a new flag. Let’s put it this way: Fyne Audio’s head of design and engineering, Dr Paul Mills, was responsible for the way the last 30-years’ worth of Tannoy loudspeakers turned out.
The rubber surround on the mid/bass driver gives a cleaner sound breathe and sound natural without hype or artifice and that contributes greatly to its listenability. It isn’t brightly lit, there’s no spray-on sheen or strategic emphasis. No manipulative euphony. It’s just the music, pure and simple
The brand may be new, but this is an impressive design and an accomplished standmount starter
- Natural, fluent presentation; effortlessly musical
- Appearance might divide opinion
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