Funk Firm arms

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Alex M
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Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 16 May 2016 21:50

I may be in a position to replace the SME Series IV on my Vectored TOO in the not-too-distant future.

Since I have an old RB300 sitting in the garage, having this turned into an FX-R seems like an obvious path: this arm has had armfuls of gushing reviews, and my feeling is that it would be a more colourful, spacious and dynamic replacement for my SME.

On the other hand, the FX3 appears to be a "ground-up" design with the remaining weaknesses of the Rega arm removed (the arm pillar resonances, in particular). The trouble is, I haven't come across a single evaluation of the FX3 - nobody seems to have listened to one yet, and it is a very new product from Funk, with whatever that entails in terms of reliability, product availability and stability.

Does anyone on this forum have any experience with the newer arm? What do you think?

Alex

Ben Randall
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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Ben Randall » 18 May 2016 21:46

Hi Alex,

I have owned both and think the FXR is noticeably better. However, the SME IV is no slouch, it's incredibly easy to adjust, and has looks and build quality that..... I miss. There was a review of the FX3 in Hi-Fi World about 18 months ago but it told you little about the arm. I believe Funk may have a loan scheme (ie you buy something and can return it for a full refund within a given time limit) that might solve the issue for you. Keep us posted!

Ben

Alex M
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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 19 May 2016 10:14

Thanks, Ben. When you say you have heard "both arms", I assume you mean the SME and the FXR?

I agree with you about the SME. It has a certain air of "quality" to it that you just have to admire. I agree with the adjustability too - the way you wind the "sledge" along to align the arm against the template is little short of genius.

All the same, after more than twenty years of using the SME on my Pink I have read enough reports of the FX-R, none of which showed a preference for the SME arms, to find it hard to resist trying the Funk arm.

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by tim_bissell » 20 May 2016 08:50

From speaking to Arthur, there is not enough sound quality difference between the two to make one a sure-fire upgrade from the other. The FX-R has a Funk arm pillar (it has VTA, which the original RB300 donor did not) really only the arm casting stub, yoke + spring counterweight, anti-skate and arm-rest gubbins are retained.

Tim

Alex M
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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 20 May 2016 10:37

Thanks, Tim. That is more or less what I suspected, and reassures me that I would be doing the right thing by sacrificing my old Rega arm.

I have discovered that Tony Bolton did a review of the FX3 for HFW in January last year, but this hasn't appeared on their website yet. Would anyone with a copy of that issue be able to scan the article for me?

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by PK » 05 Jun 2016 22:32

I recently sold a Helius Orion Mk I and replaced it with a new Funk FX3 fitted with a Kiseki NOS Purpleheart cartridge. I had the benefit of Andy's advice at Doug Brady HiFi (Andy worked at Pink Triangle and played a key role in bringing the PT Ventrical Loudspeaker to market). He also advised on the upgrade of my PT TOO to Funks latest standard i.e. new base plate, power supply, and mat. Can certianly vouch for end product - stunning.

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 06 Jun 2016 15:18

I don't suppose you could really guess how much of the improvement was due to the FX3, rather than the upgrades to the deck?

I would be interested to know what Arthur replaces the PT TOO base plate with - I have never been happy with the original bit of plywood, but have never been sure what to put in instead, and simply removing it doesn't seem a practical option either.

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by tim_bissell » 06 Jun 2016 21:25

I got the FXRII after a cunning loan of a Saffire + FXR from Funk, and had it on my PT TOO for about six months before building the Vector.

The arm changes (versus an Orion mk.1 again) were not subtle - no real changes to the music as the Orion was pretty good anyway, but a lot of background 'hash' became noticeable by its absence.[1].. similar to the change from a well-kept and dry cleaned record to a the same one cleaned by an RCM.

The vector upgrade with the FXR in place provides a different kind of improvement over the 1/TOO/Anni, more to do with speed stability - but you know that already.

My 2012-vintage Vector kit did not come with a new baseplate (hence my various substitutions) so I imagine PK means top plate, power supply and mat.

-- Tim

[1] Insert 'inky blackness' here if you wish ;-)

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by P700DEE » 08 Jun 2016 14:27

Removed the baseplate on my PT1/PT Too it used to vibrate with loud music. Deck supported now from plinth.

Ben Randall
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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Ben Randall » 09 Jun 2016 22:17

If you are looking to replace your base board with something stiffer and less resonant (which is a pretty good idea), you might try contacting True Point (who make and replace PT bearings). They now do full servicing for PT decks, including springs and new top plates. They recently made some lead weights to it fit under the superb armboard that Tim made for me so that the sub chassis would balance out once the (quite light)FXR was mounted. They are great to deal with and very knowledgable.

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 17 Nov 2016 12:43

I sent my old RB300 to Newhaven at the weekend, and am now waiting for it to come back miraculously transformed into an FX-R. I will report back in due course!

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by matthewquasar » 09 Dec 2016 10:56

Just wondering is the fx3 better than the fxr as the pricing suggests?

Alex M
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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 12 Dec 2016 12:46

OK, since I have now had my FX-R for a couple of weeks, I couldn't resist posting a review over on the Vinyl Asylum.

Conclusions? Great arm, some slightly tacky ergonomic issues, but overall a marked improvement over the SME IV it replaced.

http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/t.mpl?f=vinyl&m=1142717

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by Alex M » 12 Dec 2016 19:59

That link doesn't work, as there was a software glitch and Rod had to delete my original review. The correct link is http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/ ... 42735.html.

Alex

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Re: Funk Firm arms

Post by pcourtney » 14 Dec 2016 23:30

Alex, that was a very nice review, enjoyed every word, I have a PT1 that has served me well since 1981, and I am tempted to send an RB300 arm to Arthur in the New Year ! Peter

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