In the realm of speaker craftsmanship, the coaxial chassis for mids and tweeters remains a rare acoustic marvel that only a handful of specialists have perfected over 75 years. Enter Fyne Audio from Scotland, a brand deeply rooted in coaxial technology. The Fyne Audio F703, a dynamic floorstanding speaker, stands as a testament to their expertise. While not as budget-friendly as one might expect from the Scots, the F703 undoubtedly justifies its price with exceptional performance.
Unveiling Fyne Audio’s Legacy:
Contrary to stereotypes, Fyne Audio defies conventions with their combative stance against industry giants like Tannoy. Originating from former Tannoy employees dissatisfied with the company’s new direction, Fyne Audio emerged with a wealth of expertise. Paul Mills, a former head of development at Tannoy, leads the charge, leveraging his knowledge of coaxial drivers. The core of their innovation lies in coaxial technology, which promises unmatched coherence and imaging. The F703 epitomizes this legacy, striving to surpass Tannoy’s models.
A Focus on Coaxial Excellence:
Coaxial drivers, the crux of Fyne Audio’s innovation, remain central to their pursuit. Their distinctive design, featuring a unique corrugated surround, minimizes resonances. The F703’s tweeter horn, an unconventional choice starting at 850 Hertz, showcases Fyne Audio’s commitment to pushing boundaries. Behind the horn resides a 45mm dome acting as a compression driver, signifying a focus on resilience and quality.
Impeccable Craftsmanship and Components:
Fyne Audio’s craftsmanship shines through the F703’s construction. Robust metal baskets and nested ferrite magnets characterize the drivers, a culmination of over 75 years of coaxial research. The speaker’s build quality stands out, available in bright white, deep black, and walnut veneer variants. The speaker is braced extensively, weighing over 48 kilograms each. A cantilevered substructure supports the bass reflex design and enhances stability.
Innovative Design Elements:
The F703, a standout model in the 700 series, features a 10-inch coaxial driver and a “pure” woofer of the same size, contributing bass energy below 200 Hertz. Its unconventional bass reflex port radiates downward, distributing bass energy in all directions. The birch plywood case is curved like a boat hull for additional stability and reduced internal standing waves. The speaker’s baffle is 40mm birch plywood, efficiently combating vibrations.
Sound Performance and Dynamics:
The Fyne Audio F703’s sound performance is where its engineering brilliance truly shines. It’s not just about the technical specifications or design; it’s about how this speaker translates into an immersive and captivating listening experience.
From the moment the music starts, the F703 demonstrates its prowess in creating a wide and deep soundstage. The precise imaging places instruments and vocals with pinpoint accuracy, allowing the listener to perceive the subtlest nuances in the recording. The dynamic range is exceptional, with the speaker effortlessly transitioning from delicate whispers to thunderous crescendos.
Listening to a percussion ensemble like SR9’s rendition of “Happy,” the F703 showcases its dynamic prowess. It brings forth the physicality and power of each percussive strike, making you feel as if you’re in the room with the musicians. The individual claps are vividly portrayed, and the marimbas’ natural elegance is preserved. The F703’s inherent ability to handle transients and rapid changes in volume is evident, creating an engaging and lifelike sonic experience.
The F703’s ability to handle complex and demanding passages shines through when tackling orchestral recordings. Take, for instance, George London’s powerful vocals in Wagner’s “Rheingold.” As he sings with tremendous lung power, the F703 conveys the sheer force and emotion behind his performance. The speaker reproduces the full range of harps and the accompanying thunderous reverberation, accurately capturing the grandeur of the music.
However, what truly sets the F703 apart is its remarkable control over dynamics. The speaker starts and stops on a dime, offering a level of agility and immediacy that few competitors can match. This quality makes it ideal for reproducing the ebb and flow of live music, be it the intensity of a rock concert or the subtleties of a jazz ensemble.
The F703’s bass response is a standout feature. With its bass reflex design and solid metal baskets, the speaker delivers deep and impactful bass notes. Listening to bass-heavy tracks reveals the speaker’s ability to convey the full weight and resonance of low-frequency instruments. Yet, it maintains a tight grip on the bass, preventing any muddiness or bloating.
A crucial aspect of the F703’s sonic character is its unique tonal balance. The speaker leans towards a British sound signature, with a warm and rich midrange and a slightly rolled-off treble. While it might not exhibit the same level of brilliance as its competitors, this choice lends the F703 a natural and non-fatiguing character, making it a joy to listen to for extended periods.
In a comparison with its competitors, such as the Totem Acoustic Wind and B&W 803 D4, the F703 stands its ground admirably. The Totem Acoustic Wind impresses with its wide soundstage and analytical precision. However, it’s the F703’s dynamic presentation and ability to reach higher sound pressure levels that give it the upper hand. The F703’s portrayal of dynamics and attack is simply more visceral and engaging.
The B&W 803 D4, known for its smooth and detailed sound, competes with the F703 in a different tonal direction. While the B&W offers greater resolution in the midrange and more precision in the deep bass, the F703 excels in its dynamics, attack, and overall energy. The F703’s higher maximum sound pressure capability gives it a distinct advantage in creating a live concert experience.
Sound Performance and Dynamics: Fyne Audio’s emphasis on high efficiency and dynamics is evident in the F703. With an impressive 90-decibel efficiency, the speaker delivers a compelling performance. However, its low impedance dip requires powerful amplification, favoring stable transistor amplifiers. The F703 excels in dynamics, attack, and high levels, achieving a maximum sound pressure of 120 dB for a short duration.
Sound Testing and Comparison: The F703’s exceptional performance becomes evident in sound testing. Its precise imaging and effortless dynamics captivate listeners. The speaker’s prowess in reproducing intricate details and dynamic transitions is highlighted through a variety of music genres. In comparison to competitors like Totem Acoustic Wind and B&W 803 D4, the F703’s dynamism, focus, and ease of reproduction set it apart.
The Fyne Audio F703 represents a remarkable fusion of studio monitor precision and hi-fi heart. Its unique coaxial design, dynamic capabilities, and exceptional craftsmanship make it a standout speaker in its class. While the price point might be considered steep, the value proposition of the F703’s performance justifies the investment. Fyne Audio has managed to craft a speaker that excels in both critical listening and recreating the intensity of live concerts, making the F703 a compelling choice for discerning audiophiles.
In the world of high-end audio, the Fyne Audio F703 stands out as a remarkable achievement. Its sound performance is characterized by precise imaging, effortless dynamics, and an ability to recreate the intensity of live music. The speaker’s agility in handling dynamic shifts and its remarkable control over transients contribute to a truly immersive listening experience.
While the F703’s tonal balance may lean towards the warmer side, it strikes a balance between studio monitor precision and hi-fi enjoyment. Its ability to accurately reproduce recordings while infusing them with energy and emotional impact is a testament to Fyne Audio’s expertise.
The F703 not only competes but excels against its peers, delivering a sonic experience that’s both engaging and memorable. While the investment may seem substantial, the value it provides in terms of sound quality, dynamics, and sheer musical enjoyment makes the F703 a compelling choice for those seeking audio excellence. Fyne Audio has managed to craft a speaker that caters to audiophiles’ critical ear and enthusiasts’ desire for live concert intensity, solidifying the F703’s place among the finest loudspeakers available.
|+||Fine, unbridled honest sound with a rich bass foundation|
|+||Very good workmanship, boat hull housing, grounding socket|
|+||Very high maximum level, good efficiency|
|–||Needs powerful amplifiers with stable power supplies|