Who and what is The Funk Firm?
The 70s was the golden age of audio and certainly that was when the foundations for modern day analogue were laid down.
As the curtains closed on the 70s, there appeared a small, notorious but notable company, Pink Triangle.
Making the headlines, it is no exaggeration to say that Pink Triangle was responsible for turning the whole turntable scene upside down whilst at the same time heralding a new age for turntable development and helping to bring it to where it is today.
At the time, not only did turntables all sound radically different, there was no reference against which to evaluate them. They got away with reproducing records in quite different (and thus quite inaccurate(!)) ways.
Yet the master tape used to cut the records has only one sound, so for a turntable to approach this standard was and remains truly demanding.
Pink Triangle launched onto the scene using master tape as its reference.
Turntable after turntable fell by the way side, for instantly the comparisons showed up serious colourations and limitations.
We recall that at the time objections to using master tape saying it was not a real-world situation. (Well, they had to try something)
But Pink Triangle stood for a standard and started to un-pick decades of poor design:
– PT pioneered the use of the light and rigid sub-chassis, which was also non-symmetric and hence less prone to resonance.
– It argued against the use of the soft useless mats of the day, and, shock horror, it invented the use of “hard” acrylic onto which the record directly sat in order to match the impedance of the record to the platter and so reduce colourations.
– Instead of the AC motor, which had been king, it selected instead a DC motor to provide a super smooth drive.
– For greater drive stability, it employed an inverted bearing – this was the precursor to Vector Drive.
– Needle Talk adjustment for arm energy dissipation.
– The system was designed with a Centre of Mass that was co-linear with Centre of Gravity.
– It showed the massively beneficial effect of putting the Motor in line with stylus
Now look around at the modern turntable. How many now use, no, rely on those original ideas? From the most budget conscious to the most expensive, the ghost of Pink Triangle is everywhere.
We are not saying there have not been other ideas, but in writing this, we genuinely tried to think of other companies who could make similar claims for so many ideas…and we came up short.
Innovation upon innovation, Pink Triangle has certainly reserved its place in the history and evolution of the modern turntable. That is something no one can take that away.
The brain behind these developments was a physicist, Arthur Khoubesserian who in 2005 founded The Funk Firm. Its mission statement was clear and unequivocal:
“To get the most from the tiny groove containing musical information”.
You might have thought with so many ideas, it was all a done deal but reference to the master tape shows this is not the case and fresh new ideas are needed as much now as before.
Note we said “The Master Tape” and not “Digital”.
With Pink as the backdrop then, isn’t this something for which Funk is uniquely capable?
In support of that, here already are some examples
2005 Funk moved on from the acrylic and launched Achromat. A universal Mat of a new material and construction, which, incredibly improved on Pink Triangle’s original acrylic platter. It seems counter-intuitive but Achromat easily improves turntables costing £40,000+.
No wonder that Achromat is now the best selling mat in the world,
2006 A three-pulley belt drive system called Vector drive – it Vectors the drive force around the platter, thereby providing superior support to platter rotation, and is the ideal support for the conventional, downward pointing bearing, especially when correctly positioned – Yes, even here there is an optimisation process.
2010, Funk moved into cartridge supports, otherwise known as “The Arm”, where Funk has introduced a genuinely new arm tube construction. Arm resonances had plagued arms, quite literally for a century. Called F.X this new development has revolutionised the way resonances are now being reduced to vanishing. It is already regarded as a giant killer and development of this new technology is ongoing.
2013 attention returned to the platter. Physics and technology met and produced a new material – Strata.
Strata shows how two apparently irreconcilable properties can be brought together to deliver astonishing results. In this case, a thin section material that is flat yet does not ring. Detail information on this is currently restricted under patent rules.
2013. Thread bearings for arms was made available to the mass market in the guise of the F6 arm. The result has been the award for “Product of the Year” for Flamenca by Absolute Sound.
2015. Super Deck Grande. A two arm turntable for up to two 12” arms. Audio magazine (Germany) declares this “a bargain” with “perfect measurements”. It enters their “Outstanding Reference Class” section. It doesn’t get better.
Time after time, backed by physics and math, the Funk pedigree demonstrates its unrivalled appetite to excel in offering you, the listener, radical thinking, far-out creativity and dramatic, sympathetic styling.
In short the very best of good ideas.
And still we are not done. Enjoy the surprises yet to come.