(F•X is pronounced: F dot cross)
(For the theory & see what makes it so special please go to F•X Theory)
Is FX-R II now the the best arm in the World?
(…Perhaps not as fantastic a claim as you might think. Read on)
Funk’s new F•X(pat pend) technology was launched on an unsuspecting public for the first time at the Bristol show in 2008.
Visitors then commented as follows:
” I spent twenty minutes in the Funk room talking to AK and listening to the turntables. He had three Saffires set up, all with Goldring 1042 carts. One had a Naim ARO, one an SME V and the other had the new F dot Cross R arm which is a rewired RB 250 or 300 with their own internally crossbraced spiral wound carbon fibre armtube. It sells for £1,100 which might sound a lot for just a hot rodded Rega but it made the (£2,500) SME V sound pale and anemic and even the ARO (one of my all time favourites) was put in its place…”
Read the review:
Ongoing development and refinement continued.
With its arm beam, slim, elegant and red, FX-R immediately sets itself apart.
Technically & Sonically:
Irrespective of price FX-R, measures superbly, bettering virtually all reference arm in history
– see graphs below.
We can do no better than repeat the following from a reviewer who upon comparing FX-R against a £2000+ world reference was overheard quietly muttering:
“It’s remarkable how the music comes through when the arm is not in the way”
That has thrust FX-R instantly into super-arm territory.
BUT based on a fully re-worked Rega 301, FX-R is modestly priced.
We believe it currently heads the field – yes it really is that good.
Bass clarity, midband transparency, treble sweetness, all there. Pretty ordinary?
Music makes more sense and the listener is “ever closer”.
Against a master tape, FXR II easily distinguishes with smoothness and balance and openness. It shows just how far the gap is closing.
F•XR II is Funk’s ongoing ingenuity in revealing more from the groove.
In use F•XR II is very practical:
An easy-change cartridge mount permits convenient cartridge change.
F•XR II‘s mounting base is Rega compatible yet has fully adjustable VTA.
I have a Rega arm. Do I need to buy a new arm?
The beauty of this program is that this procedure can be done on any Rega RB arm – 250 / 300 / 251 / 301 / 600 / 700 / 900 / 1000.
If you have an existing arm, you don’t have to dispose of it.
By retaining the original Rega geometry, new armboards are not required.
Is FX-R available as a 12″ arm?
FX-R can indeed be customised for use as a 12″ arm. Details on request.
“I have an LP12. The geometry is not compatible and I don’t have an Ittok”.
FX-R for Linns is a new configuration. There are two variants. Both are 213mm (Linn geometry). One is with a larger pillar diameter making it a straight drop- in for existing Linn mounts, including Keel. The second has a VTA base to fit an existing Linn armboard.
Available: September 2010.
F•XR II is such a comprehensive re-working of the industry standard Rega arm, thinking of it as merely an upgraded Rega arm does it (F•XR II) a grave disservice.
Think of it instead as a Cosworth Ford or AMG Mercedes and you will begin to understand the transformation.
F•XR II‘s comprises:
Internal PTFE re-wiring
A new precision machined pillar to replace 301’s plastic offering
Good as the original horizontal bearings are, they are uprated to ABEC 7. By reducing friction and hence the load on the stylus.
Gone is the lack of VTA replaced by a sensible VTA adjusting base. This in turn is available in two versions:
Version I is the standard VTA base for use with Funk derived FXR arms.
Version II is designed for use with Rega arms, RB 600 and above, namely those with mounting “wings”, which would otherwise foul the VTA base.
Gone is the lack of grounding, the signal is now protected by a coherently earthed tube
Multiple cartridges can easily be changed by a new simple cartridge mount system.
As standard FXR II’s external cabling is Rega’s cable but it also available with
Straight through wiring from cartridge to Phono plug or with a
5 pin connector and a separate detachable lead of your choice.
And the raison d’etre for all this effort? Funk’s new F•X arm beam.
Go to, what is F•X Theory to see what makes it so special?
Here we have a resonance curve from a very well known arm.
It has long been considered a world reference or indeed the “best” arm in the world.
Note the very high amplitude peak sticking out like a very sore thumb.
Even with damping the energy trend would still be seen.
The cost for this arm? £3,000
The above curves all represent whatever the arm is that you have been listening to over past decades.
The graphs are all equivalent in terms of scale.
They are not specially selected to show one or other at its worst.
They have not been “doctored” in any way.
Such large spikes means that all are strongly characterful.
Establishing which is “better” is not easy and can only come down to personal preference.
“But how is this? Aren’t tubes stiff?”
The above curves shows us that they aren’t.
It is the very simplicity of a tube which leads us to “believe” them to be rigid.
But like wind chimes, they “ring”.
£200, £2,000, £3,500 it makes little difference. If they are tubes, they cannot help but ring.
“What if we stuff them full of damping? Won’t that deal with the problem?”
1. Damping increases the mass of the tube – not a good thing.
2. It doesn’t solve the problems with the main bending modes.
3. The sound doesn’t improve, in fact it becomes leaden and dead.
If we look at speakers, typically they achieve responses of + / – 3dB.
Would you then listen to, let alone buy a speaker with a response + / – 15 dB?
Yet from the above we can see that the arms we have all been listening to, without exception, all have abysmally poor performance…and we consider them good!
Fortunately this sorry state of affairs is now at and end.
This is what the future holds…and there’s no going back.