On Saffire…


so transparent it doesn’t suffer ANY slight errors in set up.
It's the only table I've owned where I really wish I had an arm with vta on the fly.   Comparing to 4 tables which I'm usually happy to pitch against anything, it makes them all sound veiled and a bit pedestrian in comparison...   It shows up ambience and miking techniques…and sounds more analogue than anything I've ever heard… I always pooh pood the instability of belt drives but it makes the shortcomings of all my other tables obvious in this respect. I've never noticed this before. Never sounds strident or harsh, the background is black and everything just gels and  makes music. It’s so revealing as to be a shock to the system but I love it Glorious.

Simon T.






Achropraise...


“...These two will make four mats and a platter from you! I am selling my last Mystic Mat on
Ebay right now! I never thought that I would do that, but your Achromats are just so brilliant! They cost far less, too! I think that people that do not own one are missing out on something very special.
Thank you for making the best Rega upgrades on the market. I have been able to push the Planar 3 to unthinkable levels of performance, thanks to you.
 
As always, I appreciate your time and talents!

Take Care!
David C USA

Hello Arthur, well I have been listening to my Notts Spaacedeck with the 3mm Achromat and I must say I'm quite pleased with the results.
It has opended up a window that was until now closed. Not that my kit was boring
No indeed. But the Achromat helps flesh out more texture more rythmic quality, more juice.


Hi, just received my achroplat from needles and spins and am over the
moon with it.
It is an absolute revelation and the only complaint I have is that I
am going to have to listen to all my vinyl again because I am hearing
things I've never heard before.
Cheers!

Tom M




On FXR...

" I recently bought an F.XR II arm, and I wanted to drop you a quick line or two to say how much I'm enjoying it. I'd been a little unhappy with my previous setup. Things seemed a bit too bright, and I was getting far more surface noise than I thought I should. I learned a bit about high frequency resonance in arms, that led me to the F.XR… To cut a long story short, I never had any idea an arm could make so much difference. Surface noise is gone. High frequency "glare" is gone. Voices and instruments are so realistic it's almost uncanny. Bass is richer and deeper, but loses none of its resolution. I still think the Graham I had before is a very good arm, but to my ears the F.XR is in a different class. In fact, of the arms I've had on my deck, it's in a class of its own. Wonderful. I have an Avid Acutus SP, with a Benz Micro Ref cartridge, running into a full stack of Tom Evans' electronics and it sounds very special. So, congratulations on, and thanks for, a phenomenal design. I love it.

R.F."




On Achromat...




“... couldn't wait !  Bloody Hell - it's different…Love the extension at the frequency extremes…and the speeds staying spot on. Have been listening over the weekend & initial impressions are that every album is like a new experience. The bass is sublime as is the stability/pitch. Vocals /midrange blinding. Treble is as sublime as the bass. It's sometimes the 'whole' picture that is disconcerting but not blaming the messenger Some things are magical and some sound s--t but I take this as a good omen, if it made everything sound nice I'd be worried. I have listened to the whole shebang from Hall & Oates, Handel, Little Feat, Miles, Ella, Vivaldi, the Durutti Column and it never fails to surprise, some of them have the jaw agape, some of them not. …I really think that it is so revealing that's it makes an arm with vta on the fly a necessity...”


“After being impressed with your demo of the Achromat on a Linn at the Bristol Hi Fi show back in February, I finally got around to buying the 5mm version  to try. I'm hardly an inveterate turntable tweaker - I have had my STD 305M for 25 years … this is probably the first change I have made to the deck! I am astonished, and hugely impressed, with the very substantial improvement that the straight substitution of your mat has made to the sound of the deck (playing through my  Meridian G02 / G57 amplification / Quad ESL63 system)
… I wish to make a major upgrade, and my recent experience with the Achromat has made me wonder whether the way forward might be to acquire a second-hand Linn or Pink Triangle and have it modified by yourselves.”
(Unsurprisingly the answer to the question was “Yes”)  



“So, yeah, the market is glutted with mats costing anywhere upwards of £250.
Carbon fibre, acrylic, ceramic, cork, kitchen shelf liner, you name it. But
I sincerely doubt that any of them could perform like the Achromat does on
my Xerxes in concert with the Roksan mat and still come with a
money-back guarantee...the Achromat seems an absolute snip!”




" I have one of the 5mm mats and use it on an Alphason Sonata which has a
very heavy cast plater (not sure about the exact composition, but think it
it is an acrylic/metal mix).....works really well. Very musical. Bass is
great...opens the sound up and moves the soundstage forward.
JaS....it will work for you! Give it a go!




- "I think the Funk mat will become the standard all mats will
aspire to."


...and an observation of a dem at a show:


Hi Arthur,
   Sure.  I thought the achromat gave increased detail and impact bringing the sound into sharper focus and making the music more enjoyable.    You might also be interested to know that I observed one gentlemen listening intently to the achromat A/B comparison.  His feet with the felt mat remained still but one of them started tapping intently to the music when the achromat was put on - as the music went on this spread until his whole body was jigging around!   The other thing that sticks in my mind are the amount of smiles that broke out around the room (amongst the listeners) when the achromat came on.  A sort of 'yes, this is good' it seemed to me. This was not just a one off but something I noticed frequently during the dems.     Another person came up to me and said 'the difference is obvious' (although you could of course take that both ways!).   Hope this helps and if I remember any more snippets I'll let you know.   By the way, I still have it in mind to get a Funk deck (have it in mind? Okay, I'd love one more like!), although probably the base model as I'd be stretching myself a bit too much for a V.  I remember at the show you had a sign up saying there are some reduced price ones available. Do you still have any? All the best Paul   

On LP12 kits...


Dear Funk Firm Just to say I am enjoying the deck tremendously - definately worth the money! clearer and more refined - loads more detail - rock solid pitch - sweet and flowing im a bit fussy about treble quality yet cant fault it the weird thing is its a bit like a hybrid of the best bits of cd and vinyl - the K drive is obviously doing its bit!!! thanks again Andy B

Dear Arthur,
As promised, my considered reaction to the Vector-isation of my LP12. It could probably be summarised in a three letter word beginning and ending in W but I will attempt to elaborate.
First the excuses
As you are aware, this particular odyssey began a few months ago with the purchase of an Achromat. I’ve for some time been keen on the notion that a vinyl record, or any recorded media for that matter, will give of its best when the information on it is extracted with minimal influence from the outside world.
This epiphany occurred after the purchase of the Linn when I realised that it didn’t actually sound quite as good as the LPT/RB250 - at less than half the cost - that I’d previously heard. However the LP12 had by then metamorphosed into an ‘object of desire’ as it were; I’d wanted one since the late 70s along with a few other badges of Yuppie (remember those?) allegiance that I sought to acquire - as you do. Also, it was preceded by a couple of conceptually similar Acoustic Research decks and AR had, I later learned, been the pioneer of the suspended sub-chassis concept so enthusiastically promoted by Linn. Moreover dealers with Linn/PT/Roksan demo facilities were as rare as hen’s teeth embedded in rocking-horse droppings so a proper ABC comparison was not on. So I bought an LP12 largely on trust, and a Lingo and was happy- ish
Getting to the point
Moving swiftly on by around 15 years brings me to the Funk Firm.
Initially the Achromat seemed worth a punt. Gadgets like Ring-mat seemed a bit flakey. I’d been tempted but they look very pricey considering they are made of paper and cork and I couldn’t relate to the idea of the stylus bouncing around on unsupported vinyl as any extraneous energy would have nowhere to go and the vinyl would flex and so on.
However, given the basic mechanics of vinyl replay the notion of a mat/support that was designed/devised to both provide support for the disc
and dissipate radiated energy - rather than simply act as a cushion for the record to sit on - seemed to have something going for it as any energy absorbed by the mat would not be reflected back towards the stylus and contribute to mis-tracking in the groove. It made sense.
So I whacked the ‘buy it now’ button and bought one and the results were pretty damn good, specially so for fifty quid. The soundstage opened up so there was better separation between instruments and sections of an orchestra, the ‘mush’ that had previously obscured some of the detail in the upper mid/treble was eliminated. It wasn’t quite a life changing experience but it definitely constituted a high value for money investment compared with many of the other mods made over the years.
It also encouraged a positive disposition to having the Linn Vector-ed. Not having had the opportunity to do before and after comparisons the decision to part with the cash was based on evidence rather than ears. The Achromat plainly worked well and the new top plate and sub-chassis promised more of the same, being basically engineered as ‘resonance killers’. Substitution of the pseudo battery powered DC motor for the old AC lump seems to follow contemporary best practice whilst the Vector drive itself looked to combine the best features of belt (isolation) with direct (stability). A review on Vinyl Engine from a guy who’d had his PT TOO upgraded also helped.
So I did it. Got in touch, trailed over to Catford, handed over the faithful Linn, went home, listened to CDs for a week-and-a-bit, missed the LPs and worried about whether I was doing the right thing. As you do.
And then the day dawned. Unpacked it, cabled it up, set up the tonearm and go. Well, not quite as the phono stage needed to warm up as it hadn’t been powered up while the deck was away.
First impressions were that the new top plate looked great, the vector drive looked intriguing and the power supply looked a bit dinky compared to the teutonically engineered hewn from solid appearance of the Lingo. I’d got used to the Acrhromat already; IMHO the white version is brill, and has the aesthetic advantage of not being mistake-able for a 500g LP pressing.
E-v-en-tu-ally I stopped looking at it and put a record on. ‘Temple of Low Men’ by Crowded House.
It was as if the members of the band, who had previously been playing in a huddle centre-stage had suddenly been allowed to spread out and had individual identities in a much wider and deeper sound stage. As a result it became possible to concentrate on whichever component of the band I wanted to without having to strain to listen. The effect on vocal harmonies was/is dramatic as I can now tell who is singing what and from where.
Next up was a pretty old and cheap but not too often played ‘Nice Price’ pressing of Carole King’s Tapestry. The opening track, ‘I feel the earth move’…… had always sounded pretty awful - like 33 played at 45. However the newly Vector-ed Linn seemed to slow it all down and make it far more intelligible. It performed much the same trick with Roy Wood’s Wizzard Brew; this is a recording that I’ve played about half a dozen times in 33 years as it always tended to sound like cacophonous mush. Putting it on the Funked-up Linn revealed a hitherto unsuspected level of musicianship amongst the band’s members; listenable at last - almost.
Upping the ante a bit, any track from The Eagles Greatest Hits now sounds like they’re in the room, whilst it feels as though you’re sitting next to Dave Brubeck throughout Classic’s 200g version of Time Out.
On classical orchestral work I’d previously always tended to feel that the trade-off between the precision of CD and the passion of LP was a closer call than on pop, rock and jazz. However having listening to Nigel Kennedy’s rendering of the Elgar Violin Concerto - on ciggie sponsored Music For Pleasure no less - and his later go at the Brahms I’ve at last been able to appreciate why the guy is so highly rated. Other classical LPs now combine precision with passion And it’s all down to the Funk Firm.
In three words, I’m very pleased. The big thing that Vector-isation gives the Linn is tremendous precision that results in much greater capability to convey what’s in the groove to the listener’s ears.
Best Wishes
Phil C.

Thank you for a great product.
Have been re-listening to my vinyl collection ever since.
Thank you for all your help and information.

Regards – Trevor (LP12)



As the week progressed the sound seemed to settle down, improving in leaps and bounds. My wife thinks I've left her its been so long since she has seen me.I simply want to keep getting up and changing Lps late into the night. To say that I'm pleased is an understatement. I'm in love with my new LP12!



Just dropping a line to express how pleased i am with the vector link upgrade you did on my LP12.
The differance it has made is nothing short of fantastic.
It as given my record collection a new transparency and musicality i never expected.
I had always been satisfied with the quality of sound from my Linn

I am now over the moon.

Thanks again

Peter


(Kit delivered that afternoon and having fitted it himself, the comments arrived 01.38 am):


Hi Arthur as you can tell by the time this email has been sent, I am burning the midnight oil. The Vector kit for the LP12 is absolutely astounding, cannot agree more with your marketing literature...well must congratulate you on the massive improvements to the LP12. Listening for the past week is like a whole new record collection. You just become completely absorbed in the music not the sound. ...the kit is excellent, and probably one of the most worthwhile upgrades that can be applied to the LP12 with dramatic unequivocable results
Thanks very much, it's reassuring to know the art of applied science and enthusiasm continues to thrive

Best Regards
Alan E