Available in 2 variants, Threaded and Bolted, for threaded (captive thread M2.5 which is fixed from above) cartridges and bolted (lugged cartridges with usually the need of a bolt and nut to fix) type cartridges respectively. See the image immediately below this form if you at all unsure which Houdini to choose.
Note: A few arms - Linn and SME certainly are narrow and Houdini will not fit as standard. For them we make spacers specifically to allow compatibility.
With Funk you can always expect the unexpected...
Houdini: Is it Heresy? Snake Oil? Leprechaun skin? (We’ve been accused of them all)
Or, as we state, is it genuinely the Next Step in Analogue?
Houdini (Pat Pend). It is derived from my £30k statement arm, AK1.
It’s my greatest invention to date, and it’s also the foundation of my Isolation Bubble concept.
By now, you’ll appreciate that Funk throws a lot of technology at you. You’d be forgiven thinking Funk is all about science. it isn’t.
It’s about one fanatical music-loving boy at school who was interested in physics. Upon hearing records not sounding as good as master tapes, he asked this apparently simple question: “Why don’t records sound as good?” For decades, and to our collective cost, this industry has specialised in pseudo-scientific fog, The science is merely a tool to distinguish fact from fiction.
“Hold the Cartridge Firm”
In an effort to hold the cartridge firm, for 100 years the BIGGEST, most successful companies, Rega, Thorens, Project, Technics, SME, Linn, Audio Technica and so on, have all insisted: “Bolt cartridge-to-arm very firmly”. It seemed the logical thing to do and the advice was universal. Some even added a 3rd screw! (Like that’s going to make the slightest difference). This advice has been supported by: The magazines, the cognoscenti, the “experts”. Thus, they must all be right. Certainly, after so long, there’s no way they can all be wrong…can they?
Recall, however, that using “reason” people (i.e. everyone) felt the earth was flat? But with science, the Greeks proved it was not.
Here’s the problem: Just as in the story of the emperor’s new clothes, in my innocence, my ears told me “something” was wrong. The difference was that I, as Pink Triangle and Funk, use master tapes as my reference. The evidence is there for all to hear.
Just listen… What other credible reference does anyone else use? Here’s a shock: You CAN’T use Digital. - see later.
At school I had access to master tapes – my math master owned Meridian records. I looked in awe, to all the big hifi companies, the greatest “whatevers”, the ones I’d put my faith in for progress, guidance, understanding, but most of all maximum musical enjoyment. Gradually I noted that despite ALL their money and resources, all they did was to sell the same thing, year in, year out: Same felt mat. Same AC motor. Same poor physics, (in truth, no physics I could see!)…When I listened against the master tape, they all delivered the same poor sound. I was being sold. I was forced to grow up fast.
I was 15, it was a bad year for me. Sadly, along with Santa, I stopped believing in them as well. I took NOTHING more for granted.
It’s a fair ask: “What have other manufacturers offered you, the music loving listener, that is new?
In the last 20 years, how much have they improved sound?” Sorry but to me it’s still a case of the emperor’s new clothes.
A simple case in point? 1979 I started Pink Triangle and my first patent: the acrylic platter – physics told me acrylic would sound better than felt. It did. But I was laughed at. Now look. The market is awash with acrylic platters! But where other manufacturers have been happy to copy it and stick to acrylic, I still wasn’t satisfied. I went on to improve on my acrylic with Achromat (another patent). Why? Why else? Because it sounds better yet!
In 50 years why don’t other manufacturers hold any patents improving turntable sound? Have all new ideas run out?
Certainly, patents are no game. It’s not easy. They are costly. The patent office is ruthless in rejecting bad applications so inventions must be novel to be granted – you have to be clever. How is it then that I, a single individual, hold FOUR patents? - Acrylic, Achromat, Houdini and Eeze-Lign. It is my goals that drive my ideas. (Outside of turntables I even have two more patents waiting.)
That’s why I say what you’ve been told is all wrong. You should decouple. When people try it this is their reaction:
“I have the impression I’m now listening to a Master Tape”. Disagree? You’re covered with a full money back guarantee. Win-win.
But here’s the instant consequence: If decoupling works, then every single un-isolated deck in the world is compromised! OUCH!
All Regas, Linns, Thorens, Technics, Pro-Jects, VPIs and so on. Physics shows there’s no counter-argument; they’re all in trouble.
They must now copy me – If they do that, they admit I’m right - or defend themselves, when the best moves are: either ignore me (don’t mention Houdini or decoupling at all, which is what they are doing), or,
Attack - A deluge of objections from engineers and the audio community: “A wobbly mount? It can’t possibly work”.
When pressed, naysayers declare “wobbly mounts offend their sensibilities”. Now that’s a highly scientific objection if ever I heard one! When pressed they admit they’ve not heard or assessed Houdini.
But, I do get it. How can one small voice against a whole industry be right? It’s made worse by brand loyalty. After all, you’ve put your money into these companies - you’ve bought their product. You WANT them to be right. You are always free to choose...
But what if I am correct? You, the listener, are stuck in the middle, you are left confused….and that’s a problem.
Fortunately for us, science takes no sides. The rights and wrongs of all arguments are stripped bare by analysis and modelling.
Most people find science boring. Proof demonstrating the core of idea would be good and it’s easy to find... Even you have it.
Using the same, (any) cartridge, (firmly bolted, of course), just swap arms and listen: Each new arm changes the sound.
Same cartridge. Different arm. Different sound. Conclusion: Proof that the arm is influencing the cartridge.
We want to hear just the cartridge, with no deck getting in the way. This defines our goal:
“The Record Cutter in Reverse”
Houdini’s design is complex. First three miniature springs align to form a virtual anchor. Then the whole assembly is stabilised with a torsion tether. It took two years to develop - a whole other story.
At the end of the day, it’s the results we’re interested in, and they do speak for themselves.
All you need do is listen for yourself:
“I thought my days of big gains were long behind me, but the Houdini blew my tiny mind” Oracle Delphi user.
It’s got nothing to do with the Music…Except, it is.
If Houdini is so great, why isn’t everyone jumping to broadcast this new development?
Follow the money! This is all about ££s, ££s, ££s. The money you give manufacturers and magazines when buying their product.
If others promote Houdini, they admit I am right (they didn’t come up with the idea) The loss of face results in a loss of market share and loss of advertising revenue, i.e. what magazines rely on, the £-£-£-£s that makes their world go round.
It is as simple as that. …But, “their” world, doesn’t make it “your world”. It’s up to you. Make it about the music.