Funk has long maintained that the humble “tonearm” is a serious weak link in achieving purity of analogue replay.
Indeed this is immediately supported when one looks at Funk’s first foray into pickup arms, the FXR. Its performance has been universally received as a revelation in what can be achieved to push the envelope forward in arm technology and has been selected for use by four leading reviewers as their personal choice of arm. The unique F•X construction at the heart of the FXR requires significant detail in its manufacture to ensure its superb performance.
Based on the same desire for listening purity we have engineered and developed the F5 arm. Achieving high levels of listening pleasure which Funk are renowned for, we are proud to unveil its latest creation ... the F5 ... which is aimed at those who wish to own a superb product at a lower cost. We are proud of the results, we are sure you will be too.
In addition, the F5 has been designed to perfectly complement Funk’s new Little Super Deck. The Little Super Deck's glass platter and felt mat means that although the design format follows that of other deck manufacturers such as Rega and Systemdeck, a quick listen proves that Funk have again been able to deliver market leading performance that easily punches above its weight. And the reviews agree.
The F5 plays a major part in achieving this excellence. The F5 not only complements but actually enhances Little Super Deck’s performance when compared to the industry’s normal offerings, the RB 250 /300 / 301 / 600 / 700 and so on. As a result, we took the bold step of designing the F5 to be an upgrade option for owners of Rega Planar 2, Planar 3, P3, P5, P6 etc. who also want to achieve significant improvement without having to purchase a whole new deck. The upgrade option can be enhanced further by using one of Funk's Achromats or even better our Achroplat.
F5 will deliver a level of musical pleasure that will instantly enhance you musical enjoyment.
F5 is a ground up design which helps it deliver technically, which then works to get more music from the groove.
Immediately noticeable is the contrasting sliding weight on the arm itself. On the one hand, this makes setting the tracking weight very straightforward. It does, however, have a more cunning benefit. Moving coil cartridges tend to be low compliance designs, which track at slightly elevated tracking forces and benefit from higher mass arms. The sliding weight moves further forward thereby increasing the effective mass.
Conversely, moving magnet cartridges are higher compliance. They track at lower weights and need lower mass arms. With F5, the sliding weight doesn't go as for forward and the effective mass is lower.
The stylus is THE business end of the analogue chain. If it breaks, you ruin your records. If it is worn, reproduction is poor at best and again you can wear your records as well. Worst of all is that it is oh, so-o tiny. There is no way we can tell how much wear there is (or even if it is there at all!). Add to that most of us are pretty lazy / impoverished; certainly we can't recall how many records we've played and so on. All this adds up to potential problems down the line. The trouble is that once trouble has occurred, there is no going back.
So, doesn't it make sense to protect your stylus from day one? And one of the easiest and most important things you can do after setting the tracking weight is to correctly set the bias.
The trouble is that bias is one of those things that very few people give much thought to. If a design says "adjust it 'so'", then surely that's good enough. Sadly, that's not the case. Bias is an insidiously important part of the setup. It works unseen to affect tracking, distortion and most damaging of all, the wear of your precious stylus. For any given cartridge, there is a correct amount of bias to be applied at the start of the record and this then needs to diminish gently towards the end.
Magnetic systems are by their very nature non-linear and bias systems based on them will vary quite dramatically and incorrectly, hence why we have chosen not to use them here but instead returned to the tried and tested thread and weight.
In this day of super cool black box wizardry that is the computer, it might look tweakish - we actually think it looks pretty funky but that's our opinion. The important thing is that they do a really good job of keeping the stylus evenly balanced in the groove, preventing it from forcing its attention on one groove wall or other.
having said that, historically, thread and weights have been fiddly. We have looked at it long and hard and come up with a solution we think is pretty neat. Instead of fighting with moving the thread along a rod (as per the previous norm), we fix the thread to the rod and move that instead. Problem solved.