Auditioning The Fyne 703 Soon

I have had my von Schweikert DB 99se loudspeakers almost 17 years and they still sound good to my ears but I am intrigued by this new company. I will let the Forum know my impressions. These new loudspeakers should match up well with my PrimaLuna integrated amplifier
Jim Smith of Get Better Sound replaced his Tannoy Canterbury speakers ($30k) and all Duelund external crossovers ($10k) with Fyne F703 speakers for his RoomPlay Reference sessions. I believe he's driving them with the ASR Emitter II integrated.

To be fair, Jim had the Canterbury SE and I believe they retailed for $20K at the time. That SE model would in fact benefit from additional clarity & detail that would presumably be imparted by the Duelund crossover. The current model/iteration is the Canterbury GR, which is $30K. Much more detail, clarity, and extension on the GR, when comparing stock models. 
Thanks for the clarification.

Canterbury SE $30k (similar in sound to Jim's older modified pair) vs Fyne F703 $14k which Jim prefers and bought.

Kind of looks like the F703 would be the no-brainer.

But still best to use your ears. I would strongly recommend anyone considering the Tannoy Canterbury SE to also audition the Fyne F703. Or if one insists on spending around $30k, then audition the Fyne F1-10 ($32k).
BTW, the Fyne F703 and F1-10 are made in Scotland. The company was founded by ex-Tannoy employees.

Jim's old Tannoy Canterbury speakers were made in Scotland.
The new Tannoy Canterbury SE is made in China as are all current Tannoy products.
Canterbury GR is the current model, since 2013. SE is the old model, which Jim owned, and which I owned before I bought GR. It does appear now that the move of all Tannoy production over to China (including Legacy and Prestige lines) has been confirmed, sadly. There may still be UK stock on hand filling orders for the time being - hard to say for sure. I bet they’ve dropped the UK stickers for Chinese production.

I’ve been watching Fyne with very much interest, but it’s gonna be tough to make me move from my Tannoys. The fact is that dual 10"/12" drivers or a single 12" is going to sound different than the single massive 15" alnico Tannoy. There will be plusses and minuses to that. There is a scale, intimacy, and life-like image size of the 15" driver that was not replicated in the 10" and 12" Tannoys. On the other hand, asking a 15" woofer to reproduce up to 1.1kHz (and beyond) has its problems too. 
I wouldn't move to Fyne if I had your speakers, what appears to be a very nice system.

What I'm proposing is that anyone in the market for the upper Tannoy models should go out of their way to also audition either the Fyne F700 or F1 series speakers. Jim Smith did and the rest is history. I've attended one of his RoomPlay Reference sessions and confirm that Jim has special skills and a special room. I would recommend this service to anyone. While in GA, take time to see The Big House (Allman Bros museum in Macon) and spend a few days in Savanah, our new, favorite US city.
Recently, I heard the models in the F1 line at the Capital Audiofest and I was extremely impressed with the sound.  All three models had the fast, lively and engaging sound you expect from Tannoy-based designs, but, to me, they sound substantially better than Tannoys because they did not have the slightly hard and sibilant edge in the upper midrange that I hear with the high end Tannoys.  

Another big fan of Fyne speakers here. I flew down to Florida to audition the F704s back in the spring and bought them on the spot. Nearly seven months later, absolutely no regrets. In my system, they are musical, brilliantly balanced speakers. Furniture grade build as well.

Do let us know. I can only say that from a design perspective. It has pluses and minuses. It is quite efficient allowing a larger choice of amps. It has controlled directivity which should make room acoustics less of an issue and it's coaxial drivers should image as well as a multi driver dynamic speaker can. What would worry me? The midrange to tweeter crossover is 1st order at 850 Hz, that is real slow and low which can be very dangerous for tweeters. It is an efficient speaker but if someone uses them in a large room with a bigger amp = tweeter toast. It still is going to need a subwoofer to produce bass below 50 H with authority. I am not a fan or ported systems. They generally do not provide the cleanest sharpest bass. I grew up with infinite baffle Bozaks. The first time I heard a ported system I thought there was something wrong with them. It is an interesting port design, slot loaded with a secondary baffle. I am sure it will sound interesting. Are they worth $14,000? For $8000 you can have Magnepan 3.7is. For $15,000 Sound Labs 545s. Both really require sub woofers but then so doesn't the Fyne although the Sound Labs are most dependent. Certainly the Fyne has a better waf score. The Fynes are for certain a different breed which makes them interesting.

I went to listen to the F703s a few weeks ago and also bought them on the spot, although the fact the proprietor offered to sell me the demos at a nice discount didn’t hurt. Still dialing them in and really liking what I am hearing and so far my only possible regret is that I didn’t get the F704s, my thoughts were that the 75mm tweeter vs. the 25mm on the 702 was more important than the 250mm drivers on the 703 vs. the 300mm on the 704 in my room. Very nice speakers 

Very good point and interesting concern raised by @mijostyn .

A 1st order 850 Hz high pass will send an awful lot of energy to the tweeter. By comparison, the big Tannoys had a 2nd order 1100 Hz high pass. Their 2" compression tweeters had 2" round wire voice coils to help dissipate the heat. The Fyne has a 3" compression tweeter (and I assume coil?) so all else equal that can handle more power. For sure, the Tannoys are robust but if something goes bad it’s going to be the compression tweeter from either overdriving, manufacturing defect, or a combo of both. I had a tweeter start to go slightly noisy/distorted in Kensington SE. It wasn’t a catastrophic failure; really subtle and only barely noticeable in specific scenarios, but it’s a good idea to have spare tweeters on hand - they’re relatively affordable and easy to replace here.

Cabinet wise the Fynes follow the Tannoy Definition line - contemporary curved cabinets with rear reflex porting. The focus is more on styling and bracing/rigidity than cabinet air volume. To be quite honest this line never gelled with me sonically. The Prestige line is front vented, not reflex ported, and always seemed to have a richer midrange with a better musical balance. Not sure how much of that difference is from the porting, but I can have my suspicions. The starkest contrast of these cabinets is Definition 10A versus Kensington SE, both with the the same 10" driver. I did not like the 10A at ALL. Bright, lean, aggressive.

The 703 ports out the bottom. Thanks for the inputs. Sonics are most important to me but aesthetics count too.

@tuberist , correct, They port out the bottom through a secondary enclosure into a 360 degree slot. I believe this is a method of tuning the port to work over a broader band. Not totally sure on that. It might also dampen port noise. Regardless, in todays world you can make any sealed design do whatever you want in a distortionless manner with DSP and enough power. This really applies to subwoofers which this speaker really needs anyway to lower distortion in the midrange/woofer and to keep the tweeter from frying not to mention low bass. I would plug the port with expanding foam and get subwoofers. (with a 2 way crossover)  

Having to satisfy the wife is not compatible with decent sound. First of all, there is no satisfying them. There is always going to be something wrong with everything. To you blossoming audiophiles out there, you have to make a deal before you get married. You get X and I get my HiFi and my own room. You can get them involved by letting them design the room around your HiFi gear.

@mijostyn I've cranked up F703 speakers in a large room with a powerful solid state amp, so loud I had to wear ear protection because I wanted to see when they would go into distortion. I do that because, you will only really, totally break in a speaker if you drive it just short of distortion for a while. Best way to do that is put the speakers in a back room, face them at each other and reverse the speaker cables on one.

Anyway, no, you won't need a subwoofer to get bass with authority below 50hz.

I'm not hearing anything that the posters above who have not heard the speaker but think the speaker must sound like, with my F703 speakers

These speculative posts without actually owning or listening to the product being discussed is a huge disservice this forum.

@vinylvalet , I am very happy that you have speakers you like.

That is a patently silly way to "break in" loudspeakers. Without a specific decibel reading I have no idea what "loud" to you is. I can blow those speakers in a heartbeat. Bring them over and I will show you. Bring me a print out of the their frequency response from 10 Hz to 20 kHz at your listening position and I will show you how they do not produce very much low bass. What you hear is not a good indication. People think they hear bass coming out of computer speakers. Sorry, you can not overcome the laws of physics. I strongly suggest you get two subwoofers. You will also notice a marked improvement in your midrange. (less distortion)

Mijo, Thanks for participating in this discussion. I am curious, do you have a background in audio engineering and specifically loudspeaker design? Have you heard any of the Fyne loudspeaker line? What were your impressions? This company has been around for maybe five years and I haven’t heard even a whisper about their drivers and designs being prone to blowing up. BTW, I have done loudspeaker break in as vinyl valet described and found it to be very effective for loosening up the drivers.



Fair, I shouldn’t be commenting anymore on Fyne before I hear them. But this experience with Tannoys most likely carries over: when you buy these, get a pair of spare tweeters for your Fyne and stash them away safely for peace of mind.

I hadn’t read complains of Tannoys failing either, but I’ve definitely witnessed degraded tweeter performance: once on my Kensington SE, and once on a friend’s Dimension TD10. Upon discussing it more with my dealer "oh yeah, that can happen". It was a rather subtle distortion in nature, and only one tweeter was affected each time. Didn’t wait around to see if it would get worse; just replaced them and they were at peak performance afterwards. Didn’t happen again. The cost of the replacement tweeters should be reasonable. I'm guessing the Fynes will be more akin to the Tannoy tulip tweeters, which include the waveguide and magnet in their assembly (alnico Tannoys tweeters are just the 2" metal diaphragm, voice coil, and plastic end cap).

@mijostyn, not to be argumentative, I'm really curious about this.  You ask about "from 10 Hz to 20 kHz at your listening position".  How many speakers produce anything audible in that range?  And if they could, what instruments have fundamentals there?  Just as important, what music is scored with any notes within that span?

Regarding vinylvalet's suggested method for speaker break-in, what specifically is "silly" about that?  I've read that procedure recommended multiple times over the years as a quicker, less-obtrusive method than simply playing them when listening.  What do you suggest?

I'm not a designer, only an audio hobbyist for some decades. 

@pryso , I think you'd better stay that way. 

"How many speakers produce anything audible in that range?"

Every single one I know of and I don't have to listen to them to know that. 

Vinylvalet thinks his speakers to down to 26 Hz because the specs say that. What he does not realize is that spec by convention is taken at one meter from the face of the speaker in an anechoic chamber or out doors. That is a far different proposition from 12 feet away in a residential environment. 

Talking about having to listen to a speaker to know anything about it is a cop out by people who do not know anything about speaker design because they are unread or just not very bright. Given the above technique of breaking in speakers I am inclined to believe the later.  Speaker engineering is very simple physics open to anyone who can read and do a little math. A lot of what people think is cool design is just marketing BS. 

Another issue. Why should I believe any lay person's assessment of "how something sounds" when painfully few of them have any idea what they are listening too? Some people think computer speakers sound great!  How many of you know exactly how your system performs in your rooms? Anyone here ever listen to a system that they know for a fact is reasonably flat? How many of you can remember what a system sounded like 5 minutes after you listened to it? Quick answer, none of you including me. You can remember what you listened to but not what it sounded like.

mijostyn, sorry, I misread your earlier comment as "10 to 20 Hz", not 20 K Hz. So my comment made no sense at all. Then I compounded the problem by copying your description, while again missing the K. Us old folks need to read twice before replying. ;^)

However I do fail to see why vinylvalet’s suggested procedure for break-in with new speakers is "silly", unless it was just his loudness level? In that case I agree it was unnecessary.

All three models had the fast, lively and engaging sound you expect from Tannoy-based designs, but, to me, they sound substantially better than Tannoys because they did not have the slightly hard and sibilant edge in the upper midrange that I hear with the high end Tannoys.

@larryi Yeah, I believe the Tannoy alnico/pepperpot drivers featured in the upper half of the Prestige line could be perceived this way. Careful gear matching can mitigate it. I think the Tannoy tulip waveguides w/ ferrous magnet drivers (which is a much newer design; the pepperpots date back go the 1940s!) tend to be a bit more easy going here. The Fyne drivers appear more akin to the tulip drivers and probably implement further refinements - it was about time!

However I do fail to see why vinylvalet’s suggested procedure for break-in with new speakers is "silly", unless it was just his loudness level? In that case I agree it was unnecessary.

@pryso In my experience with Tannoys - running them "close to distortion" over time is tempting fate. They sound better after burn-in, but not THAT much better, unless something is wrong with them. Not worth the risk, IMO.

@mijostyn chill a bit dude, it’s just a hobby. Did waiting so long for the SOTA put you out of sorts? 😕

mulveling, it's obvious that you appreciate the sonic presentation of higher end (Prestige) Tannoy designs.  I never owned any but I do as well.

A few years ago there was a Tannoy dealer in the San Diego area.  Our audio club had a meeting there to audition the big Westminsters on display.  Perhaps not the best set up but still a wonderful experience.  Based upon that a good friend began auditioning Prestige models at home, initially settling on a pair of Canterburys.  He was so impressed by those that he traded them back for the Kingdom Royal.  Driven by Pass Electronics that really is something to hear.

Recently however there are questions about design and manufacturing under the new ownership at Tannoy.  Therefore I'm curious about the Fyne speakers.  But not many dealers yet so not easy to audition.

Recently however there are questions about design and manufacturing under the new ownership at Tannoy. Therefore I’m curious about the Fyne speakers. But not many dealers yet so not easy to audition.

@pryso  Yep - my Tannoy dealer hasn’t picked up Fyne yet. And nobody knows exactly what the roadmap/outlook looks like for Tannoy. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they suddenly announce dropping the Prestige line and Kingdom Royals. There is nothing to indicate any production of that line has occurred snice the Coatbridge closure, and lots of doubt about the "quality" of new production, if it ever happens.

Canterbury GR are possibly my "lifers" and I have full spare drivers for them, otherwise I’d be looking hard at the Fyne F704, F1 10, and F1 12 right now.

@mulveling , I'm perfectly cool, actually stoned. How else can you deal with the modern world and and certain other people? Buckingham Nicks is on the table.

Just ordered a pair of F703s. They are scheduled to arrive at the distributor in Houston on Tuesday, then on to me.

This is a terrifically exciting, real and live sounding speaker.

I'm not at all unhappy with my Usher Dancer Mini Twos, but the Fynes are on another level as they should be at three times the price...

I auditioned my DAC through a pair of Fyne floorstanders .  I think they were 702.

Sounded very good. You can hear them at Fidelis in Nashua NH.

@andynotadam Congratulations, you're in for a real treat. I drive my F703 speakers with Zesto Audio phono, line stage and amp. Source components are a Weiss DAC and SME table. Enjoy!

Post removed