HIFI PIG ADVERTISING PROMOTION

Hifi Pig brings you a series of promotional articles about the essential brands to have on your ‘go visit’ list at High End Munich 2019. Read on for more about their philosophy, their products and, of course, where they will be at this year’s High End Show. 

FinkTeam, a brand not heard of until a few years ago…

Resistance Is Futile

FinkTeam is based in the German city of Essen and was started by German acoustician Karl-Heinz Fink, whose company, Fink Audio Consulting, is the developer behind many big selling, award winner loudspeakers from brands such as Q Acoustics,  NAIM, Tannoy, Mission.

A very old friend of Karl-Heinz, Marantz brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata, asked him to design a no holds barred, money no object loudspeaker for Ken to demonstrate Marantz high end electronics in 2014 at the Munich High End Show. This developed into the production version, WM4, used by Marantz at Munich High End 2016. Reaction was extremely positive and several pairs of the WM4, price at 60,000 Euro were sold in Europe.

Fink Audio consulting by this time consisted of a team of ten made up of vibration specialists, electronics engineers, cabinet makers and acousticians. At their base in Essen they have a large anechoic chamber, laser interferometry equipment, cabinet building facility etc.

In 2017 FinkTeam was formed as an adjunct to Fink Audio Consulting, to design, develop, manufacture, market and sell hi-fi equipment including speakers which were to be the leaders in sound quality. The WM4 continued and design and development started on the next loud speaker model, a two way floor stander small than the WM4. Project name Borg.

Come Munich High End, Spring 2018, Borg was launched. A 10 inch, Fink designed and engineered high powered bass/mid range driver coupled with Fink engineered AMT HF unit in a two way configuration. The reception was to prove greater than anyone involved dreamed of.

Following last years successful Fink Team Borg launch Borg has seen successful sales in several markets, including the appointment of distributor in China. The Borg has also received several exceptional reviews around Europe.

As Olaf Sturm wrote in Hi-Fi and Records magazine 4/2018

“……the Borg is hands down among the most impressive sounding loudspeakers I’ve had in my listening room so far. With the Borg, Karl­ Heinz Fink and his team have succeeded in building an excellent loudspeaker. This applies both to the harmonic tonality, which is based on metrology and hearing impressions, and also the design. The acoustically finely tuneable Borg is indeed a serious assault on the loudspeaker establishment; with it, any resistance from audiophile listeners is futile in the spirit of the Borg.”

At this year’s High End Show Fink Team will again be showcasing the Borg and showing versions available in various finishes. Come and listen to the wonderful Borg.

The father of FinkTeam, Karl-Heinz Fink, will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions together with other members of the FinkTeam, technical and sales. Come along and see us at Booth A4.1 E117

Borg

Borg is a significant design exercise, as knitting a 10.25 inch mid/bass, albeit an extremely fine one, with a HF unit is never easy. To combine the two drivers to achieve a flat frequency response and, more importantly, a slow even mid/HF roll off in the power response is a significant feat of engineering. There is no off-axis hole in the middle effect.

Mid/Bass Unit

As one would expect the mid-bass driver of Borg is custom designed and manufactured exactly for the purpose. 10.25 inch mid/bass units are relatively unusual and crossing them well to HF units is not trivial but FinkTeam is relatively unusual: a technical challenge is just a design exercise that may take a little longer to solve. The benefits of a 10.25 inch mid/bass once heard are difficult to forget. A level of dynamics and naturalness around voices that is unusual and a richness to the sound without bloom or boom (in a well-designed system) that just sounds right. Smaller 2-way systems sound anaemic after hearing a ‘10 incher’. The Borg’s mid/bass unit features similar thinking to the WM-4’s bass driver: low hysteresis surround (it too looks like a pro driver), a large three-inch voice coil for better control and power handling and a light stiff paper cone. Of course, it includes all the normal FinkTeam design essentials: an aluminium shorting ring on the centre pole to reduce voice coil inductance change with position and to reduce flux variation as a function of voice coil current. The die-cast aluminium chassis is fully vented for low air speed, as is the voice coil former, both reducing distortion and compression. All this brings a dynamic low-coloration drive unit with high power handling and very low thermal compression.

HF Unit

The tweeter is an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) operating according to the principles developed by its inventor Oskar Heil. Developed and manufactured in-house by Mundorf with assistance from FinkTeam, the AMT has a strong, 25μm-thick pleated Kapton diaphragm with 50μm aluminium strips. This material has extremely good internal damping, resulting in particularly low distortion. A special etching process was developed to produce it and the diaphragm configuration optimized through a large number of tests. This was chosen by FinkTeam for its low distortion and dynamic ability combined with a beautifully clean sound that suited the objective of accurate and fun.

Flexibility Of Response

Even the best loudspeaker design needs some help in a difficult room. FinkTeam understand that we can’t all have totally treated listening rooms with ideal reverberation times and controlled bass. To help with this there are controls on the rear of Borg allowing some subtle settings of response.

Damping: Allows a degree of adaptation to suit different amplifier damping factors.

Mid: With the mid position, the position of the virtual stage can be changed from back behind the speakers to closer to the listener. It can also compensate for more or less lively rooms.

Presence: The presence control will mostly be used to adapt to amplifier or source characteristics. A softer amp or cable would need a plus setting, a somewhat brighter setup should have a minus setting. This setting can be also be combined with the mid setting to adjust for room characteristics.

High: Changes the tweeter level slightly for general balance adjustments and to compensate for rooms.

Cabinet

Typical loudspeaker cabinets have pronounced structural resonances which are very audible and reduce the speaker’s ‘signal-to-noise ratio’. At FinkTeam we take this aspect of loudspeaker performance very seriously because we know that a quiet cabinet allows the reproduction of low-level detail in a recording which is otherwise swamped by spurious cabinet output. Coloration and time smear are reduced, stereo image focus is improved, and listener fatigue avoided.

Distortion

Besides linearity and signal-to-noise the other key parameter the FinkTeam fight for is low distortion. Low distortion just makes it easier to listen for longer and for instruments to sound more natural. Compare brass instruments live to that reproduced by the average hi-fi system and to a system with low distortion and it’s clear that low distortion is far more natural.

Summary

Borg is designed as a more domestic friendly loudspeaker than the WM-4. Borg’s low frequency tuning is designed to deliver weight and drama to music but without making it a total diva when it comes to room positioning.

We look forward to seeing you on our Booth at the Munich High End Show, 2019. Atrium 4.1 Room E117.

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