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Funk Firm Little Super Deck
p2 Sound Quality
P3 Conclusion
p4 Measured Performance
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FUNK FIRM LITTLE SUPER DECK REVIEW, HI-FI WORLD, MAY 2013 ISSUE

 

 

SUPER SPINNER

 



Tony Bolton gets himself in a spin with Funk Firm's new entry level turntable.

In the last couple of years a lot of media space has been devoted to the vinyl revival that is taking place. As a testament to this there are a steadily increasing number of new turntables coming onto the market. Newhaven based turntable specialists, the Funk Firm, have recently joined this throng by introducing the Little Super Deck.
    This example is priced at £1164 including the new F5 arm. It offers a more traditionally styled machine than some of Funk’s more modernist creations. The combination of an oiled walnut veneer over the MDF plinth, and the gloss black acrylic top plate, give it a retro appearance, rooted in the 1970s, but done in a 21st Century manner. Black or white versions are available for £1100, with other colours available to special order and costing the same as this wood finished variant.
    Lifting the glass platter reveals a sub platter which is driven by a belt that loops around three pulleys. This is the Vector drive system to be found on all Funk Firm turntables. The brass pulley is attached to the DC motor, while the two black ones are unpowered idlers, serving to position the belt so that the drive is evenly distributed around the platter. A switch at front left selects 33 or 45 rpm. The layout is unusual in having the lower speed to the right-hand side.
    Both of these speed settings can be fine tuned by moving the deck to the edge of a shelf and using a screwdriver to access the two trim pots found underneath. The left foot is thoughtfully placed behind this area so that the deck can remain secure on the shelf while this takes place. The three feet are adjustable for leveling the deck.

 

The three pulleys of the Vector drive system can be seen with the platter mat removed.


    The platter is topped by a quite thick felt mat, although the Funk Firm’s Achromat is available as an upgrade, costing £57.60 for the 3mm thick model. A bright blue example was supplied with this review model, and after a brief comparison I did all of my listening using the Achromat. The bearing assembly sits in a brass housing that contains a hardened steel ball resting against the burnished and hardened steel shaft of the inner platter.
    The F5 arm (retailing at £600 if bought separately) is made of aircraft grade aluminium and has a few unusual features. Notably, the anti-skate weight is adjusted by moving a rod in and out of the bearing housing, instead of moving the anti-skate weight thread along a rod. This is far less fiddly than the conventional system and made fine-tuning the bias setting very easy. The arm bearings are housed in an aluminium housing, run in a seven-ball race.
    

The unusual antiskate arrangement. The rod inserted through the top of the bearing housing is moved forward or backwards to apply bias.

 

Setting up is fairly straightforward, although some assembly is required. The instructions are quite comprehensive and easy to follow. The arm requires the headshell to be fitted. This is also aluminium and is secured by a hex-bolt that fits into the top of the arm tube. I am advised that current production models differ from this in having the cartridge alignment slots in the conventional position, instead of the adjustment being carried out by moving the entire headshell along a slot, as in this example. This alteration makes changing headshell an easy operation should you be running, for example, a mono and stereo cartridge, mounted on separate headshells.
    Once the cartridge is fitted (I used my Benz Micro Ace L) the arm is balanced using the large rear counterweight. Once the arm is floating level, down-force is applied by sliding a circular weight forward along the arm, in manner that reminded me of the 1970s Mayware Formula 4 unipivot arm. There are calibration markings along the arm tube, that proved pretty accurate when compared with my Roksan Digital Stylus Balance.
    Apart from the Achromat, there is an optional upgrade to the power supply, the XL PSU (£360) and the deck can be mounted on the Kinetic Kradle isolation platform (£450). Since the deck is unsuspended, it will be sensitive to footfalls when the equipment stand is resting on a bouncy floor, so this may well answer a few potential problems. Purchasers may also specify one of the FXR range of arms, priced from £1350.
    I set the deck up in the upstairs system in the place vacated by the Sondek, sitting on a Voodoo Airtek air suspension support on a Target wall stand. Houseproud owners will be pleased to note that the clear acrylic lid is a standard fitment. It slides off its hinges easily and I did all listening with this removed.



 

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