This decidedly odd slab of a turntable produces some extremely beguiling music in the context of an inexpensive arm and cartridge. It can do even better with dearer ancillaries and can be forgiven its foibles
Good build quality
Bass lacks power
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The 'V' in the Funk V turntable's name stands not for 'vendetta,' but rather 'vector'.
This is because the drive-belt does not loop around the sub-platter in the traditional fashion, but passes around two idler pulleys as well as the drive pulley, and drives the sub-platter at three points.
The reasoning behind this is that you get an even drive force that doesn't pull the bearing toward the motor, avoiding the lateral movement that this induces.
Its platter is quite odd, too; it's made of expanded vinyl and is aerated a bit like an Aero bar, albeit less chocolatey and more plastic-like. It's also very light to minimise energy storage. Funk calls it an Achroplat, after achromatic or colour-less.
It sits on an acrylic sub-platter with a sapphire bearing that's bolted into a slab of shaped MDF along with the compliantly mounted motor and arm board. There's not a great deal in the way of vibration resistance beyond Sorbothane mountings for the round acrylic feet, which are so softly couched that they tend to splay out if not stood on rubber O-rings.
Speed control is via a large knob that's precariously close to the cartridge, care being required when setting the arm up to make sure the two aren't overly close.
The arm is a Moth RB250 with the old-style Rega mount, but the existence of an arm board means that different arms are more easily accommodated than Funks of yore. The cartridge is that 1960s throw-back the Denon DL103 - a spherically tipped MC with a lowish output.
Funk makes the point that the power supply needs to be warmed up before the speed is adjusted, but failed to put enough oil on the bearing for it to turn consistently! Once lubed- up, it managed to spin at the requisite 33.3, something that you are able to adjust with the aid of a 50Hz strobe light.
This turntable inspired all of the panellists to comment on a lack of solidity in the bass, the word 'loose' being bandied around with unusual consistency. They are right, or we agree, the Funk does lack extension and control in the bass even when you stick it on a well-isolated rack like the Townshend VSSS. But, the Denon DL103 has a less than powerful bass, however, so this is also a factor.
What they do possess as a combination is considerable finesse and coherence across the rest of the band, imaging, for instance, was considered to be very good as was detail resolution, which makes up for its low frequency shortcomings quite well. You are charmed by the midband enough for the grunty bits to be less of a concern.
It times well too, which clearly helps. In fact, it has a more upbeat and on-the-money sound that most thanks to clean, crisp top end and, probably, the lack of deep bass.
Detail levels are better than average, delivering the intimacy of the Taj Mahal recording and more of the atmosphere of all the software we played.
The Funk V will not be a turntable for all; its softly couched feet and insubstantial feel do not suggest great value, but the finish is excellent and the sound unusually timely and coherent, few could deny its charm.
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