Thanks to everybody who sent in feedback following my Fyne Audio F301 review. It seems the AA readership is as keen to see more coverage of the Fyne products as I am to review them. You’ve written in droves to ask for a review of the higher end point-source models. Please know that I am working on this, but I’m pleased to say that demand for the company’s products is high. Those interested please keep your eyes peeled, as I hope to bring you those reviews in the not too distant future.
Today’s review concerns the F303. The flagship of the F300 lineup brings the drivers of the F301 to the larger of two floorstanding designs. A pair of 6” (150 mm) mid/bass drivers are front-mounted in a D’Appolito driver configuration with the 25 mm (1”) polyester dome tweeter central of the two. The arrangement smooths the dispersion characteristic through the crossover region, widening the sweet spot and improving on and off-axis performance.
The cones are a multi-fibre paper with Fyne’s FyneFlute roll rubber surrounds. Formed with equally spaced grooves rather than a uniform surface, FyneFlute surrounds effectively terminate cone energy resulting in better control particularly at the leading edges of notes. A fixed central phase plug smooths the driver’s midrange roll-off characteristics.
As in the F301, the 25 mm Polyester Dome tweeter is fitted with a neodymium magnet and a phase loss compensator integrated into the protective mesh grille which delays the output from specific areas of the dome to give a smooth and extended response.
Specs quote a continuous power handling of 75W RMS, with a nominal impedance of 8Ω and a sensitivity rating on the higher side of average at 91dB (1 watt / 1 metre). Frequency response is 32Hz – 28kHz, with a 3.2kHz crossover frequency. Dimensions (W x H x D) are 190 x 962 x 271 mm (7.5 x 37.9 x 10.7 inches), weighing a fairly light 14.6kg (32.2lb) per cabinet.
Around back are bi-wirable terminals with pre-fitted bridging plates for single wire operation. They take bare wire, spades or 4 mm banana plugs and retain the tactile polarity designations as the F301 which is a minor though appreciated feature of note.
The cabinets, available in black ash, light oak or walnut, are nicely veneered, braced internally and subtly branded. The cloth-covered grilles are held in place magnetically. Being an integral part of the design, the tweeter grille, set into a curved fascia of glossy plastic, is adhered in place and thus is not removable. Like the F301s the F303s are impressive in their quality of build and finish, with minimal resonance shown by the tap test and no rough edges or imperfections of note.
Plastic stabilising plinths are provided in the box. These are bolted to the underside of the speakers with the included Allen bolts and spring / flat washers, and accommodate the M6 carpet spikes, also included. The spikes correctly couple the speaker to the floor and allow for a degree of levelling, with locking nuts to keep their position from drifting due to cabinet vibration.
I positioned the F303s roughly 1.5 m apart, 50 cm from the rear wall and both at least a meter from the side walls. They sat approximately 1.8 metres from the listening position and toed in slightly to an approximately 15-degree angle.
Though rear-ported, the F303s can perform well fairly close to a rear wall, as the cabinet design sees minimal air expelled through the port. At least 30 cm behind them is best. The driver configuration positions the tweeter below ear height when seated on a sofa of average height. This is an issue for all but the very tallest floor standers and requires good off-axis response from the speaker to aid dimensional perception and positioning.
The F303s were connected first to my Marantz PM-11S3 amplifier to ascertain the differences between them and the F301s, which were previously reviewed with the same amp. Thereafter they were connected to my Musical Fidelity M6sPRX power amplifier, it fed by an M8PRE preamplifier. Source components were Cambridge CXN and CXC transports running into a Musical Fidelity M6sDAC and my Technics SL-1200G with Audio-Technica AT33PTG/II running into an M6sVinyl phono preamplifier.
Unsurprisingly, the F303s have a great deal in common with the F301s sonically. They have the same musicality, the same easy, laid-back presentation. The larger F303s take the bass extension heard in the smaller F301 to another level, perhaps with a slight blur to extended bass notes being the only drawback as can be expected at this price. Detail levels are equally high, especially into the top-end where the F303s have a little more sparkle and a crisper, cleaner sound. This increases detail at the expense of being somewhat less forgiving of poor recordings.
Dimensionality is also improved over the smaller sibling, helped along by the greater scale afforded by the larger cabinet. The F303s present an easy load, able to achieve high SPLs with very little power.
Plentiful dynamics and articulate detail coupled with huge scale and excellent imaging make this another excellent speaker in Fyne’s F300 range. Build quality is great across the board, with a well-finished cabinet and custom drivers that are a cut above the norm at the asking price. Highly recommended.
I have read that, Fyne Audio is the modern avatar of Tannoy. I am curious to know how does this speaker compares to earlier budget offerings of Tannoy, like Mercury V4 / Eclipse 3 etc.
Kind of. The engineering team are mostly ex-tannoy employees but the technology, the designs, the materials etc are all reworked from the ground up. In answer to your question, they’re more natural. The V4s and Eclipse range, and to a lesser extent the Mercury 7 range had a midband boost. It wasn’t unpleasant but noticeable if you put them up against a higher end speaker. The Fyne F300 series smooths that out. Also much cleaner bass and the finishes are a bit nicer.
Thanks for this. It would be interesting to read how they sound in a more usual room aituation. 1.8m away from them is really close!
It’s about an average distance for a living room these days. I find that when you move them away you get similar results, albeit requiring more power. If you can really spread them out you’ll see the stereo image benefit.