FINKTEAM BORG - STARS OF THE HIGH END MUNICH 2019 PHOTOS
Are you looking to know more about the speaker used in the Steven Wilson High End Munich 2019 promo photos? We Fink that resistance will be futile once you get the details, so set phasers to want.
Firstly, the speaker with quite literally a supporting role in the High End Munich 2019 shots is the FinkTeam Borg. Secondly, let us answer the question that's probably doing the rounds in your head.
FinkTeam is based out of Essen, Germany and created by German acoustician Karl-Heinz Fink. His Fink Audio Consulting company is behind the development of many significant selling, award-winning loudspeakers from brands such as Q Acoustics, NAIM, Tannoy, Mission.
As is the way of this industry, Marantz brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata is an old friend of Mr Fink and asked him to design a no holds barred, money no object loudspeaker to demonstrate some high-end Marantz electronics at the 2014 Munich High End Show. Further down the line, those speakers became the WM4, used by Marantz at Munich High End 2016. The reaction was extremely positive, seeing several pairs sold at 60,000 Euros a set.
At this time, Fink Audio consulting was made up of vibration specialists, electronics engineers, cabinet makers and acousticians. The Essen base was kitted out with a large anechoic chamber, laser interferometry equipment, cabinet building facility etc.
FinkTeam was formed in 2017 alongside Fink Audio Consulting to design, develop, manufacture, market and sell hi-fi equipment including speakers. The WM4 continues, and development of a new, smaller two-way floorstanding loudspeaker started: code-named Borg.
As you can imagine, I am fighting my geek-brain that wants to shoehorn tired Star Trek puns into this section, but the line must be drawn here! This far, and no further! (sorry).
Borg was launched at last year's High End Munich show and features a 10-inch, Fink designed and engineered high powered bass/midrange driver coupled with Fink engineered AMT HF unit in a two-way configuration. Again, the FinkTeam speakers were well received.
Borg is a significant design exercise, as knitting a 10.25-inch mid/bass, albeit an extremely fine one, with an 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. Moreover, accomplishing this with is no off-axis hole in the middle.
The 10.25-inch mid/bass supplies a level of dynamics and naturalness around voices that is unusual. Furthermore, there is a richness to the sound without bloom or boom.
FinkTeam proudly states:
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, a three-inch voice coil for better control and power handling and a light, stiff paper cone. Of course, it includes all the usual FinkTeam design essentials: an aluminium shorting ring on the centre pole to reduce voice coil inductance and to minimise flux variation. The die-cast aluminium chassis is fully vented for low airspeed, as is the voice coil former, both reducing distortion and compression. All this brings a dynamic low-colouration drive unit with high power handling and very low thermal compression.
The tweeter is an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) 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 excellent internal damping, resulting in unusually low distortion. A special etching process was developed to produce it and the diaphragm configuration optimised through a large number of tests. You can expect a beautifully clean sound that's “accurate and fun.”
To compensate for difficult rooms, the Borg has some controls on the back allowing for some subtle settings of response.
These are as follows:
- Damping: Allows a degree of adaptation to suit different amplifier damping factors.
- Mid: here 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.
Naturally, the cabinet has been designed to allow the reproduction of low-level detail in a recording which is otherwise swamped by spurious cabinet output. There is reduction of colouration and time smear, stereo image focus is improved, and listener fatigue avoided.
Overall, Borg is designed to be 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.
At this year’s High End Show Fink Team will again be showcasing the Borg and show the various available finishes.
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.
We will be sure to visit FinkTeam at Booth A4.1 E117 as so should you!
StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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