Saffire III is precision sculpted from solid acrylic and meticulously finished by hand.
Inert and stable this provides an ideal platform to hold arm and record in precise relationship.
Saffire III's arm-plate hides a complex construction:
Carbon fibre with a constrained damping layer of specific compliance harmlessly loses energy as heat.
A platter's job: To passively support the record. It must neither flex nor ring.
Yet, by their very design, platters tend to be bell-like and ringing is something they want to do.
- To overcome this, we can add mass but that loads the bearing...that will inevitably introduce noise (rumble).
- To overcome the rumble we can lift that heavy mass magnetically...but that loses stability thereby introducing wow and flutter
- To overcome the Wow & Flutter we can use a bigger motor...but we are now ramping up the inertia, thereby storing energy, which has to go somewhere.
Following this route, in the end, always, it is the music that suffers.
You get the idea. Clearly, adding Mass per se is not a panacea for a turntable.
Review upon review state that Funk's measurements are always at the leading edge and limit of measurement.
This is because Funk follows a Balanced design philosophy, which is the Key.
It is for this reason that we have gained recognition for returning some of if not the lowest Wow & Flutter and the lowest of rumble figures ever recorded.
(It matters not which product for they all stem from the same design philosophy)
Our ongoing R&D program has resulted in a new platter material called "Strata".
The "Strata" name gives it away. It is a constrained layer construction.
The material of choice is in fact glass but the multiple layers remove the conventional signature for glass producing a construct incredibly rigid and dead. Strata makes for an ideal support for bonding Achromat on.
"Enterprise"-esque, Saffire's platter shape perfectly complements the plinth's smooth lines.
This shape, unique to Funk, has never been used in the history of turntables.
New Bearing: "Spin"
Strata is supported by a new bearing, called "Spin".
Spin is a precision ground surgical stainless steel shaft supported laterally with low noise PTFE bushes. This holds an optically polished sapphire* thrust plate, which runs against a laboratory grade ceramic surface.
All in all, a true low noise bearing.
The Drive: A direct-drive in all but name.
Supporting and driving a platter very evenly is Funk's forte via its Vector drive.
The platter is driven via a tightly coupled, higher revving DC motor with multiple minute error points in which to apply any correction - a complex multi-layered servo, which monitors both current and voltage.
This is all fed from an ultra low noise power supply with a very high degree of mains isolation.
Completing the loop, rotational platter stability is achieved via two quiet slave pulleys.
March 2015: The German magazine Audio, supported our contention that a Vector Driven belt drive produces extraordinary results - exceeding virtually every turntable in history.
What you hear:
A quiet, Wow & Flutter free, essentially imperceptible constant drive, feeding the platter under all loads.
Extrapolating from Saffire III’s lines and finish, Solus is large, weighty, tactile. Solus' control knob has a smooth, easy feel to select 33 and 45.
* All Funk's high end designs are all based on sapphire. Why?
Sapphire is only second in hardness to diamond and hardness permits a higher level of polish. With a coefficient of friction 50% less than steel or tungsten, we have less self-noise, which we would hear as rumble, and we have less wear.