Have you ever been to Scotland? When my family decided to explore a permanent move to London in the 1980s, we spent a few months on the road touring the United Kingdom. Any foolish notion that I had in my pubescent brain that the British would invite fellow members of the Commonwealth into England with open arms was quickly shattered.
The children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and Irgun members were never going to be invited into Buckingham Palace for tea and scones with Queen Elizabeth II; I grew up pledging my allegiance to her on a daily basis in Hebrew school and figured she owed me a tour of the place.
I wonder if the Queen has a pair of loudspeakers from Fyne Audio hidden somewhere in the royal residence or do they have to be British loudspeakers? Nothing wrong with Spendor, KEF, or ProAc but Fyne Audio would look mighty nice inside one of the reading rooms.
A bit dodgy the Royal family. Do you think they listen to music in Buckingham Palace?
I wonder that every time I enjoy my breakfast at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Scotland was always more my cup of tea. And bottle of Glenrothes. Glasgow and Edinburgh can be miserable places when the weather doesn’t cooperate but there is something majestic about the Highlands, Sean Connery, the Linn Sondek, Trainspotting, Ewan McGregor, endless castles, Angus Young and Bon Scott.
The Isle of Skye? Pure dead brilliant.
The British make some excellent hi-fi, but I’m definitely more comfortable in Glasgow than in London.
Our recent review of the Fyne Audio F302 piqued my interest.
Fyne Audio is a relatively new loudspeaker manufacturer that took form after some rather significant changes at Tannoy, but calling them new is rather misleading. When one considers that the principals behind the brand have collectively spent more than two centuries creating some of the best loudspeakers in the world – calling Fyne Audio new is a bit of an insult.
The lineup is pretty extensive, but our system this week is based around the affordable F302 floorstanding loudspeakers that deliver a lot of performance for the money and look quite sharp in the light oak finish.
The Scottish Chippy
Having consumed more than a few hundred orders of fish and chips in my lifetime, I’m practically Scottish. Old Salty’s in Glasgow is quite good. All of my favorite haunts growing up in Toronto are long gone. A few pubs in New Jersey make a decent fish and chips with cod, but nothing like some of the better places in Scotland.
The F302 do most things exceptionally well but lose some points for their treble which is somewhat hot if you don’t match them up with amplification and sources that are on the warmer side.
The Brio integrated amplifier from Rega has more than enough power to drive the F302 in a small to medium-sized room and its internal phono stage is excellent. Rega kit matches up rather well with the Fyne Audio loudspeakers; pace and timing is a strength of both brands. This will never be a boring sounding system. The Brio has just enough warmth on top to keep the F302 in check.
The Planar 3 continues to sell like crazy all over the world because it’s a very solid turntable with an excellent tonearm. Rega make their own cartridges, but we think the Nagaoka cart is a better match here.
A CD player? WTF dude. Nobody needs a CD player in 2021. We respectfully disagree. Make this the last one you ever buy. Rega was one of the last high-end brands to get on the digital fence and they did it right.
The streamer/USB DAC combination might seem unconventional but one plays off the other. The Allo is very neutral sounding and very detailed; the Schiit DAC adds some meat on the bones and keeps things moving along. Balance.
The key to this system is balance. The Fyne F302 need some restraint in the treble or you’ll be sorry. The Rega amplifier is the key here.
$5,000 for a system with 3 sources and floorstanding loudspeakers that will sound great with almost every genre of music?
Even the Queen couldn’t say no to that one.
Fyne Audio F302 loudspeakers ($745.00/pair)
Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier ($995.00 at Amazon )
Rega Apollo CD Player ($1,095.00 at Amazon)
Schiit Audio BiFrost 2 DAC ($699.00 at schiitaudio.com)
Allo USBridge Signature Player Streamer ($400.00 at allo.com )
System Price: $5,024.00
See more Audiophile System Builder articles: