Arguably the best-sounding sub-£1000 turntable there is – the Funk Vector is an oddly shaped minimalist turntable that positively bristles with clever ideas.
The most obvious example is a platter made of foamed vinyl instead of the MDF, acrylic or metal that its rivals use. Funk Firm claims this material has the best structural characteristics for a record support and is better damped than solid vinyl would be.
The other standout feature is the use of two pulleys and the motor to create a triangular belt arrangement that drives the inner platter without pulling at it unevenly. The idea is that if the inverted sapphire-tipped bearing spins more evenly, you'll get a much better overall sound.
Sapphire and steel…
So how does the deck perform? The short answer is clean, open and ever-so detailed. This is a fast and articulate-sounding deck that doesn't seem to get fazed by complexity – rare at this price level. Carmina Burana can be as manic as it is musical, and the Vector reveals it in all its glory: dynamics are bold, and the scale is impressive.
Switch to Stevie Wonder's A Time to Love, and the Funk shifts mood effortlessly. Bass is crisply drawn and powerful, while vocals are full-bodied and articulate.
We mostly tested our Funk Vector with a £125 Rega RB250 tonearm and £185 Goldring 1042 cartridge (neither supplied at the quoted price). We also tried it with more expensive arms and carts, and heard significant improvements.
Flaws? Sadly, yes. There is a ‘homemade' feel about this deck, and not in a good way, Most turntables we've come across are better finished and have obviously more attention paid to the details of fit and finish. It's a real shame that Funk Firm hasn't put as much effort into this as it has the sound quality. If it does, the company will have a superstar on its hands.