I have recently had the pleasure of spending some time with the brilliant new F500SP, which is made in Fyne's factory in Scotland. This new speaker is based on their bookshelf F500 model, and like its older siblings the F501 and the F502, it has been given the SP treatment, SP standing for Special Production.
The F500SP benefits from several things over its progenitor the F500: it has improved crossover, terminals and a bass plate which integrates with Fyne Audio's BassTrax's porting system. It also offers the option for a High Gloss Walnut finish, using the same material as the F700 model, which is not available on the standard F500.
The SP series borrows technology from the F7 series, which I can wholeheartedly say is brilliant with the F700 being one of the finest bookshelf speakers I have ever heard in my 20 years in the industry.
The new F500SP certainly looks the part in its Gloss Walnut finish, also available in Gloss Black and White, and with the single drive unit design standing proud in its compact cabinet they are a sight to behold.
With the speakers seated on a pair of Solidsteel SS-6 stands, running on Chord Electronics Hugo TT 2 and TToby with 2go and 2yu running as a streamer, I called up a few of my favourite demonstrations tracks.
Starting with Diana Krall's 'No Moon At All', I'm immediately drawn into the image with the double bass strings sweeping through the frequency range down to surprising levels of depth for such a compact speaker. Then as Diana Krall's vocals sweep into the track you can hear her intake of breath beautifully as she emotionally draws you into the track.
One of the other striking things about all Fyne Audio speakers, but particularly the F500SP's, is how good they are off axis listening to the opening guitar riff of U2's 'I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking For'. You can hear the guitar sparkle from left to right even when seated all the way to the left speaker and as the track builds the scale of the image is magnificent, then when Bono's vocal kicks in you can hear how locked in the soundstage he is.
I then switched to something a little heavier from Metallica's S&M album, one of my favourite band/orchestra collaborations conducted by the late great Michael Kamen. Playing 'Enter Sandman', as the orchestra starts to build with just the electric guitar before the full band kicks in again the speakers show terrific scale and then show that they can rock with the best of them, handling the big bass notes and the ample thud of the kick drum that's hugely impressive from a moderate sized bookshelf speaker.
In case you can't tell I really like these speakers and I'm sure you will too. To sum up: they are a fantastic bookshelf loudspeaker, bold looking, superb sounding and made in the UK by a British speaker manufacturer with terrific heritage. What's not to like?
Watch our unboxing video of the Fyne F500SP speakers here: