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Discussion in 'audio' started by bbbiker800, Sep 9, 2020.

  1. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    Jame's adventure with the Funk Houdini.

    Thank you James for your help in producing this video.
  2. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    Duly noted we came here late. Got our trade status and now that this thread is largely done are moving to the trade area.

  3. Big John

    Big John pfm Member

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  4. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

  5. Nigel

    Nigel pfm Member

    A new price level too! :);)
  6. vinylslug

    vinylslug pfm Member

    There's an intersting discussion over at vinyl engine from sometime last year ( - specifically about the Origin Live enabler, but it's also a general discussion about such devices. Some interesting points are raised both for and against such devices. I'm fascinated the the whole debate, but remain a fence-sitter.
  7. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    When you can get a German to be this effusive you must be onto something.

    Indie Röhre wrote...
    At first I had no association with Houdini. Turning the pages helped me. The first search hit reveals something about a magician and escape artist who was so ingenious that he got the myth of an invincible superman. “To houdinize” was found in American vocabulary after his death. This is supposed to show how someone magically just escapes any sticky situation. Did Funk Firm boss Arthur Khoubesserian want to link the name to the historical wizard? Will the Houdini enchant me, will magical material be used, does it play with Houdini like unleashed? First of all, a lot of questions.
    What is a Funk Firm Houdini anyway. The Houdini, which is reminiscent of a ray in terms of shape, is simply a decoupler for pickup systems and is mounted between the headshell and the system. There was something similar from the Cartridgeman, but the Houdini is much more complex. A small bag is delivered with the Houdini, a template for shortening the screws, a particularly thin screwdriver (with which you can tighten the screws through the Houdini from above) and a set of nylon screws.
    When you have the Houdini in front of you, it becomes clearer how it works. The Houdini consists of a mount with a movable platform on the underside. How exactly it is stored cannot be seen from the outside. The pickup is attached to this easily movable platform. With two more screws you mount this construct on the headshell. So that the mounting screws that come from above do not touch the lower screws on the cartridge, they have to be shortened. A template is included to help cut to the correct length. It is placed on the headshell. First push the screws through from below, place the template on top. Cut off any excess with the nail clipper or cutter knife. Finished.
    In this way, the screws do not push the lower ones through from above and thus do not affect the suspension. So the pickup is located on the platform that allows slight movements - very minimal residual mobility. You can tell when you press your thumb on this platform that very little movement is possible. So you don't have to worry that the pickup will swing or something like that.
    DSCF9811 (1) .jpg
    Incidentally, the enclosed manual is made extremely well with very ingenious drawings.
    It is crucial that the pickup itself is not attached to the headshell with screws, but detached from it on the decoupling platform. The rest will probably remain a Khoubesserian secret. According to him, he started doing it ages ago. Now that he's already a little over 70, he wanted to fulfill this dream and revolutionize analog playback. He claims that he can use it to raise mediocre tonearms to a very high level; differences to expensive arms without Houdini would no longer be audible. A lofty goal. But now he has already caused a stir in the analog scene with the achromat and the vectoring drive.
    He is silent about the materials used. In the pictures you can see a slightly roughened material. What is under the platform cannot be seen. The screw in the middle secures the platform from improper use, for example by trying to somehow dismantle the pickup while the screws are still too tight. So the Funk Firm Chef has thought of that too.
    I thought I would try out whether Funk Firm is right with its ambitious goals.
    So I mounted a Houdini on the Rega RB900. There is an Aidas MC with a wooden body, the whole thing runs with an Acoustic Signature Final Tool mass drive. The Houdini is 6mm thick, so the VTA needs to be adjusted. Azimuth fitted well after the screws were tightened. It looks great - see picture. It took me 30 minutes to assemble. But I also worked very calmly and prudently. The openly constructed pickup worth 3K needs to be handled with care. Then I cut off a screw for the headshell too short. I would wish there were spare screws with me (luckily I had spare screws myself, as I have two Houdinis).
    DSCF9786 (2) .jpg
    Then it could go to the listening appointment:
    Trio, the current best of double LP in colored vinyl is allowed to go first.
    The track "DA DA DA I don't love you, you don't love me" is determined by the bass drum. A slack booom, booom, now becomes Pamm, Pamm! Holy Maria! This is immediately noticeable, the punch is now extreme. Fine details penetrate the ears. The stage moves closer together. This means that everything is a little closer. I notice this in the small, quiet intermediate part, where the lines of text ... I don't love you, you don't love me ... are apparently whispered directly into the microphone. I hardly heard that before. Now it sounds almost eerily close. I rub my hands in excitement and play the song all over again. In the second run, however, thoughts arise as to why it ended like this with drummer Peter Behrens. It was a cool sock. He died impoverished.
    The LP On the boards button is on.
    The eponymous track on page 2 sounds fantastic. On the left, Rory's guitar solo is very intense, on the right an impressively finely fanned out drum kit, but not too far out. It is now "pushed together" more realistically. How the Houdini can influence my sound stage is a mystery to me. All notes come out smoothly, including the sax. No squeaking music. The Houdini detoxifies the reproduction. You follow the notes and dream Feeling so close to Rory again, unfortunately I never saw him live.
    Now the Kings of Leon are allowed to ride a carousel and hiss? Yes, yes and yes again. No kitties. Youth and Young Manhood to 2 times 180 grams.
    The plate had a hook. Now the guitars are badly distorted anyway and the singer is dumpling his way through the songs. Woe to something that doesn't fit in the setup. Then it becomes exhausting. That was also so- pay attention to the past tense. It also sounded a bit musty. So the voice seemed slightly overcast.
    Holy Lord Choral Society. Now something is going on. All is well. The track "Wasted Time", oh that's wonderful. How is the song drifting, what's that cool. It sounds fresh, cleanly read from the groove, as if it were from CD, there is no crackling noise, the unfortunately too short drum and bass solo in the middle of the song is superb. Then that snotty voice. I could jump through the living room. Why don't i do it The parquet is not polished. The stage is set accordingly.
    And those are the inner grooves of the plate, gentlemen. The Aidas MC drives safely like the Hamburg subway on its rails. There are delicious views:
    DSCF9806 (1) .jpg
    The voices are absolutely cast in their given form. At least I don't have any more problems with S-tones. Too often it is pushed onto the Lp's and the mix. You make it too easy for yourself. Realization for me now - today.
    And here again. The instruments on an unrealistic stage that are too far out have disappeared. No, it's not too narrow now. Everything rather suitable. No drummer's octopus arms. The excellent PRAT is noticeable in fast songs. With air drums I now get into almost every rock song. I'm still keeping up with Kings of Leon. Let's see if that's the case with the next LP. This is the drum thunderstorm program.
    Time for rock'n'roll. Yes, she is again. The last record. Some get choking, the neighbors are made to report you to the uniformed men. The spiders fall from the ceiling. You drive out every woman on a first date. You can't make yourself less popular. Slipknot will try to rip my tonearm away. The band has been linked to youth deaths. But that could never be proven. The appearance of this band will make any grandmother swoon. I carefully place the plate Antennas to hell.
    What's happening now? Title "Eyeless" plays. The dog turns on its back and the legs point upwards. Does he give up or do I have a new Slipknot fan? To be on the safe side, I'll take him out. Because now it is turned louder. Shaking my head, I "listen" (does the term really fit?) To the sounds. Unbelievable these drums. ****. The tablecloth is about to fly off the dining table. That's not normal. I laugh my head off. Corey Taylor has a quirk. But his vocals are played more cleanly than ever. Whoa, shouts one off, but in the chorus he sings haunting melodies again. Fat. And those heavy guitars. The paint rolls off the loudspeaker. If you have the courage, please listen. Hot. Everything is sorted great. Each instrument is presented for itself. No, metal doesn't have to be a pulp. Here, too, the Houdini helps to analyze the music, to present it in all its facets. Differentiate instead of smudging sound.
    And what Arthur Khoubesserian promises, that records that once sounded exhausting, can now be played, he keeps. I haven't been able to hear the Slipknot in one yet. Now it becomes an experience. I am still shaking my head. It doesn't exist, what did that guy invent? The Houdini is a magician. Or does Arthur have magic hands? The name couldn't be more appropriate. If you're ever reading this, Arthur: Thanks Arthur for this gift to the Analog fans. You are now King Arthur to me.

    As for King Arthur? We always knew!

  8. robbyd

    robbyd pfm Member

    Isn't this the same as the Cartridge Man's 'Isolator' in effect?
  9. myles

    myles Intentionally left blank

    It has a bigger effect on your wallet!
  10. IanmacPFM

    IanmacPFM pfm Member

    Firstly thanks to BigJohn and Nobeone for their links. Having been away for a few days I did make the time to read and re read these and research further.
    To me this is clearly not new, a reapraisal with a slightly different approach to mounting ?
    I have asked twice for some test measurements proving the performance claims, nothing , other than the intended production of a super video, has surfaced.
    After reading all the aformentioned links I think I can see why.
    For myself I have concluded this is a hit or miss tweak with the possibility of the results going either way dependant on so many issues its impossible to prove consistency supported by measurable results.

    Verbal descriptions of sound don't cut much ice with me, all our ears are different, but seeing a before and after waveform is believing.

    Its also worth noting that technical points raised by others have gone unanswered
    From the descriptions and data provided in the aformentioned links, with a little more research, its an easy job to experiment DIY for a few pounds. Is it worth the effort with so many variables?
    I wont buy one, or indeed after the way Ive seen this being "marketed", any product from the same source.
    Why would the supplier of a high quality arm want to undermine his own product?
    answers on the back of a cheque please.
    fegs likes this.
  11. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    If you ask nicely they'll do you one at a heavy discount...
  12. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    Hello Simon, In your case you can just go round and visit Mark. BUT where do you go when you find that it is everything that we say it is and a whole lot more? Now that you have very firmly planted your flag in the snake oil camp?
  13. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    No we would like to think that two unique aspects of the Houdini's suspension architecture solves problems which the other product does not address. Isolator goe's part of the way. Houdini completes the journey.
  14. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Ive already heard Mark's view on how it sounds on his HRS100 equipped PT1. He was up late into night trying it out.

    I dont think its snake oil at all. There's no way introducing compliance between cart and headshell won't change the sound by both altering the carts ability to track and rejecting vibrations at certain frequencies from the arm tube.

    Its the one size fits all, always a benefit claims that I have issue with.

    Adding any weight at the headshell reduces the resonant frequency of the arm/cart combo. If you're up at 15-16hz, the added weight is a benefit, if you're already down around 8-9hz then not so much. If you're up around 18-19hz then its a godsend for your mismatched arm/cart choice.
  15. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    Well ok SQ, I've been in touch with Mark and will not hide the fact that he is still trying to decide if he likes it. But at least he is giving us a fair crack at the whip. I have no wish to be adversarial all I ask is that you also give us the same opportunity as Mark

    So what do you say?
  16. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    I think what you meant to say is he's still trying to decide if it offers 'any' benefit. Thats certainly my reading of his write up so far. What's he's doing is being fair in giving it every opportunity by trying it on all his decks and arms.

    I have no desire to waste a day setting my tonearm up twice. Especially as the additional weight of the Houdini on my 12" arm will take me outside of the optimum arm resonance numbers for the compliance of my cart. If anything id like my cart to be 2 grams lighter.

    I'm as likely to try one as I am to buy boutique cables.
    IanmacPFM and fegs like this.
  17. BertieWorcester

    BertieWorcester What-ho!!

    Well, one things for sure. If it works out, this thingymajig won't be sold on the back of a balls-out charm-offensive.
  18. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    Can’t say I find the sight of “balls out” charming, especially my own :)

    As a long time PT owner and fan, still have my PT1 from the 80’s, this thread and the whole tone of the manufacturers postings has actually put me off the thingymajig.
    IanmacPFM likes this.
  19. matodono1

    matodono1 Trade: The Funk Firm

    Here we go back to personal again.

    What it ultimately comes down to is this. Arthur (who has always loved analogue) has developed a product that will improve your sound and your enjoyment of the hobby.

    I am sure we can all agree that we love good music and the equipment that allows us to enjoy it.

    So we come here and let people know. Hey there is this great new product that's going to improve your sound and if you don't agree with us we'll happily give you your money back plus a bit extra.

    And in response we get... This thread!

    And then it becomes about personality??? You don't like my attitude... like I was put on the planet to be your Cuckhold!

    Well I am confident that if I am trying to improve your enjoyment of your sound and that we are all consenting adults and if you don't like it you get your money back then I will rest easy knowing it is not me who is the bad guy.

    So it comes down to this...

    Do you want better sound or not?

    If so we may have something for you.

  20. jamie123

    jamie123 pfm Member

    its the way you go about it imo ,if its that good it will sell itself.

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