FinkTeam KIM – the Story
Defining a new model for a relatively new company in the market place is always challenging. With Borg we made our second model a success by having innovation.
For our third model, KIM, we asked our dealers and distributors and they asked for either a more expensive model or a cheaper model, but there was no clear trend. So, we did what we are good at – we made it our own way again! Just a speaker that we would use ourselves, something which we could have fun on, designing a speaker for us.
Borg is and always was a statement speaker. Bold and visible, never trying to hide and with as little compromise as possible. So how could a new model be different? Importantly what Borg innovations could be used? How could we reach a retail price which makes the speaker available for more people without losing quality?
A few basic design principles stayed the same. A reflex system with a paper coned woofer with oversized magnet, 2 way construction with AMT tweeter, again based on Mundorf constructions. A cabinet with everything needed to avoid unwanted radiation from the box and a crossover with high quality parts.
So what is different? Obviously the size. The idea was to find a cabinet shape and size that would integrate easily in living spaces. We decided that the height of the speaker should integrate with other things in a living room not higher than the window sill, chairs, tables, sideboards etc..
The cabinet should be a proper size for an 8” woofer and a shape that would be less bold than the Borg cabinet. The result is a rectangular main cabinet and front baffle which offer a shape to minimise diffraction problems from the drive unit. A shape which can offer the same two colour solutions as Borg.
Due to the low height of the design the speaker is tilted on its dedicated stand, this ensures that in a normal listening position the soundstage has the correct height and size. There is still the ability to adjust the angle in case the listener is closer or further away from the speakers. As the stand is so important for the final sound it comes together with the speaker. The stand is made from stainless steel and only has very small surfaces that could radiate resonances and is light enough not to store energy.
The terminal panel utilises one set of pure copper binding posts. It follows the philosophy that one good cable sounds better than two, so better quality cable can be afforded. For adjustment to different amplifiers the woofer damping can be modified and a second switch sets the HF level.
The crossover follows the tradition of Linkwitz–Riley filter 4th order at a low 2200Hz, the AMT is also connected via a passive delay to adjust the phase in relation with the woofer – something that worked very well in Borg. Air-core have been used on all important inductors and capacitors; they are a mixture of Mundorf components plus some custom made for FinkTeam in order to get the tonal balance correct. The resistors are all low inductance bifilar types, all custom made with copper lead wire and low tolerance.
The woofer uses a paper cone, this time with a rubber surround. On an 8” driver It is not possible to use corrugated cloth as a surround material without too many compromises. To get the resonance frequency down to the level required for the cabinet it would reduce the midrange quality and add colouration.
On the cabinet we used all the tricks and whistles we learned over the years. The walls are made from two panels with the latest damping glue between them, the bracing is all carefully optimized and resonators added to avoid standing wave modes without killing the fun out of the box with excessive damping material. The port is made using the same principles developed with Borg, but this time it’s integrated into the rear panel.
What about the name? Originally the name we had was “Canale Grande”. This was because the internal construction with several Helmholtz resonators looked like a map of Venice! Later we decided to give it another name out of the Star Trek universe and this time we have chosen Kim; a nice friendly character that would fit in well with our idea to make the speakers easier to integrate in the home and less bold.
Kim will be available from August via our specialist network of retailers.