FYNE AUDIO Vintage Classic XII


Floorstanding loudspeakers

Classically styled new range of speakers from Fyne Audio look authentic and cute. I am not a connoisseur of British speaker-building school, yet these speakers somehow manage connecting traditions and modernity into a functioning and impressive whole. Not only will they seamlessly blend with any period interior, but they will also represent an eye-catching artistic artifact in a hyper-modern residential places. And they sound fabulous.

Function and form

Ease of use

The Vintage Classic XII by Fyne Audio’s Dr Paul Mills employ the tricks of the past – like walnut veneer, woven fabric, and oversized baffles – blended seamlessly with the Fyne’s own technologies of today – like their magnificent IsoFlare concentric driver, FyneFlute roll surround, and 360°BassTrax diffuser port.

The 30cm driver uses multi-fibre bass and midrange cone, with 75mm titanium alloy dome compression driver in its acoustic centre. The whole aassembly is supposed to facilitate ‘ isotropic’ sound radiation, that is a spherical sound wave that is uniform in all directions, perfectly time-aligned. The crossover splits the bands at 750Hz; hence the Vintage Classic XII is a two-way speaker. Although the nominal impedance is 8 ohms, the speaker is very sensitive at 96dB. If you want to use it with a tube amplifier, it is worth checking whether the speakers will perform better connected to 8-ohm taps or 4-ohm taps. There is no strict rule for it, and often doing it the ‘wrong way’ elevates the performance.

The cabinets are made from HDF, and the walnut veneer is the only finish available. Each speaker weighs 55kg, and definitely benefits from good aftermarket isolation feet.

Bass management


The bass. Looking at the Vintage Classic XII, one subconsciously expects big and deep bass from the speakers of this size. At the same time, one (at least me) expects resonances and boxiness from the cabinets that are of British woodworking heritage. Well, Fyne Audio knows how to make the best out of both worlds. The bass of the Classic XII is big and enveloping, yet it is well contoured and does not lack texture. It is on the “physiologically pleasant” side, yet it can be incisive when a recording asks for it. Fyne Audio says that the speaker´s low end extension starts at 25Hz without specifying if it is 0dB, -3dB, or -6dB. My estimate goes for -6dB. I wish the midrange was a tad better blended to the lows, however this will be highly dependent on a particular set-up and listening conditions.

Clarity & delicacy


Unlike others, the Fyne Audio Vintage Classic XII looks great with grilles on. The grilles are beautifully made, truly Scottish, and held in place by hidden neodymium magnets. The same invisible magnets are built into the cabinets´ rear panels, so before a critical listening the grilles can be left attached at the back of speakers. It is a smart and easy solution. The fabric of the grilles is not overly transparent to sound, yet if you wish not to remove the grilles, you can compensate for the high-level detail loss by two knobs on the Fyne´s front baffle. They are marked as Energy and Presence. The former activates a shelving filter for treble (+/-0-4dB from at around 1kHz) and thus effectively balances the low frequencies vs the rest of the spectrum. The other knob is a bell equalizer centred at 5kHz (+/-0-3dB), thus manipulating the presence region. This way each speaker can be equalized separately. In case your listening area is acoustically asymmetric (think of windows on one side and open kitchen on the other), you can compensate for the reflectivity or absence of it. This is unachievable by tone controls on an amplifier, as they only work on both channels simultaneously.

The Vintage Classic XII provide a bi-wiring option, as well as the concentric driver´s basket can be grounded via a post between speaker terminals.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

The Finale of Peter Tchaikovsky´s 1812 Symphony (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) is a real and bombastic finale. It makes no sense whatsoever to listen to this piece at low volumes if you don´t want to end up with the orchestra of a shoebox size. Turn the volume up and run the sound through the Vintage Classic XII. The sound is spectacular, it remains organized, and provides explosive dynamics. The midrange is a bit more colourful to call it neutral, but the extra warmth and body induced by the cabinets fits well the classical genre, and the entertainment factor is high.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

The soundstaging capabilities of the Vintage Classic XII are in line with how wide and deep soundstage Fyne Audio’s non-vintage models can create. All dimensions, especially the depth of image, are very competent. The demanding recordings, like live Concerto de Aranjuez from Accuphase’s anniversary sampler, are reproduced with realistically portrayed stage where interprets and instruments occupy concrete spots. Despite the wardrobe size of the Fynes I could not detect any spatial compression, like I do with Focal Utopia speakers, for instance. Of course, the speakers must be placed as far as possible from room boundaries to perform the best.

There is a lot of liveliness and joy happening with the Vintage Classic XII. If you like big sound for good money, then these speakers are worth checking. If their appearance dissuades you, check them in natura. There is a certain magic around how they are conceived.

Price as reviewed:250 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Perfect Sound Group, Praha, tel. +420 722 960 690

Associated components

  • Sources: Musical Fidelity M6scd, XDuoo X10T II
  • Amplifiers: Rose RA180, Avid Sigsum
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Nordost Valhalla V2, InAkustik Toslink, Nordost Tyr V2
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Tyr V2, Nordost Qb8



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