Fink Team's New Highly Impressive Borg Episode 2 Loudspeaker

I admit that I didn't get what the Fink Team of Essen, Germany was all about until I met the man himself, Karl-Heinz Fink, who is well known within the industry for designing many important loudspeakers marketed by other companies. Fink, who also owns the Epos loudspeaker brand, began his own engineering company 40 years ago. Then, about seven years ago, the late and revered Ken Ishiwata of Marantz asked him to build a big speaker for Marantz. Out of that came the Borg, a two-way system with an AMT tweeter that was launched five years ago. The Borg Episode 2 (€30,000/pair), which is marketed by the Fink Team, replaces the original model.

"We are very independent," Fink told me before I took a major listen. "We build our own speakers for the fun of it and because we love music. We can also take advantage of a lot of expensive measuring equipment that we've amassed because the biggest part of the Fink Team's work involves automotive engineering for Nissan, Tenor, Naim, Boston Acoustics, Polk, Denon, and Marantz."

The Borg Episode 2 sits on a bass plate that's inclined 4–5° to enable better integration between drivers, listeners, and room. The biggest speaker issued by the Fink Team so far, it includes an AMT (Mundorf) tweeter and a high-power 10.25" bass unit with a 3" voice coil. With a frequency response of 41Hz–30kHz, –6dB, or 32Hz–35kHz, –10dB, it has an average impedance of 10 ohms and a minimal impedance of 6.5 ohms at 20kHz. Sensitivity is specified as 87dB, distortion <0.2% at 87dB spl, and weight is 114.64lb.

I've saved the juicy stuff for last. Paired with Japanese-made SoulNote 3 Series components, which absolutely deserve Stereophile's attention, the Borg Episode 2 delivered some of the most engaging sound I heard at Munich High End 2023. After playing a great rendition of "Dance Me to the End of Love," Karl-Heinz cued up a 24/96 stream of Jacob Collier and JoJo's "It Doesn't Matter." Thank you, dear man, for the most fun track—the only fun track—I heard at the show. The system nailed the life and vitality of the music like few others. It's sense of space was excellent, and the sound of chimes arresting.

I encountered a very different, far deeper and more expansive soundstage on an excerpt from Shostakovich's Symphony No.15. Sticking with amusement, albeit of a very different sort, Karl-Heinz chose the movement in which a very sardonic and bitter Shostakovich quotes the William Tell Overture. Again, the speaker and electronics conveyed every bit of the music's emotion. In addition, the low end of the orchestra was sorted beautifully, and possessed a clarity that surpassed bass in many other rooms. This is absolutely a speaker worth checking out. Soon.