Fern & Roby Blog
March 03, 2020
"One of the first things I noticed when I plugged them in, and remains a standout characteristic for the pair – even after hours of critical listening. Guitars pop out, vocals reach toward you and the whole presentation attacks in a manner which mimics real life closer than probably 99.99% of loudspeakers produced in any given year. "
- Brian Hunter
Read the entire review here.
Go to the Product Page: Raven II Loudspeakers
Black Friday Sale (10% OFF)
Rafe Arnott of Inner Fidelity just reviewed LTA's MZ3
"I can say without hyperbole that in my experience this is a headphone amplifier with few peers at this price point: it is an honest and forthright amp that does that unique job of bringing warmth to music without sacrificing resolution. It excels at balance in its frequency response, does clean, tight bass without exaggerated tube bloom and has flesh-and-blood treble and midrange reproduction capabilities that should leave both solid-state and tube-amp fans feeling satisfied that they’ve dropped their hard-earned coin on a piece of gear that has the flexibility to drive pretty much any headphone you can throw at it, thanks to its ZOTL circuit design. The fact that it can run as a preamp or even an integrated amp with proper speaker-matching only adds more to its value. Highly recommended."
Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/...
The Listening Room at Fern & Roby
November 05, 2019
We are happy to announce our first Open House event at The Listening Room at Fern & Roby, on Saturday, November 23rd from 11am to 5pm.
Space is limited, please RSVP if you would like to attend.
Email email@example.com or call 804-233-5030 and talk to one of our team members for details.
Music will be playing all day, and a lot of colleagues and friends will join us. Come connect with us and them in our new listening space, which is embedded in our design/build shop. Refreshments will be served.
- We will be presenting several systems. These were recently shown at the Capital AudioFest with excellent components from Linear Tube Audio, products from Black Cat Cable and other quality HiFi brands we support!,
- Linear Tube Audio's team is slated to bring their world class headphone amplifiers down along with a variety of exotic headphones for you to try.
- Our team will be giving tours of the shop where we make all of our products and talk about our process.
We will be listening to music and hanging out all day, so come stop by and meet our team and check it out.
And if you are coming in from out of town, we are happy to share our recommendations for the best local accommodations, restaurants, and activities such as the Craft + Design Fair, which is taking place the same weekend here in Richmond.
Sign up for our newsletter to receive more information about events or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
The Team at Fern & Roby.
Marc Phillips of Part-Time Audiophile
October 19, 2019
You can check out the entire review of our Raven Loudspeakers at Part-Time Audiophile's site here, and get a chance to listen to them in a few weeks at the Capital AudioFest in Rockville, MD on November 1-3 in Rooms 323, 304, & 519 (more info here).
We will also be hosting an open house at our new Factory Showroom in Richmond the weekend before Thanksgiving, just a couple weeks after Capital AudioFest. Details to come!
"With the Ravens in the system, the whole room becomes more beautiful, more integrated. It’s a place where you want to spend more time. It’s a place to invite friends, to have a memorable evening of music and laughter.
But Christopher Hildebrand and his Tektonics Design Group have created more than that. The Fern & Roby Raven loudspeakers, together with the LTA Z10, consistently provided me with the sound I want to live with in my home. You don’t own these components. You have a personal relationship with them. After some time, they start to reflect you and who you want to be when you go home at night and listen to music.
I don’t think I’ve had these thoughts before with any other high-end audio component. The Fern & Roby Raven loudspeakers are lifestyle products, but only because I love having them in my life."
Factory tour and upcoming review
Marc Phillips and Eric Franklin Shook of Part-Time Audiophile visited us earlier this year to pick up a pair of Ravens & see the shop at Tektonics Design Group, where we produce the entire Fern & Roby product line as well as all the work we do for other great clients. You can read about the factory tour in Marc's publication the Occasional magazine.
April 24, 2019
We had a great time in Chicago at AXPONA 2019. We spun records, talked to friends and met new people. We were pleased to receive the attention of some friends in the media covering the show and happy to have produced some new products that interested them. Below you can check out some of the pieces written about Fern & Roby. If you have any questions about our products or those we represent, don't hesitate to call us. We are happy to help.
Christopher & the team at Fern & Roby.
Traveling to Chicago with LTA & ModWright!
April 06, 2019
Next week we will be in Chicago, Illinois (my home town) to present some of the excellent products that have taken shape through our exciting partnership with Linear Tube Audio over the past two years.
We will be showcasing:
- The Ravens (our new full range floor standers)
- The MZ3 (microZOTL preamp)
- The updated ZOTL40 reference power amp
- Black Cat Lupo Cables
- The Tredegar Turntable
- The Zephyr MIMC Star phono cartridge
- & Our newest offering by another manufacturer - The Ph.9.0 phono preamp by ModWright Instruments
Also at the show will be the new Z10e Electrostatic Headphone amp (in several locations). This new product is a crushingly good "all-in-one" amp in the spirit of the MicroZOTL but more power and some tricks of its own.
We will be in room 606 and look forward to meeting new people and catching up with old friends next week. Please stop by and spend some time with us. You can also find one of our Montrose turntables in room 354 with ModWright Instruments and Studio Electric.
You can learn more about the show details and venue here: AXPONA2019
November 05, 2018
We are thrilled to announce our new Loudspeakers, the Fern & Roby "Ravens". Designed and made to deliver what design & audio enthusiasts want in a soundsystem, The Ravens are hand crafted in our shop in Richmond, Virginia with the highest quality materials and care to deliver perfection in an heirloom quality object. Call us to discuss any details you have questions about!
Launching new products!
November 02, 2018
We got into Audio because we love music and the things that bring music into our lives. Our work with Linear Tube Audio this past year has been a real pleasure because we have develop a series of great products with them including the new Z10 integrated amp which delivers an excellence that is tough to beat in a straightforward and simple package. This stunning amplifier is a perfect centerpiece to a system that is based on delivering lively and detailed sound reproduction that will capture you entirely.
We are growing!
July 01, 2018
Fern & Roby is happy to announce that we are growing! We are expanding into international sales and distribution! But we still need important help from our fans to introduce us to the great dealers in their local markets! We would love to hear from you so please email us here with your feedback about the dealer(s) you would like to see carry the Fern & Roby product line!
If you are a Dealer and want to open an account with us, please email us and we will send you our dealer application form.
Thanks for your interest and support,
The team at Fern & Roby
May 10, 2018
We are here in Munich at the High End Show for the first time! Christopher will be in Halle 3 at booth J15.
If you would like to visit or set up a time to meet and talk to Christopher feel free to stop by or email him at email@example.com
February 08, 2018
Sign up for our newsletter (at the top of our homepage) to get the latest on product releases!
Fern & Roby
RING IN 2018 WITH OUR ASH CUBE SPEAKERS
December 12, 2017
To celebrate the New Year, we'd like to share some special pricing on our Ash Cube Speakers! Take $300 at checkout with code CUBES2018. Free Shipping in the Continental US.
Offer good through 1/31/2018.
Rafe Arnott Visits Us At Home In Richmond, Virginia
November 27, 2017
Talk about a good time! Our friend Rafe from Part-Time Audiophile came and stayed with us for a week a couple of months ago. We hung out, ate some great food, listened to records, drank too much bourbon, stayed up late, and talked a lot about what's been happening with us. He made a fantastic short film and shot some great photos of our space. Thinking about process and growth is always good, and helps us stay focused, and we're so glad he gave us the opportunity to articulate our deeply personal vision. Please jump over here to read the story and see the film.
October 06, 2017
Also super-cool this time around: Black Cat Cable is generously providing all our interconnects!
The most important reason we're coming to the Denver show this year is to showcase the modifications to our Montrose and Montrose Heirloom turntables, as well as show off our new Maverick 3.0 Phono Preamp.
For the Montrose series, we've isolated the motor in our turntables to reduce any vibrations the motor would create.
We’ve also updated our i/o board in our tonearm adapter (Mini XLR input to Balanced RCA output), making it easier to manufacture and assemble. Additionally, we've made our Maverick capable of being an on-board unit (our Maverick can of course be used out-board as well making it a very versatile component).
Other notable recent modifications were made to our tonearms-- by engraving a small scale on the ferrule that sits between the headshell and the wand, we've created an easy way to keep track of your azimuth movements.
Come see us in room 1002 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, or email me at Christopher@fernandroby.com with your questions, I'd love to hear from you.
"Utterly unique and breathtaking"
May 12, 2017
Our friends Scott Hull and Rafe Arnott from Part-Time Audiophile came to hang out at our room at the AXPONA show in Chicago last month.
This was actually the first time Fern & Roby had been to AXPONA--we were happy to be sharing a room with Voxativ again, since we'd hit it off with them at RMAF last fall and of course love their beautiful and amazing hi-fi products.
Rafe from PTA was really enthusiastic about our gear! He took some incredible photographs of our tables and ended up writing a room review that made us blush:
"If the Tredegar is a Dreadnaught, think of the Montrose as a Corvette. The industrial design, the classic lines, the materials used… the patina to every component, and aspect of these two turntable designs is utterly unique, breathtaking, and has to really be seen (and touched) to be truly appreciated."
He also sat down to record my thoughts on how we have evolved in our process and design history, and what details we want to embed in our audio components. Click through the gallery here, and please be sure to visit the full piece on their site for the video of our conversation.
Improve Your Sound By Dampening Vibration
April 17, 2017
Fern & Roby's Isolation Feet are an elegant tool for vibration dampening. Best for turntables where dampening is key for sound quality--these are much easier than installing custom feet or buying sound damping trays / furniture. The Fern & Roby Isolation Feet are made from high quality Sorbothane, a visco-elastic polymer which is a high-tech engineered material; and the shape is optimized for the material itself. We turn and machine the anodized aluminum components of the assembly in our shop here in Richmond, Virginia.
Made - to - measure with vinyl? Yes please!
January 18, 2017Sounds like style to us.
Have you ever wanted to listen to our system? To see our craftsmanship up close? Well you're in luck. We're happy to announce that our system is up and running at the flagship Ledbury showroom in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Whether shirts or suits, Ledbury makes beautiful things--they are driven by their belief that it is better to have a few well-made items than many that are not, and we feel the same. At Ledbury you will find our Montrose turntable and our Maverick Phono Preamplifier, but we've also teamed up with Linear Tube Audio and DeVore Fidelity to showcase some of their components that we really appreciate.
Come see and hear now in Ledbury's bespoke measuring room.
Amazing Sound. Incredible Pedigree. Made in America.
December 21, 2016
We are thrilled to be able to offer Linear Tube Audio ZOTL components as a complement to our turntables and speakers!
Mark Schneider founded Linear Tube Audio in 2015, and their headquarters are in Takoma Park, MD. After his retirement from a dynamic engineering career that included management, manufacturing, and product design – including being the architect behind the fastest document scanner in the world – Mark decided to commit himself to the passion that started a long time ago with a pair of 3-panel Magnepans, a Thorens turntable with an SME arm, and some SAE amplifiers.
Also integral to LTA is David Berning, considered to be one of the world’s best-ever amplifier designers and elite in his field. A formally-trained physicist, David’s unique perspective has invaluably colored every solution he’s designed for classic audio problems. After 20 years of designing and manufacturing tube amplifiers, David Berning turned the technology on its ear when he invented ZOTL (Zero hysteresis Output Transformer-Less) architecture in 1996.
So radically different from anything around at the time, ZOTL was and still is considered the most significant improvement to tube amplifier technology since the 1960s. Even out of production, Berning’s ZOTL amplifiers regularly collect accolades from the world’s top audio reviewers and publications. His ZH-230 amplifier has received Absolute Sound Magazine’s "Editor’s Choice Award" every year since 2011. His Quadrature Z amplifier won HiFi+ magazine’s "Product of the Year" award in 2009. His 211/845 ZOTL amplifier was introduced by Hi Fi One at the 2014 Munich High End Audio Show. Timeless examples of Berning’s audio genius, the ZH-270 and EA-2101 are still highly sought after by audiophiles everywhere.
Since the debut of ZOTL technology, no one else has been able to successfully manufacture David Berning’s complex designs. It was this uniqueness and complexity that attracted Mark to producing ZOTL amplifiers specifically, in addition to their spectacular sound. Each amplifier requires hours of hand-building, which is currently done by Mark and his team in LTA’s Washington, DC workshop. David Berning personally reviews initial units to ensure that the build quality meets his extremely high standards.
Due to its continued high demand 8 years after production ended, Mark decided to have Linear Tube Audio debut by introducing an improved version of David Berning’s original MicroZOTL, the MicroZOTL2.0. For the amps following, Mark and David have worked collaboratively, with David designing the core amplifier circuitry to Mark’s specifications, and LTA creating the rest of the unit. Currently Linear Tube Audio's offerings include their reconfiguration of Berning's original microZOTL personal headphone amp, the ZOTL10, a mid-to-high efficiency speaker/headphone amp, and the ZOTL40, David's latest ZOTL amplifier designed for LTA, which is in essence the successor to his own, much lauded, ZH-230.
calls it "one of the show's highlights"
October 12, 2016
Fern & Roby had a great time at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest! The room we had with Voxativ sounded amazing thanks to the combination of their loudspeakers and tube amp and our Montrose Turntable.
The weekend was full of amazing moments, but our favorite has to have been when Michael Fremer, editor of Analog Planet, dropped by the room and interviewed us about the Montrose turntable. Known as "Mr. Vinyl," Michael is an iconic figure in the hi-fi audio world. We were thrilled to show him how we put the table together, and enjoyed telling him what Fern & Roby is all about. He seemed to really respond to our table, and called it one of the show's highlights for him!
Check out the video interview on Analog Planet, where we explain to Michael how the Montrose is put together and discuss some of the details involved in its design and manufacture
Denver's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Oct. 7th-9th
September 29, 2016
Fern & Roby Audio is excited for RMAF!
We'll be showing our Montrose Turntables & Unipivot Tonearms along with the new Maverick Phono Pre-Amplifier, and the fine folks from Voxativ will be presenting their incredible loudspeakers. Come find us in room #4009.
The 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) is the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show in the United States, and will feature over 160 exhibit spaces representing more than 400 companies from North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
July 29, 2016
After a fantastic year of prototyping, we are excited to launch four new Fern & Roby products. The Maverick Phono Pre-Amplifier, Montrose Turntable, Montrose Heirloom Turntable, and Rockett Dipole Subs.
Carry your favorite LPs in our Fern & Roby Record Tote. Made in America from 100% recycled materials, our screen printed tote measures 18x14.5" and features a top down view of our Tredegar turntable.
This bag has heavy duty straps with a 12" drop, and a 3.5" gusset means there's always more space to buy one more album.
Bag made from 65% recycled cotton and 35% Bottle Bag material.
Free Shipping in the Continental US
June 03, 2016
Our Machinist Prints and Cards are printed in Richmond, Virginia, on paper made from 100% renewable energy.
You'll find them in the "Hard Wares" section, order now for free shipping in time for Father's Day!
March 31, 2016
We fell in love with these illustrations from a vintage machinist's guide, and have updated them with a pop of color. Available in Fern & Roby Hard Wares.
Publications like Rogers Machinists' Guide were illustrated manuals that explained modern machine shop practices, and were essential to developing and standardizing American industry and manufacturing in the modern era. Being a skilled machinist required a fluency in geometry and trigonometry, as well as deep knowledge of materials and process.
2 colors screen printed on tinted 11"x17" on 100# cover stock Designed and printed in Richmond, VA Paper made in the USA using 100% renewable energy
Free Shipping inside the Continental US
November 17, 2015
Garden & Gun has announced the winners of their annual Made In The South Awards, and Fern & Roby is among them!
Read more about all of this year's winners after the jump
We now offer downloadable Revit, DWG and Sketchup files for our furniture line
August 19, 2015
The Fern & Roby furniture line was developed to provide locally-made and responsibly-produced solutions to architects and interior designers for commercial and residential projects.
Throughout the development of the line we have discovered that our bases can be broadly flexible in application and we have tailored our offering to give great control to you in use. We have provided recommended ranges of sizes of tops for each type of base and a full capability to integrate I.T. into most everything in the line. In order to facilitate integration with architects and interior designers, we have recently developed digital design resources for each product to make it easy to incorporate them into your solid models and renderings. Simply go to our design resources page and download the product’s zip files, each of which will have the following:
- A Revit family of the product in the folder (programmed with our recommended ranges of sizes and selectable variables).
- A simple solid digital model in DWG and Sketchup format.
- Hi-res images of the materials for rendering.
- Hi-res images of the product.
- An editable pdf tear sheet for simple communication with clients, contractors, purchasing agents and Fern & Roby.
- A jpeg schematic drawing of the product.
Our materials are largely salvaged, reclaimed, or recycled. Our manufacturing program includes a close relationship with OK Foundry just five blocks from our facility in Old Manchester, Richmond. Much of the product made at OKF starts from locally sourced scrap and recycled content, tightening the carbon footprint and providing a very efficient local life cycle of materials. We cast our metal bases in cast-iron, bronze and aluminum. Our standard offering and selection of materials for our wood tops are primarily reclaimed and salvaged materials from decommissioned buildings, but we can provide any material available upon request. We would welcome any and all feedback from design professionals in terms of how to make this work even better for you--please be in touch, we would love to hear from you! Cheers, Christopher & Sara
"a sculptural work of art to satisfy audiophiles and design lovers"
July 23, 2015
The Credenza, Turntable, and Integrated Amplifier
Come see and listen in person at the Capital AudioFest, which takes place August 28th-30th in Rockville, Maryland.
We brought our turntable to Luminious Audio's listening room. There, we met with a focus group of design professionals, engineers and audiophiles, in order to talk about the next steps in the process.
The first order of business will be designing the motor controls so that it plays at optimal speed. This involves selecting the motor and developing how it integrates into the cast-iron plinth.
Everyone agreed: with such a heavy chassis, we got awesome isolation and great sound.
Our cast bronze platter is now dynamically balanced
January 07, 2015
Our cast-iron turntable with bronze platter and Rega tone arm (supported by salvaged heart pine) is in its final stages of prototyping and product development. We're pretty excited. Final version will be completed shortly. Thanks for the support and positive feedback!