Fern & Roby Blog
February 08, 2018
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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!