RMAF 2015: Feickert Analogue Woodpecker delivers on expectations

This is a turntable I’ve been waiting a long time to hear: Dr. Feickert’s Woodpecker.

The Woodpecker is the base model in Feickert’s line ($6,500 USD), and Vana Ltd. (US distributor) specifies black-anodized, brushed aluminum for the top plate, with gloss-black piano for the standard plinth finish. The optional Rosewood plinth pictured here is $500.

Vana Ltd. had set up this room and was showing off a nice mix of gear that sounded full-bodied, without the obvious detail being pulled from the grooves getting in the way of the music. The Woodpecker was kitted-out with what I believe was a Jelco tonearm because the Acoustical Systems Aquilar tonearm ($11,500 USD) wasn’t available, the Acoustical Systems Archon MC cartridge ($3,370 USD), and the Acoustical Systems Helox record clamp ($750 USD).

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Archon MC phono cartridge

Power duties were handled by Primare with the PRE32 preamp/Media ($4,500 USD) on hand for signal shuffling, the A34.2 power amplifier ($3,000 USD) supplying the juice and the R32 phono stage ($1,500 USD) taking care of all the good vibrations from the record grooves being passed on by the Archon. All the cabling and power supply duties were IsoTek.

Primare PRE32 and CD32 player
Primare and IsoTek

While the Woodpecker is the base model with the Blackbird ($9,000 USD) and the flagship Firebird ($13,500 USD) at the top of the heap, don’t let it’s entry-level status deceive you into thinking there’s anything entry-level about this ‘table.

The Feickert Woodpecker is easy on the eyes.

One of the first things you notice about the Woodpecker that sets it apart from other turntables, is the big diagonal cutout for mounting an armboard that then slides along this rail (I’m calling it a rail, you can call it what you like), and is able to accommodate tonearms between nine and twelve inches long.

Tonearm mounting rail
Archon MC cartridge

If you ever had to screw around with armboard mounts, holes and drills, different materials for the armboards (aluminum, wood, carbon fiber, etc.) then you know what a brilliant concept this is for quickly and easily mounting different tonearms. No crazy jigs! Rejoice.

With proprietary DC motor-control software to ensure perfect speeds, Feickert also includes something he calls Adjust+ which is software controlled azimuth adjustment. How cool is that? I didn’t have much time with the Feickert (I’d love to have one at home for a few months), so I’m not going get into the build quality (stunning) and all the amazing analog tech they’ve also jammed into this ‘table (Inertia platter), but I will say, that from the first moment I heard the needle hit the groove I was impressed. This Woodpecker does BASS, and had the pretty (and narrow) floorstanding Audio Physic Avanti speakers ($8,000 USD) plumbing some serious depths.

Audio Physic Avanti

If you’re in the market for a new turntable in the sub-$15,000 range (yes it sounds that good to my ears) that can swap out multiple arms with ease and offers a plethora of finish options and has incredibly advanced motor control and ease of use, then ask for a demo of the Dr. Feickert Woodpecker.

To keep with my somewhat foolish and immature demeanor, I’m signing off Woody-style. That’s All Folks.

–Rafe Arnott