It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve seen Christopher Hildebrand of Fern & Roby. Actually, it doesn’t seem like a long time since I’ve seen Fern & Roby, considering my equipment rack is similar to the one you see here. I also have one of the Fern & Roby record weights, which means I see and use these products nearly every day. I’ve wondered, however, what Christopher has been up to lately.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
Turns out, Christopher has been busy. He’s offering the new F&R isolation feet, which sell for $425 for a set of four. He’s also offering a new record weight, this time made from bronze, and it weighs a whopping 800 grams. When you look down at the top, you can see what looks like a logo, one very similar to Part-Time Audiophile‘s logo. WAIT…it is our logo! What the heck?
Yep, Fern and Roby have joined forces with PTA to bring you this new, beautiful record weight. Before you think I’m putting on the hard sell here, know that I wasn’t expecting this at AXPONA 2023. This is all Brian Hunter of The Occasional Podcast, and of course Christopher Hildebrand. A few weeks ago we editors spoke about creating some cool new merch for PTA, and we came up with the idea of a record weight, and we all liked it and proclaimed git’ er’ done. A surprisingly short time later, they’re here and they turned out great. Whatever you say about Brian and Christopher, you can’t say they’re procrastinators.
Should I talk about the Fern & Roby system at AXPONA 2023 now? Okay. As I said, it’s a very familiar system with the F&R Raven III single driver high-efficiency loudspeakers ($8,500/pr USD), the Linear Tube Audio Z40+ integrated (starting at $7,650), the Weiss DAC501 ($9,645) and the late Chris Sommovigo’s Black Cat Cables. Turntable was the Fern & Roby Montrose Heirloom ($14,000 with arm).
I know how beautiful and relaxed this gear sounds together, but I think everyone at AXPONA 2023 was surprised that a single-driver loudspeaker could sound so lovely, and certainly not quirky or “different” like most of these types of designs. One particularly loquacious show attendee kept showering Christopher with praise while the music was playing, and I came really close to saying something–but he was right.
I’ve gone on the record (get it?) many times saying that Fern & Roby is one of my favorite brands in terms of both sonic performance and lifestyle qualities. This room was, again, a gentle reminder of how nicely an F&R system would fit into life at the new lake house. I’m glad Christopher worked with us on the PTA bronze record weight, because it also reminds me that Fern & Roby is truly unique in the industry.
You can buy the record weight here. I’m gonna see if I can get an employee discount on mine.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from AXPONA 2023, you can listen our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
I am very impressed that Fern & Roby chose the engineered architectural material Richlite, which is a phenolic-resin composite based on thin layers of recycled paper that are pressed and heated into a very dense solid (that does have enviable characteristics for loudspeaker enclosures), as the front panel or baffle-board material for the Raven III. IMHO, quite superior to “Sawdust +Glue,” a/k/a MDF.