Axpona 2024 Favorite Rooms: Fern & Roby

One of the things I love about a hifi show is difference because difference reminds us there are as many ways to approach hifi design as there are hifi designers.

Richmond, Virginia based Fern & Roby clearly have a love for and affinity with materials, specifically raw materials turned into lovely things that make music.

The Fern & Roby system for Axpona 2024 paired their Raven III single driver speakers finished in Natural Ash with their new Amp No. 2 Integrated Amp with MM/MC Phono that offers 25 Watts of High Current Class A/B power, more than enough for the Raven’s 90db+ efficient load. Front end duties were shared between Fern & Roby’s Montrose Heirloom turntable/Schroder CB tonearm/Miyajima Labs Carbon Stereo MC cartridge and the Weiss Helios DAC, Fern & Roby are also Weiss dealers, with cables from Black Cat Cable tying everything together.

One of this system’s calling cards is a natural ease, a sound that’s as easy to step into as well worn boots with a directness and immediacy that drew me in like a caress. Sweet.

Another aspect of the show going experience is what I’ll call Room Vibe, the feelings we feel when walking into and sitting down in rooms at hifi shows and the Fern & Roby Room Vibe feels like entering proprietor Christopher Hildebrand’s home, all relaxed and inviting. This in distinct contrast to rooms that feel like you’ve accidentally walked into a highfalutin, yes highfalutin, private club where the only people who really belong are the men running the room (you know who you are).

Also on display was the new Fern & Roby Brass ISO LP Weight, a 700g brass record weight with vibration damping. From Fern & Roby:

The design incorporates internal damping material that separates the outer parts of the weight, allowing the body of the brass weight to float isolated above the base in contact with the record. The mass of the weight absorbs the energy of unwanted mechanical noise from the spindle or in the vinyl material of the LP itself.

System Details:

Fern & Roby Raven II Speakers: from $8500/pair
Fern & Roby Amp No. 2 Integrated Amp: from $8500
Fern & Roby Montrose Heirloom turntable w/Schroder CB tonearm: $16,500
Miyajima Labs Carbon Stereo MC cartridge: $3000
Weiss Helios DAC: $21,995
Fern & Roby Rack #1: $6500