CAF 2021: Fern & Roby | Modwright Instruments

Material science. Evey time I look at the products from Fern & Roby, I’m reminded of the beauty inherent in material especially when they’re blended like a fine cocktail into an intoxicating visual and tactile treat.

Have I also mention I enjoy a simple system?

Richmond, Virginia-based Fern & Roby was premiering their new easy to drive 94dB single-driver Raven III loudspeakers ($8500/pair) that use a whizzer-equipped custom developed driver sourced from SEAS in a front ported, and lovely looking 33 1/4″ high speaker sporting solid walnut everywhere but the back, which is covered with a walnut veneer, and a Richlite front baffle.

The source in play was the Fern & Roby Montrose Turntable with Unipivot Tonearm ($7500) mounted with Sculpture A’s A.3P Ebony Cartridge ($4535), a re-imagined and rebuilt Denon 103 (one of my favorite cartridges of all time).

The output from the Montrose ‘table traveled through Sculpture A’s Mini Nano Step Up Transformer ($995), then on to a Modwright PH9.OX Phono Stage ($3850). The Equipment Rack ($5650) is also from Fern & Roby, and think it looks like it would be right at in my home. Or Barn. The system was wired with cables from Black Cat Cable.

The Modwright KWH 225i Hybrid Integrated Amplifier ($8495) took care of power with its 225 Watt output. Now you may be thinking, why so much power for such an easy to drive speaker, and I would answer — because it works. And it works really well.

Fern & Roby’s Christopher Hildebrand cued up a track from Billie Eilish’s latest, Happier Than Ever, and this simple system delivered a whole lot of the goodness stored in the grooves, filling the room with very satisfying, rich, and rewarding music that took up convincing physical form apart from the speakers and system. Closing my eyes and letting the music be my guide, I had no problem floating away from the Rockville Hilton to a dream made of wishes. Bravo!