While some might argue Fern&Roby’s turntable is a classic example of form over function, the design is definitely going to intrigue all.
Made out of a slab of cast iron weighing 70 pounds, acting as the plinth, and using a heavy 35-pound bronze platter, the turntable, although crude looking, uses some surprisingly smart tech. For example, the platter is perfectly balanced to function flawlessly, the bearing used ensures a low friction operation, and the standard AC motor is coupled with a digital speed controller that uses an optical sensor and an interrupter wheel mounted beneath the platter. The rotation speed is checked this way 48 times per each revolution of the platter and the rpm is kept within limits automatically, with micro adjustments happening when the speed is more than 0.23% higher or lower that the desired target.
Another smart design choice was to have the platter accelerate gradually to the operating speed and thus avoid the situation where, because of the mass and the inertia of the heavy platter, the motor would stall rather than spin at the required speed immediately.
The advantage of the heavy platter, beside being dynamically balanced up to 1000 rpm, is the high momentum which allows the motor to back up the power after the operating rotation speed has been reached. This in turn helps keep vibrations and noise, as well as the wear on the driving belt, to a minimum.
There are a variety of tone arms that can be offered with the weighty, yet refined Fern&Roby’s turntable, including the standard Rega 303 tone arm. Other nice touches are the leveling feet that can be turned from above and a thick cork mat that protects the furniture the turntable sits on and further dampens the vibrations that reach the equipment.