100-Pound Cast Iron Turntable Promises To Sound As Good As It Looks

If you’re sick of cheaply constructed electronics that seem to be on the verge of breaking down, meet Fern & Roby’s 100-pound turntable.

“So much of the current audio aesthetic is very shiny and plastic, often monochromatic black—it frankly leaves us very cold,” says Christopher Hildebrand, an industrial designer and owner of the Richmond, Virginia–based company. “With the turntable and matching amp and speakers, I wanted to make a complete system that a design enthusiast would want in their curated space as much as an audiophile would want in their listening room.”

The handsome piece boats a “70-pound cast iron plinth to reduce resonance and achieve vibration-dampening throughout the system” and “a cast and turned 35-pound bronze platter, dynamically balanced to 1,000 RPM.” The rationale behind using cast iron isn’t about looks alone—performance was the guiding principle.

“A great turntable isolates and eliminates vibration from the outside environment so that noise isn’t translated into the music,” Hildebrand says. “Cast iron has very good vibration dampening properties and is used in many applications where stability and vibration dampening is desirable. A large mass also dampens vibration. We decided to look at making the plinth of our turntable out of cast iron for these reasons and because we had never heard of anything else like it. We made the platter out of cast bronze instead of the typical turned aluminum because we felt it complimented the design so well.”

An A/C motor powers the turntable, and it’s equipped with digital speed controls to make sure it spins at precisely 33.5 or 45 RPM.

Sure, it’ll set you back a cool $6,000, but it’ll outlast you (and probably your grandkids).DB