Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system
Transparent horn speakers for your telly
Review If you’ve ever considered bolting a hulking great stereo system onto your TV, then make a beeline for Ferguson Hill. Its FH009 could be just thing you're looking for.
Clearly different: Ferguson Hill's FH009 home theatre system
Comprising a pair of the brand’s characteristic transparent acrylic (not glass, in case you were wondering) horn speakers and a large (56 x 17 x 37cm) integrated stereo amp incorporating two 13cm bass drivers, it’s a home theatre system with a difference: the difference being it’s resolutely two-channel with no aspiration to surround sound. But if that’s the marketing card Ferguson Hill want to play…
The main unit is astonishingly substantial. Finished in gloss white (black also available), it sports a back plate so heavy Iron Man might upgrade to it. This is not something you’d want to drop on your toes. Amplification is self-evidently is not lightweight either. Beneath the lid you’ll find more than 40lbs of copper, capacitors and neodymium magnets. Ferguson Hill modestly rates the power output at 64W to the stereo pair and the same again to the bass drivers.
A sub output channel is featured, but no speaker
Connectivity is straightforward. On the rear of the amp you’ll find two Aux stereo inputs, a stereo sub-woofer output and a pair of chunky binding posts. On the front panel is a USB input for MP3 playback plus a 3.5 mini-jack.
The system also ships with an off the shelf credit-card remote control. For such a high-end proposition, this low-rent zapper is a little disappointing. Sonically, I found the FH009 to be a mixed box of tricks. The speakers, which according to designer Tim Hill are a nod to the classic horn speakers of 1930s cinema, use drivers with open backs. The distinctive design helps create a warm, wonderful mid-range with a crisp treble.
Next page: Bass line
Just for once...
...could we please have an audio review without any of the pretentious Hi-Fi magazine b*ll*cks?
"the stereo horns need some air to breathe" - Why, do they have lungs?
"the soundstage is wide and lithe" - Lithe? Bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible
"re-creating crowd ambiance" - Isn't that more to do with the sound editor/mixer?
"fleshy, realistic vocals" - Fleshy? Having much flesh; plump; fat.
Replies to comments
As the designer of the FH009 speaker system I thought that I would reply to some of the comments above.
The cables from the back of the horn driver actually do route down the centre of the stand. Please check out the pictures on our website: www.fergusonhill.co.uk
There is also a wall mount option.
The main cabinet is rather large and heavy out of necessity but is designed to comfortably fit in a standard TV stand.
The Polycarbonate horns are totally UV resistant, and also very tough and well damped.
The 2 stereo amplifiers and active pre amp use transconductance technology, and the horn drive units are custom designed semi full range units that use neodymium magnets.
The small thump on turn on is normal and just the relays turning on.
The horn speakers are fairly directional by design as this improves the imaging capabilities.
Please do feel free to email me with any questions about our speaker systems:
Pathetic little drivers on cheep perspex horns that are going to be quite directional.
Many DVD/BD players do not mix down to stereo properly. Unless it's got 1 bass/effects channel and 5 regular channels, it's not a "Home Theatre" (or Theater for Americans) amp.
This system is an overpriced gimmick. Not a Marmite system. It should retail at no more than £150 too.
Le Reg is usually on the ball when it comes to technical reviews but as soon as an audio component hoves into view, it throws its collective brain out the window and descends to wine-speak.
£800 for an impractical sound system suited only to loft apartments? And one with technical shortcomings? The last audio component I had which had a humming power supply was made in 1987 (sadly, it too was British).
30% at best.
Fair play mate
Being a fairly directional 2.1 system will make it shine in certain setups and uses, but a bit naff in others, as the review noted. I guess it was never meant to be all things to all people. I am left wondering how a 7.1 setup would work for a well positioned 2 or 3 seater sofa, not that I'll ever spend that much on a speaker set.
My own setup is a shoestring job geared towards films, drum 'n' bass/breakbeat and a bit of gaming. Nice one for taking time to reply!