You may not have heard of Ferguson Hill, but it's a British manufacturer of a very small group of obscurely designed speakers. The company's flagship speaker setup -- comprising the FH001 and FH002 -- will set you back £12,000.
Today, we're looking at the desktop version of these 'horn loaded' hi-fi speakers, the FH007 and FH008 sub woofer. Together, these will cost you about £800, but they employ the same £12,000 technology used in the FH001 and FH002.
These translucent acrylic hi-fi horns are engineered and designed for invisible high performance. But are they worth a not-so-invisible price?
Initially unboxing these delicate speakers filled us with an oddly ambivalent feeling: they seemed needlessly fragile, yet strangely alluring. The transparency of the horns lets the large desktop speakers dissolve into the background of even a tightly packed room. But it's nothing but an illusion. You'll still need adequate space to create a decent sound stage, and the horn loaded form factor results in a fairly directional sound.
The result, though, is superb. With the correct positioning, a concert-like sound stage can be created that helps reproduce well-recorded live music in a beautiful way. We set playing a live version of the moving acoustic number My Heart by K's Choice. The husky voice of Sarah Bettens came across with as much warmth and emotion as if she was performing in the room with us. With the guitar strings working with the 100W sub woofer to gently rumble the floor, a true live experience was created.
Next up was the classic Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman duet, Time To Say Goodbye. With powerful male and female vocals, beautiful pizzicato strings and gentle percussion, this recording helped demonstrate how capable the FH007 setup is at reproducing rich, thickly layered performances.
The weighty and well-constructed cube-shaped amplifier contains an integrated amp and crossover network, since no frequency splitting is needed by the speakers themselves. Each speaker eats just 16W of power, but the powerful sound that results is testament to the system's well-engineered circuitry and construction. It's a solid amplifier but the lack of a remote control is a little disappointing.