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back to article Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system

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. Ferguson Hill FH009 home theatre system Clearly different: Ferguson Hill's FH009 home theatre system Comprising a pair of the brand’s characteristic transparent …

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Just me?

Or do these look pretty ugly and bulky for an 800 quid setup? Check out the cable fixing on the back of the Horns...cheap. and tacky. They could at least have routed the cable inside the stand pole.

And that central unit doesn't seem to be a very practical size or shape for most living-room setups.

And a low level hum??? Unforgivable, even in setups half this price. Lets hope it's only due to an over-worked demo unit.

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im sure my centre speaker is bigger....

which made using my cantilever stand a nightmare.... i had to turn the backplate upside down.

B&W centre speakers are pretty big (mine is about 30cm high and deep and 50cm wide!), but sound much better than those shitty satellites people like to use.

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80%

Deserves 40%

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.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Home theatre?!?

I agree - this cannot be described as a "Home theatre" system. It's a satellite/subwoofer set-up, nothing more.

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can't comment on perspex horns, but ...

"omnipresent low level hum" ?

C'mon, I know much cheaper systems which do better.

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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.

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Facepalm

"the stereo horns need some air to breathe" - Why, do they have lungs?

Well, kinda - you do know how speakers work, right? And that they have a diaphragm, just like lungs, which physically move to create the sound waves.

I'm not validating what you took offence to, just pointing out that it's not as ridiculous as you think.

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acrylic, not glass?

Meaning they'll eventually yellow with time, unlike glass?

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FAIL

What a rip-off

How can any system of any quality have continual hum? Either they've used a piss-poor PSU with low ripple rejection, a cheap EI-core transformer or some very nasty amplifier chips.

Terrible. Utterly terrible. 20% tops, just for the novelty factor.

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Ugh

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.

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@ thomas k.

Acrylic has excellent U.V resistance. You must be thinking of Perspex. You can always spend 30 seconds on your search-engine of choice before commenting.

@ Review:

Why spend money on a fancy remote control when many DVD players / PVRs / Tuners come with universal remotes?

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Anonymous Coward

5 seconds on wikipedia...

PMMA has been sold under a variety of brand names and generic names. It is often generically called acrylic glass,[6] although it is chemically unrelated to glass. It is sometimes called simply acrylic, although acrylic can also refer to other polymers or copolymers containing polyacrylonitrile. Other notable trade names include:

Lucite[7]

Plexiglas[8]

Optix (Plaskolite)[9]

Perspex[10]

Altuglas[11][unreliable source?] (Arkema)

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Quite like a thump

You can tell from the sound that nothing is broken or disconnected.

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Brings back memories..

When I first saw this article, I saw "Ferguson" and was reminded of the company as it was in the 80s. Building cheap electronics that often had some fault.

Turns out it wasn't the same company but the electronics, while expensive rather than cheap, still have a fault.

Also, as a reply to Shades

RE: "the stereo horns need some air to breathe" - Why, do they have lungs?

Speakers don't have lungs as such, but they do work by vibrating air, so they do need a good airflow around them. So, in essence they do breath..

RE: "the soundstage is wide and lithe" - Lithe? Bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible

Maybe the reviewers means that the system can reproduce a wide range of frequencies well, or is adaptable enough to reproduce different styles of music well (different music styles have different frequency rangers). Adaptable is another word for Flexible.

RE: "re-creating crowd ambiance" - Isn't that more to do with the sound editor/mixer?

You can have the best production team and production equipment on the planet, but if the listener listens to the recording on a crap sound system he or she won't get an accurate recreation of the crowd ambiance.

RE: "fleshy, realistic vocals" - Fleshy? Having much flesh; plump; fat.

Flesh doesn't only refer to the stuff our bones are covered in. Have you heard of the phrase "fleshing out an idea"?

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Boffin

Thumping and humming

Needs a proper on/off control and a proper PSU.

On/off should

1) reduce the vol setting to 0 (very important)

2) isolate the (pre-amp and) amp from the input (less important)

3) cut the power

Sounds like this unit does the old cut the power with the bolt cutters approach - which has the benefit of deteriorating that already cheap PSU they have stuffed in there and getting you back to spend another £800 squids on another poorly built, nasty looking piece of chav crap.

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well, this did take a bit more than 30 seconds

referring to acrylics -

Many types of acrylic will yellow with age, particularly if they are kept under a full spectrum light or are exposed to direct sunlight. This is a normal chemical reaction in the materials that the acrylic is made from.

www.fishtankguide.net

referring to polycarbonate

When used outdoors the material absorbs ultraviolet light, turns yellow and becomes brittle, but can be used in outdoor applications if it is first stabilized.

www.nolato.com

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FAIL

Engineering nightmare gets 80%

Fail 1: Acrylic turns cloudy and shatters when it absorbs oils. Touch those horns and the'll be destroyed in two years.

Fail 2: 65W with a thump and a hum? It sounds like they used the reference schematic for a cheap 5-pin amplifier chip. Both of those failures are caused by grossly asymmetric circuits and/or multiple signal grounds. Even in high school I could make a 100W amp that was perfectly hum-free and thump-free. It doesn't require muting or filtering - just a decently balanced circuit with a single audio ground.

Fail 3: How much copper for a measly 65W? Power semiconductors are fine running very hot. Keep them thermally isolated from the more sensitive components and you need very little cooling metal for 65W.

Fail 4: 50Hz cut-off? Was that an attempt to lessen the amp's line hum? That won't do for music, movies, or video games. I'm sure it sounds awesome with Skype.

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Facepalm

Like many of you

I just died a little inside.

To fill space I'll willy wave about my own budget 2.1 bi-amp system:

Source: SoundBlaster Xfi (soon to be updated to an semi-pro external job) with subwoofer output split at ~200hz.

Mids/Highs: Mission MX1s, Cambridge Audio Symphony 400 cable, Cambridge Audio AM1 Amp, shielded Belkin cable from the sound card.

Bass and sub-bass: Self-built 2 x 300mm Extended Bass Shelf (large Ported) enclosure on a Sherwood amp.

Dreamy sound, fairly low price, roughly £300 all in but I already had the two 300mm woofers kicking around.

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Replies to comments

Hi there,

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:

tim@fergusonhill.co.uk

Kind regards

Timothy Hill.

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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!

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