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DW Fearn

For many audio professionals, it's D.W. Fearn audio gear that wears the crown of sound.

D.W. Fearn – simply the finest in tube processing

For many in the audio industry, the tube processors of D.W. Fearn are undeniably the best out there. What's also undeniable: They are not cheap. But it should not be seen as buying a D.W. Fearn rather than investing in one. Because this is what it is. Fearns are sonically definitely top notch and built for forever. And a day.

Why the name „D.W. Fearn“?

D.W. Fearn as a company name is simply the founder's name. „D.“ stands for „Douglas“ or „Doug“, „W.“ reportedly for „Walter“, „Fearn“ is the last name.

Literally talked into building more than a single unit

Founder Doug Fearn's father played the French horn at Philadelphia Orchestra. Doug started being interested in electronics and recording, became an engineer and producer. After a while he started running his own studio.

Doug W. Fearn felt being in a dilemma: Solid state gear didn't perform sonically the way he wanted, the old tube gear needed a lot of maintenance and service. So he decided to build a non-compromise tube preamp. Non-compromise spells: Built to sound amazing, to feature up-to-date technical specifications, to last forever and to be built without even thinking of budget limits. This is how the D.W. Fearn VT-1 preamp was born.

Simon and Gar… sorry: Dylan

It took some time until the VT-1 became a commercially available product and D.W. Fearn a „proper“ brand. An engineer colleague borrowed the original unit and was so astonished that he begged Doug to build a unit for him as well. From then on, word of mouth travelled a lot and eventually reached Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, both notorious sound connoisseurs. In 1993, the company D.W. Fearn was founded.

Highest Quality means…

• super sturdy housing – the faceplate alone weighs more than some other 19“ tube preamps…

• highest quality and minimal tolerance parts

• point-to-point soldering

• built and tested by highly qualified personnel in Pennsylvania, USA

• 7 years warranty

The D.W. Fearn VT-1 microphone preamp

The circuit of the VT-1 originates from old RCA tube preampiliers, delivering 53 dB of gain. It is said to be one of the best preamps available, with lots of detail, depth and soft, but classy colouring. D.W. Fearn VT-2 is the stereo version. As it is equipped with a 43 dB Pad (!), it is also useful for sweetening line levels in mastering for example.

PYE's PWM heritage in the VT-7 compressor

D.W. Fearn is a tube gear company, that's right. But the Fearn stereo compressor, the VT-7 is not a vari-µ. It utilises the rarely used pulse-width-modulation technique (PWM) the legendary PYE compressor was praised for. The control set is pretty self-explanatory, features linking, side-chaining and sc-hpf but and comes with a handy softer-/harder-switch. PWM compression is quite transparent, but of course the Fearn tube stage adds a spectacular icing to the sound.

Mono and stereo EQs VT-4 and VT-5

VT-4 and VT-5 are the tube equalizers from D.W. Fearn. The input and the output stage are tube-driven, the EQ sections themselves are truly passive lc type designs. There are separate low and high band boost and cuts, that can be used simultaneously. High boost's Q can be dialled from 0.6 to 1.7, mids can be cut. All settings are stepped, hence allowing for stereo use or recalling. The D.W. Fearn VT-4 is a mono unit, the VT-5 a true stereo processor, not allowing for individual settings.

How does D.W. Fearn gear sound?

The devices built by D.W. Fearn are all insanely detailled, very transparent and with a very sublte, „expensive“ sheen. They are also very often described as very „three-dimensional“.

No more D.W. Fearn in the future? Relax.

It is true, Doug Fearn does not run the business of the brand on a daily basis any more. But the long-time companions, the Hazelrigg brothers George and Geoff, lead the company further into the future – with Doug Fearn still on board, designing new gear!

D.W. Fearn at a glance

  • D.W. Fearn gear clearly ranks among the best in the world
  • born out of the need for a reliable and technical up-to-date version of the classic gear from the Fifties
  • all tube circuits
  • massively built with best components available
  • Made in USA
  • DW Fearn VT7 DW Fearn VT7 DW Fearn VT7

    DW Fearn VT7

    The DW Fearn VT-7 has an all Class-A vacuum tube audio path, like all DWs products. The gain reduction elements utilize circuitry that duplicates the sound and characteristics of the finest...

    €10,189.00 (Inc. Tax)
    €8,562.18 (Ex. Tax)
  • DW Fearn VT5 DW Fearn VT5 DW Fearn VT5

    DW Fearn VT5

    DW Fearn VT-5 tube Stereo Equalizer is a dual-version of the VT-4 LC Equalizer.

    €12,489.00 (Inc. Tax)
    €10,494.96 (Ex. Tax)
  • DW Fearn VT2 DW Fearn VT2 DW Fearn VT2

    DW Fearn VT2

    The DW Fearn VT2 is a dual-channel vacuum tube microphone pre-amp which has gained a superb reputation for warmth and clarity. The philosophy behind the product is that a good recording...

    €6,759.00 (Inc. Tax)
    €5,679.83 (Ex. Tax)