Fried Compact 7 loudspeaker Manufacturer's Comment
Editor: We appreciate the consideration to review the Fried Products Compact 7. We were surprised by the review and measurement comments, as this is not our experience with the speakers, nor the comments made by many other critical and enthusiast listeners.
Your measurement of the frequency response shows a dip near the crossover point. The speaker is not designed to compensate for today's hot recordings, and this dip would indeed result in the hollow or veiled coloration described by John Marks. This frequency-response dip is not present in our measurements, and suggests that either the crossovers or the wiring to the woofers was assembled incorrectly. To speed up delivery to John Marks, the review pair was assembled outside a normal production run and the associated quality-assurance procedures, which likely led to the assembly error. We would appreciate the opportunity to send you a second pair, from actual production with normal QA procedures, for possible Follow-Up comments.
We do wish to comment on several specific matters discussed in the review. First, all first-order crossover networks produce intensity lobes at the crossover frequency, and the frequency response is flat within these lobes. The recommended stand height of 28" or 30", along with the driver layout, yields a nearly flat response when we measure at typical listening heights. However, we don't insist on any specific stand height, as all understand that final placement is always dependent on the actual room acoustics and listening height. This is just a starting point; we would always recommend experimentation with setup to maximize performance, just as proper equipment matching, cabling, and all the rest that goes into system performance. Second, the system does not employ a "line tunnel," but transmission-line technology, to deliver the precise rhythmic bass so uncommon in such a small system. Third, the woofer is no longer a cone of woven glass fiber; it is now a treated paper-pulp material with greater internal damping.
Fried loudspeakers are designed exclusively for the authentic reproduction of music, and appeal to those who know and love an animate musical experience; they convey the sound of a hall, jazz club, and live acoustic venue according to how we hear in the real world of a concert performance. Accurate reproduction of the transients and linear dynamics of music is paramount. Others in addition to Bud Fried, including Paul Klipsch and Julian Hirsch, for example, understood this. Our design parameters are elementary, determined by the way sound is produced by musical instruments, human hearing, and physical acoustics as pioneered by Sabine.
We are proud of the brand's history, and the musical enjoyment it has brought to so many over the years. We continue to be proud of the comments made by listeners and reviewers of all the current models, including the Compact 7. However, submitting a defective product to John Marks was inexcusable on our part; we hope a Follow-Up will reveal the true sonic excellence of the product.David Finley, COO, Fried Products Corporation