The Return of Fried Products

One of audio's true originals, Irving "Bud" Fried first made his mark in the late 1950s by becoming an early US importer of Lowther corner horn and Quad electrostatic loudspeakers. By 1975, he had established his own company and began releasing speaker models under the Fried nameplate.

Since that time, Fried has stuck to the principle of "evolutionary design development," incrementally improving his products by perfecting the use of series networks, satellite subwoofers, transmission lines, line tunnels, and distributed loading techniques.

Most recently, the company was acquired by Dreamscapes A/V, which reports it has spent the last three years developing new models for its return to the marketplace. Fried Products is now run by Shayne Tenace, a former writer for High Performance Review and The Audio Observatory and erstwhile project manager for an engineering firm. Dr. Jonathan Raines is the company's new vice president of sales and marketing and COO, and as a bonus is also a psychoacoustics specialist. Bud Fried himself is now involved with the company as a consultant. (Another of Dreamscapes' subsidiaries is Muse USA, the North American distributor for Muse Electronics. Tenace promises a new "revamped" line of Muse Electronics products shortly.)

Tenace explains that after organizing Bud Fried's 18" high stack of notes neatly into binders, "We went through many different enclosure designs, driver designs, and crossovers. It was really interesting being able to use the 30+ years of engineering notes and combining them with modern engineering techniques and tools."

The fruits of those labors will be publicly unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month as the Valhalla Series "Speakers of Truth." These will be followed shortly by "the latest evolution of our trapezoidal shaped satellite speaker, formerly known as the 'C' series, whose shape pre-dates the Wilson WATT, and is now simply called the Valhalla series satellite." The company says it will also be debuting the first of its Signature series products, the Beta.

The first models of the Valhalla Series will be available in both two-way and three-way configurations and "represent the culmination of everything that Fried has learned in over 30 years of loudspeaker production and development." The company says the new products utilize the latest evolution of the "Free-Flow" transmission line, described as "a passageway damped with an exact quantity of constant-density open-cell foam leading from the rear of the bass driver to a line folded three times vertically, tapering, and terminating at the bottom front of the enclosure." The Valhalla Studio three-way will retail for $4995/pair, while the Valhalla Monitor two-way will sell for $2995/pair.

According to Bud Fried, the revived company is on its way again with "depth and breadth of engineering, design, sales and management expertise, vision and vigor."