I believe someone has bought the line/name/etc. and is going to market them. He is local to me and I was going to go over for a listen when he was ready. I have not heard anything more than that. Have you heard of a new offering?
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I called Fried Products the other day and they will be offering two new floor standing speakers and they are sending me info. That is all I know so far. I saw the ad in Stereophile and I tried the website which was not up as of yet.
Still will be transmission line designs so that is all I know so far. If you get a listen, let me know what you think.
Bigkidz is correct about the two new speakers. The names of the speakers are Valhalla Monitor and the Valhalla Studio. I saw the ad in Stereophile, and the speaker looks like the Studio V of the past to me, not the Valhalla Studio I saw of the present.
I am fortunate in living near Bud and a very gracious gentleman who is involved in the venture. I am not sure as to Bud's involvement, but I think it may be just "spiritual". Shayne Tenace is leading the new operation. Shayne is one heck of a good guy, not to mention his knowledge when it comes to loudspeakers.
The Monitor is the smaller design, which I didn't see, but do have the specs on(not on this computer, otherwise I would look them up for this thread). I believe it features 2 6 1/2" midwoofers(MTM?) and the Fried HiQuphon tweeter. As I said, I didn't see or hear it, so it isn't right that I comment on it.
The Studio is the larger speaker, and is the one I heard. In fact, I am considering purchasing a preproduction pair, that differ basically cosmetically - mostly in the baffle. The official one will be better, especially due to the rounded baffle. The pair I listened to had a set-in baffle.
The Studio is really somewhat of a link to the former Fried Studios, with the Valhalla in there. They are a large speaker - taller, narrower, and deeper(all by a significant amount) than the Studio V. The drivers are much superior to the previous iteration, although their dimensions and configuration are the same(mid-tweeter-woofer).
In terms of sound, they are very much like the Fried Studio V, mostly. But, there are some significant differences.
The biggest difference is in the bass. While quite extended and powerful if there is material in the music, the midbass(what most people refer to as bass) is a good bit leaner than what it previously was. Most people are going to initially have the impression that the speakers are bass shy, despite their large size. The Studio V leave you with the impression of gut socking bass. The Valhalla Studios do not.
I believe a lot of debate went on about the bass response, as it did not initially sound like Fried TL to me. I think Shayne stood his ground and argued that this version's is more accurate. He calls it "Stealth bass", it sneaks up on you. Still, believe me when I tell you that if you play material with subterranean bass, it'll come through in all of its glory. In fact, it might just shock you. It also retains the "pitch" that only TL seems to be able to produce.
From the upper bass on up, you know you are listening to a Fried Studio. Except that the response is smoother, yet more detailed, and refined. I am sure the superior drivers, Shayne's knowledge, and maybe better crossover components are the reasons.
The sound is very lively and forward. In fact, due to its somewhat bright character, I preferred the sound with the grills on, and I almost NEVER do. To qualify that, I must admit my tastes run towards darker sounding speakers, I am very sensitive to and run away from aggressive loudspeakers. You should know my tastes and bias, as that factors into this review, others will feel the opposite. I feel there are no right and wrong answers, you just go with what you like. Sorry for going off on this tangent...
As I said, the speaker came off bright and lively to me. And, that was with a Conrad - Johnson amplifier. If I do buy this pair, I would be using it with my Jadis. I am not sure I would like the sound with solid state, but the bass would probably be controlled much better. Fortunately, the Jadis bass is quite good. I didn't feel as if the CJ took much away at all from the bass response, so tubeophiles do not need to shy away from the new line.
I am of the opinion, strongly, that the work of Bud Fried should be forever honored, and that his legacy should live on. Ideally, that would happen in a venture like this, one which bears his name. He is a great and talented man. We speaker lovers and hobbyists owe him dearly for all that he has accomplished.
It's great to see someone like Shayne carry the torch into the future. Personally, the TL and series crossovers are two of the better ideas in loudspeakers. As both are implemented rarely in the field of commercial loudspeaker, I am really rooting for the success of this company(OK, more of my bias).
I feel that the Transmission Line alignment produces probably the most realistic bass response I may have come across. And, the series crossover produces a very smooth, natural, coherent sound. One in which I do not seem to be able to focus into the individual drivers.
Thank you for the discussion. One slight clarification - while I am indeed the owner of Fried Products and was involved with the design, particularly selection/design of the new drivers, concept, and approval of final voicing, I cannot say that I am the "designer" of these wonderful (yes, of course I am biased) speakers. That credit goes to my lead designer, David Finley.
BTW, Yesterday I had a computer crash and lost a lot of my notes. I am attempting to recoup the files and do have a pre-crash printout of contact information/requests for information. However, I believe that this printout did not include the last few entries. If anybody needs information and does not receive their requested information - please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a heads up, the Fried website http://www.friedproducts.com now seems to be up and running to the degree of now being informative and useful.
It seems the company is getting their legs under them, and continues to rise from the ashes. Based on my personal opinion, if things go the way I expect, Fried will return to a very prominent position in loudspeakers.
Auditioning a large number of speakers since the spring has left me feeling Fried, along with JMlabs and Coincident, at the top of dynamic loudspeaker sound in the real world pricing level. For the record, I am backing up my statements with a purchase - can't wait to get them!
Oops, by the way, I should add to something I initially submitted to this article.
As I stated then, the midbass was not prominent. It lacked both weight and impact. I found it downright weak. Despite my protests, I was told that that was "accurate" as I stated then. I disagreed. Period. I found it to be a definite flaw, and was felt strongly enough about it to not make a purchase, despite being in a good position to make a deal.
Over the summer, the company realized that this was indeed a flaw(their term) via testing or whatever means they used. A crossover issue, coupled with incorrect TL damping were the culprits. Once the issue was identified, it was corrected. Supposedly, the Fried TL bass should be back in full measure.