Poor Fritz

There’s no better value and no one as willing to make bespoke speakers out there than Fritz and these forums treat his speakers as if they cost $200K.
They don’t. They are remarkably affordable and yet potential customers put him through the absolute ringer, asking for custom features, going through 2 or 3 models of home auditions and maybe not even buying any of them.

Look, you buy what you want to buy, but I think not enough credit is given to the man or his speakers in terms of the overall value proposition and I think this is a disservice overall.  If you write a 5 page review, please keep this very much in mind that you are not reviewing Wilson or Focal's flagships.  Maybe he doesn't deserve quite the same scrutiny.


Showing 12 responses by decooney

"What good reason can you give to buy the fritz when you can buy better for a fraction of the cost?"

Got 5 good reasons. Experience matters.

Until a novice has -

1. Built them,
2. heard them,
3. compared sound,
4. in a group setting,
5. with experienced listeners...

...It’s all just talk until then.

Kinda like trying to convince oneself that frozen pizza with the same ingredients heated up at home is as good as a hot fresh pizza cooked in a really good pizza oven made at a real pizzeria. No comparison.

Talk is cheap. Best of luck.
The good news is, Fritz gets lots of praise and great respect by owners and reviewers abound.  His try/buy offering helps solve a thousand questions.  Good for him and it makes for many happy customers.  

fwiw, I like those particular 7" ScanSpeak mid-woofers quite a bit, used them another custom rebuild recently. Very musical sounding. The new owner of these custom built speakers really likes them a lot.  

Agree, Fritz could charge more.  The return comes from his customers and their regular referrals and great praise.  Seems like it's a Win-Win as you well know - as good as anyone does. Thumbs up, cool setup u have. Keep us posted on the new Belles after 250hrs :)   
..They are remarkably affordable and yet potential customers put him through the absolute ringer...

There are reviews on the Fritz website and he charges something like $3295 for a small BE 2-way speaker, not inexpensive by any means. Seems like a fair price if you like how they sound. No guarantee.   

The speakers seem to hold their own, he sends them out for people to try and evaluate them, and hopefully they purchase them... sounds like a great formula and it works.  Word is he sells a lot of them, that's great!  

Do you own a pair of Fritz speakers and how do you like them?

"Total cost of drivers is $1300. Cost of speakers is $3500. So how much is he actually making? Can anybody answer that without insulting me?"


Yes. Not making much.  

  • Drivers are part of the cost equation, not the total cost. 
  • Missing overall  R&D research time on a build. For some it's years. 
  • Missing the crossover design, parts for the "right" design.  
  • Missing the labor time to build and test the crossovers.  
  • Missing the cabinet R&D time and labor cost to design it right.  
  • Missing the wood and veneer materials costs and storage costs.  
  • Missing LABOR time to cut/assemble/build the pair of cabinets.  
  • Missing the time to lay up veneer or other cosmetics for cabinets.
  • Missing the time to fix or redo something on the finish, it happens.
  • Missing stock of internal wiring, terminals, solder,  costs, etc.
  • Missing wiring, terminals, soldering time for assembly of speakers
  • Missing costs of a facility to build and store materials, speakers
  • Missing costs of boxes, fillers, packaging materials and storage.  
  • Missing the costs of electricity, cooling/heating of a facility. 
  • Missing costs of tools, saws, blades, machinery, maintenance $
  • Missing shared property tax costs if you own the facility and land.
  • Missing time and labor $ for packing and shipping costs $.
  • Demos cost $. All sunk cost $.  Who absorbs these return costs...  
  • [Add] glue, and several things probably missed here, $
  • Missing the time-cost $ answering everyone's questions for FREE.
  • Time is $.  Remember boutique builders, where respect is due.

Only brave souls with extra savings $ need try to build and sell quality "value" speakers for public consumers in a boutique setting. It takes a very special person to do this long term for the audio community.  

>>Respect to those who do it well and stay in business<<.  Go Fritz! 

Good Luck with the Madisound kit, they do offer nice kits and can sound very nice. Great starting point, and good things can be learned.

Professor John did a nice review a few years back on the C7Be...https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017/03/05/review-fritz-speakers-carrera-7-be-loudspeakers/
To: Kenjit,

Why don’t you build a kit from Madisound if you have not done so already? It can answer some of your recurring questions.

I’ve sourced parts from Madisound for 22 years and been designing and building my own speakers for 42 years. Came close to resurrecting and building a speaker company at one point. Decided its too costly to do really well in less than 2-3 years. Takes more like 5-10 years or more like you see with the better boutique builders.

You might be confused comparing hobbyists with business.

Hobbyists put no cost on their time and labor of love. Labor is free.

Businesses are in business to make profit, to evolve, and stay in business.  There is a cost to doing business. 

If you want to save money, buy good used speakers, recondition them. It’s cheaper, may be an option for you.

If you know of someone who buys parts and builds new quality speakers for FREE at no labor cost, please share their name and contact info.

"... who uses comparable drivers".

How do we know they are "comparable"? Maybe his drivers are better than standard versions...

It’s not entirely impossible Fritz has as special order line made to spec for his particular drivers - on some models. Dynaudio and others were doing this for years with Totem and other manufacturers starting out with custom quality wound voice coils, better magnets, or surrounds, and different baskets in special circumstances for some "signature" models requested by the builder. I’d bet the cost of the Be tweeter alone used in his Carerras is more than what some may have guessed until looking closer.

Not saying this is the case with Fritz for his tweeters or woofers. It could be though...However, as you mentioned its easy for "armchair" folks to make assumptions on the cost of the drivers, or get one digit off on a model number on a part and not realize when higher grade version drivers and components are used by a builder in a particular speaker. As already mentioned, same goes for internal crossover parts people never see, not fully understanding true cost of what’s on the inside.

Some people look at a speaker from a photo and make assumptions on parts and materials used inside, and the manufacturer total cost for each component used. It’s not always comparable in function, sound, or cost just because it looks the same from the outside.  
"Amps make no difference. I have heard dozens of amps at home and in stores. Cabling makes no difference at all."

Maybe start a more positive thread with something other than Poor Fritz, and redirect attention there.  A request to a moderator could delete this one.