Review: Fried Products FRIED Studio 7 Speaker

Category: Speakers

Before I give my impression of the Studio 7, a little background about myself is in order. I consider myself an audio enthusiast, not an audiophile. I listen to music, and I don't think it is necessary to spend gargantuan amounts of money to hear the reproduction of music. Everyone who listens perceives music differently.

I have owned FRIED speakers since 1978, my first pair being the R/II. I also have owned the M/II, the Q, the GII/A, the original Beta, and the H System. A hallmark of FRIED was the option to upgrade Bud Fried's designs. He believed in sharing his knowledge.

I first heard the Studio 7 at Bud's apartment, in November 2004. As usual, Bud was very cordial, and we listened to various pieces of music. His associated gear was NAD electronics and a Sony CDP, similar to equipment in my system. The Studio 7 impressed me with its very open, neutral sound, natural voice reproduction, and a total lack of the "WOW" effect. That is, strident irritating highs, nasal midrange, and bloated, mid-bass peakiness(which eventually leads to listener fatigue).

I purchased the Studio 7 through one of FRIED's dealers. The speakers arrived at my home in January, 2005. They were packed extremely well and required at least two strong people to unpack them. The speakers with all the packing material weighed about 120 lbs. each. FRIED recommends at least a 40 hour break-in period.

I had the good fortune of still having the G/IIA's on hand for an A-B test. The difference was quite a surprise. The G/IIA's were overly bright, and lacked the low end response that the Studio 7 is capable of.

The new FRIED Products Co., under the direction of Dr. Raines is carying on the tradition that Bud had been doing for so long. Th accurate reproduction of music using the finest drivers, T-L loading and series crossover.

The Studio 7 is a three way floor standing speaker utilizing a dual transmission line; one for the woofer, and one for the midrange driver. The speakers are mirror imaged, with a left and a right speaker; employing a series crossover. They are supplied with spikes and have removable black cloth grills. Fit and finish is excellent.

The speakers are 43.5" in height, 11" in width, and 20" in depth. Crossover points are 180Hz and 2kHz. Impedance is rated at four ohms. They are available in a number of finishes.

The speakers are part of my HT system, and I primarily use the system for two channel reproduction. The NAD T770 supplies 80 watts per channel in stereo mode. The CDP is a Sony 508ESD; for LP listening: Dunlop Systemdek II tt, Profile II tonearm, Grace F9E cartridge.

After two and a half years, the Studio 7 still impresses me with its very smooth reproduction, never calling attention to itself. While listening, the speakers tend to disappear, generating a feeling of being at the original performance.

If you are looking for a speaker that will accurately reproduce all the intracacies of a musical performance, give the Studio 7 a listen.

You won't be disappointed.
Your experience with the new series of Fried Speakers has me interested once again. I gave up before because Fried dealers seem to be few and far between. I was reluctant to visit the dealer identified by Fried as being nearest to me because of the location.

At which dealer were you able to audition and buy your speakers?
I heard the Studio 7 at Bud's apartment. I purchased them from FRIED's dealership located in Farmville, VA.
Laminarflow, thanks for sharing the good news about Fried. Two audio associates of mine (one with 25+ years on the manufacturing side and the other with 20 + years of fairly sophisticated systems) have happily migrated into the Fried camp. One has the Studio 7s and one owns a pair of References. Both are blown away by the sheer musicality and real life dynamics produced by these speakers. Interestingly, both gentlemen have recently owned Dale Pitcher's speaker line (Summits, Gamma Summits, Pingoras) which many consider some of the best in the world (they regularly produce best of show sound at Rocky Mountain). I myself have owned Dale Pitcher's designs and am very intrigued to see where this resurrected Fried line is heading.....
I resist hurling a phalanx of superlatives when describing Audio gear, but in this case, it almost impossible to resist.

Laminar assists greatly here: "The Studio 7 impressed me with its very open, neutral sound, natural voice reproduction, and a total lack of the "WOW" effect. That is, strident irritating highs, nasal midrange, and bloated, mid-bass peakiness(which eventually leads to listener fatigue)."

....Stone cold true.

I'm the guy Agear describes as having "20 + years of fairly sophisticated systems" and own the Fried Reference.

Simply put, it's ability to envelope one with a field of absolute sheer Musicality is hypnotising. This is a music lover's speaker such I've never heard.

Not an Audiophiliac impresario: A deeply sophisticated Music Lover's speaker.

There's nothing more I can say.

As a business associate of Bud for several years, and a fan and customer before, I must say that, without hearing the latest offering--if his name is on it, it must be good.
If that sounds like heroworship, so be it.
IMF speakers, of the late '70's vintage formed my paradigm of great and musical sound for several years. I soon became a hopelss audiophile and opened my own retail establishment.
Bud would call, and we'd talk endlessly about his designs and why they were so musical sounding. Bud loved music very much, which was apparent from his designs AND his personal comments.
He and Jim Thiel were two of my greatest influences--they were giants in the industry, and I couldn't read this without thinking of how much I miss them, and how much better the industry would continue to be today if they were still contributing.

Thanks for the thoughtful words Larry. It is sad that they are gone. Judging from much of the thread verbiage in Audiogon, the audio landscape has become fractured, contentious and narcissistic. We are in need of more grounded, paternal audio influences with grace and integrity.

I think you captured the heart of the Fried Legacy with this phrase: "Bud loved music very much...." My friends who own the latest iterations of Fried speakers always wax poetic on their sheer musicality. I myself will be getting a set of the Reference speakers this week and will report back once they are broken in. A formal review may be in order....
I know this post is long running but I would like to say...
I grew up listening to Fried speakers in my house since my old man owned them my entire childhood/teenage life. I am now in the Navy (8years) and I am sorely dissapointed at the offerings of HI FI now available. The affordable stuff is not satisfying as i would hope, and the stuff that sounds good costs too much (and much of that is sub par). My first stereo was my dad's Fried A-3's with a NAD reciever. My dad's current rig has Studio V's in it. I have yet to find that sound and feeling, except for mabye Dynaudio. Just some thought from a Fried fan.
Jetta, thanks for chiming in. That's very kool to hear. There is a certain organic, magical sound that Fried speakers seem to possess. My first system included a NAD integrated back in 1979. Unfortunately, I was feeding Bose 501s and not Frieds! You started well. I believe Fried is planning to reissue their classic line in the not too distant future in addition to the current generation which I own. Stay tuned and do not lose heart.
So Agear how did the Ref. Speakers work out for you?
Very well after extensive surgery.....