The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 2953 times.

rebbi

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 271
The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« on: 2 Feb 2016, 01:58 pm »
Hi, Folks,
This set of listening impressions was just posted on my Audio Blog, but in keeping with AC review guidelines, I've replicated the text here. The original has photos, too.
Enjoy!



Following on the heels of my Fritz Carbon 7 SE review, I got another phone call from Fritz Heiler (always a good thing). He wanted to know how his upmarket monitor, the Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE, would sound paired with my Audio Note Kits Kit 1 300B amp. Having throughly enjoyed getting to know the Carbon 7 SE, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to spend quality time with the Carrera.

Carrera Rev 7 BE Design Elements

As with most of the speakers Fritz is offering these days, the Carrera Rev 7 BE is a two-way, vented, stand-mount model. Like all Fritz’s offerings, the Carrera Rev 7 BE features premium quality drivers, integrated by a minimalist, series crossover.

As I mentioned in the Carbon 7 SE review, Fritz builds one heck of a dense, solid monitor cabinet. I can see someone throwing out their back picking up a Carbon 7 or Carrera as a result of underestimating just how much – 30 pounds! – that diminutive box actually weighs. As icing on the cake, the ebony veneer on my sample pair was very handsome.

So, where were we?

Ah, yes, “quality drivers.” The mid-woofer is a 7-inch paper cone unit from ScanSpeak’s “Revelator” line. As you can see in the photo, above, it’s an interesting looking unit, with lines scored into the cone and the dust cap in a distinctive, radial pattern.

The tweeter is the N28BER, a beryllium dome unit from Transducer Lab. It certainly looks swanky, with a machined metal faceplate and a protective grill over the dome.

Just a word here about beryllium dome tweeters. Several years ago, when Reference 3A replaced the fabric dome tweeters of their entire line with beryllium tweeters, I hesitated to upgrade the tweeters because of the reputation of metal dome tweeters for sounding harsh, metallic and so forth. At that time, Tash Goka of Reference 3A reassured me that

Quote
… opinions about the “harsh sound” [that] metal domes propagate may generally be true although some loudspeakers have used them successfully in the past. They were usually made with aluminum, magnesium or titanium, etc… This ringing metallic sound was also our finding whenever we have tried them for a project. Metallurgy of Beryllium is different however. It is significantly lighter, stronger and definitely more inert.  Sonically it is very well balanced, detailed, and spacious due to extended higher frequencies well in to 40 kHz range.

When I upgraded my Reference 3A De Capo’s to the BE tweeter, I found Tash Goka’s words to reflect my listening experiences. There wasn’t a whit of harshness in that tweeter. On the contrary, the highs were sweet, extended and airy. It was an unquestionable improvement over the fabric dome tweeter.

This experience with beryllium dome tweeters made me particularly eager to hear the Carrera Rev 7 BE.

The Sound

The Carrera Rev 7 BE manifests the same even, suave sonic DNA that makes its less expensive sibling, the Carbon 7 SE, so appealing. It is smooth, refined and utterly easy to listen to. Other speakers may jump up and down shouting, “Hey, big spender, check out my highs, my lows, my imaging, my slam, my irresistible way with Diana Krall!!” But, like the Carbon 7 SE, the Carrera Rev 7 BE coos, “Are you ready for a long term relationship? Someone you can spend hour after hour with and never lose interest? Then look no further, my friend.”

So, yes, Fritz Heiler has great ears and really knows how to voice a speaker with the potential to keep you happy for the long haul. But what does the substantially more expensive Carrera add to the Carbon 7 SE experience?

In a word, “sophistication.” While never calling attention to itself, there’s a smoothness, “air” and goes-on-forever-but-never-gets-harsh extension to that BE tweeter that is quite extraordinary. You wouldn’t miss these qualities in the Carbon 7 SE, but you can easily hear what the fancier drivers add to the equation when you move up to the Carrera’s.

Speaking of fancier drivers, what about that 7-inch Revelator mid-woofer? Again, the drivers are very well integrated and it’s not as if you’re going to be sitting there thinking, “Dude, that’s a killer woofer!” (Well, some of you might think that, but what can I do?) But voices do sound just that extra measure fleshed out with the Revelator mid-woofer, and the sheer, room energizing, low end STOMP that the Carrera’s can pump out is grin-inducing. Orchestral tympani in the last section of Pictures At An Exhibition? No problem. Electro-pop synth bass in the music of Annie Lennox, Aaliyah or Lorde? Heck yeah!

But, with a SET amp?

Last year, when Fritz suggested I test the Carbon 7 SE with my 8 watt per channel ANK Kit 1 SET amp, I was skeptical. Could the Kit 1 provide enough power to effectively drive 88 db sensitive Carbon 7 SE? To my great surprise, the combo sounded great: dynamic, unstrained and smooth, without any sense that the Kit 1 was bottoming out or clipping.

Although the Kit 1 and Carrera made some great music together with every genre of music I threw at them, the fit didn’t seem quite as comfortable. Whether it was the overall less sensitive package (87 db for the Carrera vs. 88 for the Carbon 7) or, as Fritz himself speculated, the power requirements of the BE tweeter, the Kit 1 seemed to have to work harder to power the Carrera. For a concrete example of what I mean: “9 o’clock” to “10 o’clock” on the Kit 1 volume dial would drive the Carbon 7 SE’s to satisfying volume levels in my moderately small listening room. For the Carrera, it often took “10 o’clock” to “11 o’clock” to get the speakers to really wake up. On the theory that SET’s sound best (e.g., generate the least amount of distortion) with speakers that allow them to operate well within their “first watt” or so of power, you’d want a speaker that didn’t make a SET amp work quite that hard.

Additionally, with allowances for the unreliability of aural memory, I think that the Kit 1 maintained a smidgen more “grip” on the Carbon 7 SE’s low end than it did with the Carrera. While bass energy was powerful with both speakers, pitch definition seemed more sure and bass more tight with the Carbon 7 SE.

I am sorry that I didn’t have another amp to try, like my old Manley Mahi mono blocks. I would bet that the Carrera’s would really light up with those puppies in 20 watt triode mode. Alas, the Mahi’s are long sold (but to a good friend, so I’m fine with it).

Final Thoughts

The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE is another winner from Fritz Heiler. It retains the balanced, easy to listen to Fritz “house sound,” while adding a heightened level of refinement.

I just don’t think you can go wrong with Fritz Speakers. You are getting a handmade, artisan product backed by passion and friendly customer service. Fritz loves everything about high-end speakers and it shows in what he sells. Unreservedly recommended!

Scottdazzle

Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #1 on: 2 Feb 2016, 03:58 pm »
+1

srb

Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #2 on: 2 Feb 2016, 04:42 pm »
I don't see a price, which I consider important in evaluating a speaker.  According to the Fritz website, they sell for $5650/pr !

Seems kind of high in comparison with a similarly equipped USA-built direct marketed speaker, the $3700 Odyssey Kismet Reference Monitor, which has the 7" 18W/4531 ScanSpeak Revelator woofer, a ScanSpeak D3004/6640-00 AirCirc Neodymium Beryllium tweeter, premium crossover components, wiring and WBT terminals, and around the same weight at 32 lbs.

The parts themselves don't mean a lot if the design is lacking, but at a quite substantial $2K difference it certainly deserves some kind of comparison.

Steve

rebbi

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 271
Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #3 on: 2 Feb 2016, 04:54 pm »
I don't see a price, which I consider important in evaluating a speaker.  According to the Fritz website, they sell for $5650/pr !

Seems kind of high in comparison with a similarly equipped USA-built direct marketed speaker, the $3700 Odyssey Kismet Reference Monitor, which has the 7" 18W/4531 ScanSpeak Revelator woofer, a ScanSpeak D3004/6640-00 AirCirc Neodymium Beryllium tweeter, premium crossover components, wiring and WBT terminals, and around the same weight at 32 lbs.

The parts themselves don't mean a lot if the design is lacking, but at a quite substantial $2K difference it certainly deserves some kind of comparison.

Steve

Yes, granted, these are not cheap. Fortunately, Fritz is very generous with home audition time, so if one was interested, he/she could evaluate it before making the financial commitment.

abernardi

Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #4 on: 3 Feb 2016, 12:50 am »
I got to listen to these speakers at the Newport show last May.  I've always liked Fritz's speakers, and I agree rebbi, he has a great ear for tuning his speakers to that comfortable quality that you can live with for a long time.  But the moment I walked in the room my ears perked up, it was like... Hey, those are Fritz speakers with his sound, but there's also some serious audiophile air, detail and body going on here.  And this was at the door, I wasn't anywhere near the sweet spot.  I looked at Fritz and said, "What are THOSE??"  Needless to say I spent a bit of time and they just got better and better.  Sophisticated is right.  Organic and natural, not hi-fi at all.  They go a long way in creating that illusion of being there.

This is a speaker on my short list if I'm looking to change up my system.

Zero

Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #5 on: 3 Feb 2016, 12:59 am »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts of Fritz Rev 7 BE's with us!  I've yet to hear those particular speakers, but I've spent a whole bunch of time with his Rev 5's, Carbon 7's, and Morel 6's - with the latter being particularly awesome for $1650.  All in all, I agree with your closing sentiment.  Fritz may not be changing the game insofar as loudspeaker engineering is concerned, but I like the fact that he offers straight-forward, excellent sounding loudspeakers at very reasonable prices.  The fact that he's a cool dude certainly doesn't hurt either!

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8038
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #6 on: 3 Feb 2016, 01:09 am »
I don't see a price, which I consider important in evaluating a speaker.  According to the Fritz website, they sell for $5650/pr !

Seems kind of high in comparison with a similarly equipped USA-built direct marketed speaker, the $3700 Odyssey Kismet Reference Monitor, which has the 7" 18W/4531 ScanSpeak Revelator woofer, a ScanSpeak D3004/6640-00 AirCirc Neodymium Beryllium tweeter, premium crossover components, wiring and WBT terminals, and around the same weight at 32 lbs.

The parts themselves don't mean a lot if the design is lacking, but at a quite substantial $2K difference it certainly deserves some kind of comparison.

Steve

Yes, $5650/pair made me stagger back. 
 
I've only heard the $2,000/pair Carbon 7 and Kismet at shows, but it was no competition.  Just to put the shoe on the other foot, the Carbon 7 won.

fritzspeakers

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 96
  • FRITZSPEAKERS.COM
    • FRITZSPEAKERS.COM
Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #7 on: 3 Feb 2016, 07:21 am »
Hi Rebbi-  Thanks for the nice write up and to everyone else for the kind words!

Here's a little info on the pricing of the Carreras on my web site.  I'm setting up a dealer network for my newest models so people who don't want to buy & try them with my home audition program can listen to them.  I have about 10-12 US dealers across the US in some larger cites that are interested and also a couple of overseas dealers.  I put the price of the Carreras @ $5600 US for the Asian dealers to reflect the expensive shipping & customs duties.  The US price is now on my web site @ $4650 a pair.

PS- Adam-  Thanks for bringing your great music to play at Newport!  The tower Carreras that you heard in my room are the middle speaker in the picture.

Thanks & happy listening...   Fritz


« Last Edit: 5 Feb 2016, 09:05 am by fritzspeakers »

MtnHam

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 192
  • SoundLab and Fritz Speakers Dealer
Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #8 on: 3 Feb 2016, 02:24 pm »
I have the Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE speakers available for audition (by appointment) in San Francisco. Having just spent the last two days intently listening to them, I can confirm what rebbi has said. They are fantastic!

If any AC members would like to hear them, give me a call.
Tom
Ultimate Audio
707-703-1987

brj

Re: The Fritz Carrera Rev 7 BE
« Reply #9 on: 5 Feb 2016, 07:32 am »
Please keep the thread focused on the speakers.  We're always thrilled to have direct industry participation, but advertisements for auditions doesn't align with the review focused nature of the Critic's Circles.

Thank you!