I first learned of Fritz Speakers when Fritz contacted me through AudioCircle prior to RMAF 2009 about providing an equipment rack for his room. Subsequent to our conversation I also designed and built a pair of speaker stands for his Carbon 7 speakers.
I first heard Fritz’s Carbon 7’s at that show and I was very impressed by the sound emanating from this small bookshelf speaker. The show was a disaster for my fledgling business as the shipper misplaced my racks but I did have the opportunity to meet a number of people and listen to many different speakers. I felt Fritz’s were among the best I heard, especially considering their price.
Prior to Christmas 2009 Fritz loaned me a pair of his Carbon 7 bookshelf speakers to photograph on the racks I had built for them and to audition in my home. My equipment used in auditioning the Fritz Carbon 7’s were a Parasound Halo A 21 amplifier, P 3 preamplifier and D 3 universal disc player, an Opera Consonance LP-2.0 turntable fitted with a Mørch UP-4 tonearm and Grado Sonata high-output cartridge, and a Logitech Squeezebox 3. Speaker wires are a 2-meter pair of “Anticable-like” homemade solid core 12 gauge Ohno continuous cast copper wire.
The speakers I owned were a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100 v.4 $2,500 full range towers. I was happy with the Paradigm’s and had treated my small 11' x 12' room with 9' ceilings so that they measured nearly flat between 20Hz and 20kHz. (Measured using TrueRTA and an omnidirectional microphone placed at head-height on my listening chair. My room has a slight bump at 110Hz.) The only shortcoming of the Paradigm’s was that they were somewhat bright and could turn fatiguing after a while at normal-to-higher listening volumes.
Upon unpacking and placing the Carbon 7's on my stands I was immediately impressed with their sound, especially since Fritz had warned me they were brand spanking new and had never been played. The soundstage was as large as that thrown by the Paradigm’s and their bass extension belied their size. They also looked very nice sitting on my purpose-built stands.
They were a lightly oiled cherry with quite striking graining; a nice contrast to most glossy finished speakers. After about 120 hours of break in I settled in for some serious listening.
Some of the tracks I used for critical listening were Sarah McLachlan’s I Love You from Surfacing (both LP & CD), 3 Doors Down’s Landing in London from Seventeen Days (DualDisc DVD-Audio), Natalie Merchant’s Beloved Wife from Tigerlily (on CD, DVD-Audio and Mobile Fidelity’s GAIN 2 Ultra Analog 45 rpm LP), Hidemi Suzuki’s Suite I in G major, BMV 1007 from J. S. Bach – 6 Suites for Violoncello Solo (SACD), Vienna Teng’s Gravity from Waking Hour (CD) and Metallica’s The Unforgiven from Metallica (DVD-Audio). I say some tracks because I found myself enjoying many hours of music from my collection during the time I had these speakers for demo.
Fritz’s Carbon 7 speakers never failed to impress me with their open sound, detailed imaging, clarity, three-dimensional soundstage and range. My system always had good PRAT but these speakers flushed it out in spades. Sarah McLachlan’s I Love You contains a strong low bass track that peaks around 58Hz but extends all the way down to the low 30’s and a very forward and breathy vocal mix. The highs on this track are simply too brittle and overly bright on the Paradigm’s G-PAL tweeter; Fritz’s ScanSpeak textile dome reproduces them perfectly and without any fatigue. The bass is every bit as strong as the Paradigm’s from a box one-third the size.
With Hidemi Suzuki’s recording his cello was tangible and every nuance from the recording was realistically reproduced from the vibrations of the cello body to Hidemi’s measured breath and fingering. I felt as if he was sitting in the room with me
When called upon to rock Fritz’s speakers do so willingly and without reservation and when asked for subtlety they respond accordingly. I loved these speakers and have sold my Paradigm’s to make room for them in my listing room.