Burmester Audiosystems B99 loudspeaker Dieter Burmester Interview
Larry Greenhill: When did you start building audio products?
Dieter Burmester: I have been an audiophile and musician since age 14. I played guitar in clubs every weekend and later studied electronics at the university. After my education, I went into business making electronic sensors for medical diagnostic systems that ran automated blood tests. I owned Quad electrostatics driven by a Quad 22 amplifier. The amplifiers broke often because the tubes didn't last.
I decided to build my own amplifier in 1977, using the precision components and circuit parameters used in my medical sensor electronics. These circuits used extremely low currents and voltage. A magazine in Germany heard about the amplifier, scheduled it for review, and praised its sonics. Soon there were customers and dealers. I persuaded two friends to join me, and we began to manufacture audio electronics 25 years ago.
Greenhill: Does the ribbon tweeter account for the B99's high level of transparency?
Burmester: It's not just the ribbon tweeter, but the entire loudspeaker works together as a system. I believe the enclosure construction, which uses a double wall separated with an inner lining, helps greatly. The sonic resonances can't come through the enclosure walls, so the housing is entirely quiet. Many other high-end systems have clean, precise, transparent low frequencies, but they don't transmit the real power of the instruments. The goal of my speakers is to convey the real substance of the music. That's why I believe that you can hear the difference of our loudspeakers even in the next room.
Greenhill: Any new directions for the company or new products under development?
Burmester: Burmester is now working on a home-theater system and a DVD player. This system will be a rack system that will be beautiful and be accepted by the wives. It will include a center-channel speaker, subwoofers, and the B99s. In addition, we are designing the audio system for the $1 million Bugatti sedan. Besides our audio gear, the car has an 1100hp engine and goes over 400kph!