Burmester's New Loudspeakers

Burmester's upbeat and gregarious CEO, Dieter Burmester, was eager to give a live demonstration of his two newest loudspeakers, the $60,000/pair BA-71 and the smaller $30,000/pair BA 31 (above). The larger BA-71 uses four 160mm woofers while the BA-31 employs two woofers. The B71 employs two 160mm midrange drivers in a D'Appolito array around a single front-firing air-motion-transformer tweeter, the B31 a single midrange unit. These speakers differ from the rest of the Burmester loudspeakers because they incorporate a user-adjustable air-motion-transformer tweeter on the upper rear panel of the cabinet.

Dieter let me play selections from my 2015 "Records to Die For," Chris Martin and Coldplay's Parachutes album, and the fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony 9 conducted by Leonard Bernstein at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Both speakers produced a wide and deep soundstage with excellent separation of instruments. Dieter then played one of his favorite blues selection, "I got a little Red Rooster," performed by Betnerreuter, Bayer, and Kossowska, a German group, a digitized file of a vinyl record playback. A musician and a collector of fine guitars, he focused on the accuracy of the reproduction.

As good as the BA-71 was, I was particularly impressed by the smaller BA-31's speed, openness, and ability to generate a large and deep soundstage. These qualities were evident listening to Dieter's huge selection of albums stored on the Burmester file server. The smaller BA-31 correctly reproduced the "compactness" of the guitar and close-miked vocals from Paul McCartney's ballad, "Jenny Wren."

Asked if he has any advice for the setup or room tuning for his loudspeakers, Dieter said that he personally does not like "audiophile pillows" for dampening a room, but to use rugs and carpets for that purpose. "The listener must be comfortable holding conversations in the room; if that is happening, then he will be comfortable listening to music," Dieter said.