Where and how did all started for Burmester audio?
”Before I started engineering school I toured as guitarist with a professional rock band. And it was my passion for music that let me abandon the development of electronic measuring devices for the medical profession and start my own business as designer of high-end audio equipment. A damaged Preamp and the fact that there was no replacement with an advanced concept induced me to convert one of my medical measuring devices. The resulting Preamp is a central element among our Burmester components up to the present day.
Would you consider yourself an audiophile?
I would consider myself a music lover. Listening to music creates emotions, and this is what it’s all about.
You’re a great musician. It’s my personal believe that only those who are deeply connected with music can convey this to the amplification. Would you agree? Can you elaborate?
The experience of live music is the ultimate yardstick with which I measure the performance of my audio designs. The optimum of sound is achieved when you stop thinking about where the music is coming from.
Your chrome finish is outstanding and instantly recognizable. Many tried to copy it, but it seems that you’re a step ahead in finish and quality. What is the secret and why chrome?
I believe, we have been the first audio manufacturer to use chrome front panels and aluminum housing design, a worldwide trend ever since. I was inspired by the furniture design of the 1930s and by old-timer cars and music instruments. Apart from designing aspects, chrome is regarded as a material which retains its value almost unboundedly.
Why you didn’t choose tubes?
I use tube amplifiers when I play guitar, because the distortion creates an individual sound. But for listening to music I prefer the sound of solid state amplifiers, because of the accuracy. When I play bass guitar, I also prefer solid state amps because of the better damping of low frequencies.
Some say that with solid state technology you loose musicality and natural timbre, but I found quite opposite in Burmester. You came as close to neutral and musicality as technology allows it. How did you manage this?
In order to achieve the extraordinary Burmester sound, we use the latest technologies and finest electronic components in combination with the results of longstanding research and developments added by our uncompromising quality requirements. Finally, apart from technological perfection, the human ear is still the most crucial criteria. Only when a newly developed device has passed the last authority – the skilled ears of our staff – the undiluted listening pleasure is guaranteed.
You’re offering one of a kind upgrade/service for almost all previous models. Why?
Even the most advanced technology is subject to constant improvement due to new research and developments or the availability of better component parts.
The possibility of future upgrades is element of our long-term concept. Our customers are able to profit from future technological advances by factory-set upgrades. For several customers, Burmester Modification has been a crucial argument for the purchase, as it grants listening pleasure on the highest level for decades
What would you say that is the biggest difference between entry level line and the reference?
Our Reference Line asserts the claim to set the benchmark worldwide in the fields of sound quality, innovations and manufacturing quality. This extraordinary product line aims to demonstrate the state of the art whatever the effort or the required use of materials may be. Rondo Line components are subject to the identical high standards as all other Burmester appliances. Exceeding musicality, perfect manufacturing quality, technological innovation and attractive design are immediate requirements in the Rondo Line as well. The Rondo components profit from developments from the Reference or Top Line. Technologies, which have been generated for these high-class product lines are deployed in a condensed form for the Rondo Line components.
Your phono 100 preamplifier sets another mile-stone to high-end audio. Please tell us more what is so unique and why did you choose to build it?
The 100 is a reference to the successful 838 Phono Preamp from the 80’s. The final result is a return to the roots of Burmester’s story of success, combined with state of the art technology from the 21st century. It is probably the world’s most comprehensive Phono Preamp available. One of the key features is the ability to professionally digitalize analogue records. Another one is the unprecedent Auto Adjust function.
Do you produce everything in house or do you employ subcontractors?
All our loudspeakers and electronic equipment is handmade in Berlin by our skilled personnel. 95% of the Burmester constructed case parts are purchased from German manufacturers. All PBCs are assembled and soldered in our company. Electronic parts are thoroughly tested and partly selected before they are built in. An extensive series of tests follow the assemblage. Power Amps for example have to pass almost 300 measurements before they are allowed to carry the seal of approval “Made by Burmester”. Burmester keeps a full history record of all units ever manufactured since the founding year 1977. The test protocols of every delivered piece of equipment are kept in our files for future reference in case of a modification or a repair.
What is that sets Burmester audio from competition?
We were the first to introduce fully balanced circuitry design, completely DC-coupled signal path from analog turntable cartridge to loudspeaker. We invented the belt-drive technology, active power conditioners and several other pioneering technologies.
What is the goal of Burmester audio?
My aim as musician and engineer is to make music enthusiasts forget that they are listening to their music via electronic equipment. When you reach the point where nothing disturbs your enjoyment of music you are able to dive into the music.
What is your reference when designing and testing new products?
In order to achieve the extraordinary Burmester sound, we use the latest technologies and finest electronic components in combination with the results of longstanding research and developments added by our uncompromising quality requirements.
Finally, apart from technological perfection, the human ear is still the most crucial criteria. Only when a newly developed device has passed the last authority – the skilled ears of our staff – the undiluted listening pleasure is guaranteed.
When I play recordings made in my recording studio at home on our system they have to sound exactly like they did when I recorded them.
As a musician, do you think that live musical event can be reproduced in a listening room?
I am aware that a live concert experience is very hard to duplicate by home audio systems. And in any case should music lovers visit every concert they can. However, I have experienced myself that not every concert visit is as satisfying as one would expect. With a Burmester sound system, you can let legends arise back to life. Recordings by Elvis Presley, the Beatles or other extraordinary artists will fill your living room with the spirit of music which is lost for the stages of the world.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
I am a full blood creative engineer, but it is not the technical aspect that counts, but the emotional element of the products’ sound. The technology behind it is only a means to an end. For me perfection has a high emotional value. Therefore I am striving for perfect shape, perfect quality, perfect function and perfect sound. I also hope that our products provide access to the enjoyment of music to many people.