Burmester Audiosysteme CD CD player In some quarters Burmester has gained an unfair reputation in the UK for being expensive German audio bling, due partly to their highly polished chrome fascias no doubt. They design and manufacture, largely in-house, an extensive range of equipment spanning several performance levels from CD players, pre, power and integrated amplifiers, speakers, cables, mains conditioners and support racks and each bears the unmistakeable visual identity of the company. They are also heavily involved with high-end in-car installations in joint partnerships with Bugatti and Porsche. Representation in the UK has been problematic over recent years, as distributors have inevitably found it difficult to promote the entire Burmester range in a price-driven market and have understandably wanted to cherry-pick those components that they consider the most competitive. I confess to a lack of experience of their full systems, but a decent knowledge of three of their CD players.
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Burmester Audiosysteme B25 Burmester is one of those brands that sells complete systems. Every single component, from mains plug to loudspeaker, can have a Burmester logo on it, and in most cases there seems to be no overarching reason to break rank.
It thinks of systems even down to the product number. To decode a Burmester product, those first two digits represent the year the product was launched. Burmester also specs its own mains, interconnect and speaker cables sharing much with the internal wiring of the products and even has a range of equipment stands that provide a visual match for the products.
We reviewed it back in issue 78 last year and what holds then holds now. So, in the absence of preamp, the goes straight into the stereo power amp, via balanced cables. It is fully balanced and completely DC coupled. The input stage and output stage transistors are on their own separate heatsinks, with the side external heatsinking deals with the massive output.
This helps keep the temperature fluctuations from individual sections of the amp from influencing the others. The circuit is also extremely well monitored, akin to the engine-management system of a car.
The amp is monitored for overdrive, overheat and DC offset. The electronics should all be fed into the power conditioner. Now this is a controversial choice — picking a power conditioner before a preamp in the hierarchy of things. Nevertheless, it does actually work in this context. It is essentially a high-pass power line DC offset compensator rather than a simple blocker , coupled to a low-pass AC line filter.
Slim, elegant floorstanders, these three-ways feature an oval side-firing bass driver. They are bi-wired, have a huge rear port that can be bunged at the expense of deep bass energy and come in three finishes.
They are the ideal British room loudspeaker because they can be used just a few inches from the rear wall. Checking out this system involves a process of building and rebuilding. Often, this process unveils some hidden gems and some hidden howlers. This time it was gems all the way down. The sound is the pinnacle of refinement and elegance. The CD player is the star of the show, of course. It creates a sense of musical structure and refinement that you will struggle to find from any digital player, regardless of price.
What Chris Thomas said in issue 78 still holds today. Put simply, it draws you in and keeps you there. The is good enough to sound good on an old plank of wood, but the better the support, the better the playback.
While Burmester makes its own rack, at this level, you should be considering Stillpoints or similar. It helps reinforce that refinement of the When inserted into the Burmester system, it gave everything an additional layer of insight and involvement. With the Primare, the improvement was somewhat fundamental, although with the Burmester it was more like the final coat on an already glossy finish.
The amplifier sealed the deal. If that gives the perception that this Burmester package sounds bass shy, I want to put this one to rest fast. It grips the loudspeakers tight, if perhaps not to the steel jaw levels of its bigger brothers. That said, Burmester frequently gets overlooked in this manner because the company demonstrates all-Burmester systems in shows. I can see this system forming from any one of the components in the system. The loudspeakers, on the other hand, are the last link in the chain for the Burmester user, not a starting place.
This is surprising because they are fundamentally honest sounding loudspeakers, with an exceptionally open treble and possessed of excellent imagery. They do, however, create a very narrow sweet spot, both in the horizontal and vertical axes, and there is some over-emphasis to bass guitar — perhaps that is hardly surprising; Dieter Burmester is a keen bass player, after all.
What it does is make good sound. We saw a few CD players there, mostly for updating. They looked new. They were all more than 20 years old. Burmester even fabricates parts that no-one else can get to service its long-legacy customers. So, the products are expensive, but you get what you pay for. It plays a long game. Buying a Burmester system is an investment for the future. That chrome front panel will not have lost its lustre decades from now… and the product behind the panel will still sound remarkable too.
The thing is though, you could spend years trying to find the Best Product Ever, going from product to product to product, and still end back with all Burmester.
So, perhaps the best thing to do is not fight it. Give in to the Shiny Side. Which seems like a lot to pay for a one-source system from one brand. But the brand is Burmester. Seriously — this is the kind of audio system you buy once per lifetime, and this is the kind of system you could confidently use to see you through the rest of the 21st Century.
Burmester 089 CD Player
Inner view The main focus of the belt-drive CD player is the perfect blend of sound, innovation and design. In near ideal fashion the top-loading player unites latest developments with proven technology and a timeless, stylish appearance. Inspired by analog turntables the belt-drive system for CD players completely decouples the laser pickup from any vibration of the drive motor. The audible result of the high-precision data readout is an astonishing degree of musicality and spaciousness. Design The Burmester-typical chrome front panel characterizes the visual appearance of the CD player.
Burmester CD 089 CD Player (Hi-Fi+)
While not packed with the latest bloom Burmester is still in the high loop. As proven many times over the past few years new DAC chips are not give a reason for the audio joy just by their existence. Belt drive and CD player? CEC, Pioneer and Burmester comes to mind. In combination with Burmester X-Amp 2 this belt driven CD player for sure brings one of the most analog like performance among all CD players I have had pleasure to listen in my highend audio journey.