Burmester B-100 Hybrid
Out of the blue, at least for this company, whose solid-state electronic designs have been among the world’s best, comes a speaker system worthy of those electronics. Burmester’s earlier attempts to come up with a speaker the equal in sound to its electronics were, well, there’s no kind way to put it, mostly a mess, at least in terms of continuity and coherency. With the B-100, there is radiation pattern discontinuity because of the side-firing woofers, a phenomenon that can be minimized (if not eliminated) by exceedingly careful placement. But in terms of character, it speaks with one voice, and its dual high-frequency Heil drivers allow the widest range of dynamics in the top octaves this reviewer has heard from any speaker. Its character is decidedly neutral, perhaps ideally so, since it can sound rather cool and chilly with high-tech transistors (excluding Burmester’s own lovely 911 Mk III) and warm and inviting with blockbusters like Joule’s Destiny, a 300-watt monoblock design sans transformers.