Germany-based high-end audio maker Burmester has set up a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary to market its first multichannel home theater audio electronics and speakers and a device for integrating a home theater with a home automation system.
The products can be seen at Suite Ven 29-229 at the Venetian Tower during International CES.
The company, which previously marketed two-channel gear through U.S. distributors, has developed a multichannel selection that includes two surround sound processors priced at $39,995 and $19,995. Both feature modular design for future hardware and software upgradeability to prevent obsolescence. Also in the lineup: three-, five- and six-channel power amplifiers; a center-channel speaker; a subwoofer; rack-system cabinetry; and the home automation interface.
The $39,995 processor is the 007 Reference surround processor MK2 with Dolby Digital Ex, DTS ES, DTS Neo6 and Dolby ProLogic II decoding. It features an external power supply with video switchover and Burmester sample-rate conversion applied to all channels. Additional features include balanced amplification, DC coupling to keep capacitors out of the signal path, custom selectable presets, individually set audio and video inputs, automatic overload control and a handheld remote.
The 057 Top Line Surround Processor at $19,995 features the same surround decoders , fully balanced amplification, DC coupling, individually set audio and video inputs and automatic overload control.
The 037 multichannel power amplifier at $14,995 is a three-channel model rated at 3x171 watts at 8 ohms. It's completely balanced and DC-coupled to eliminate distorting capacitors in the signal path, and it delivers a high damping factor, yielding warm musicality and detailed imaging, the company said.
The 039 multichannel amplifier at $19,995 can be configured for three-, five- or six-channel. In five- or six-channel mode, it delivers 171 watts per channel into 8 ohms. Bridged to three channels, it puts out 3x300 watts into 8 ohms. Like the 037, the 039 features DC-coupling to eliminate capacitors in the signal path and an extremely high damping factor.
Among home theater speakers, the $7,595 Centerspeaker C8 can be driven at very high volumes through drivers that are timbre-matched to other Burmester speakers. Rated at 150 watts into 4 ohms, the C8 features the midrange/tweeter system of Burmester's Top Line B80 and B50 speakers and adds additional magnetic shielding for the midrange driver. The cabinet boasts extremely stiff internal bracing to avoid unwanted resonances, and the crossover is housed in a separate chamber. The aluminum side panels can be removed for mounting in a Burmester rack.
The $15,995 powered subwoofer S8 with rounded cosmetics delivers output levels above 115dB and is said to be extremely fast and well-defined bass response at very low volumes. It uses a 2,000-watt amplifier, two side-firing woofers with an ultra-long cone throw and multiple control features. An inner chamber made from ultra-stiff MDF board is fortified with a complex bracing system, and the cabinet's rounded shape reduces internal reflections.
The electronic components can be equipped with optional Burmester BurLink interface, which features RS-232 and USB2.0 ports for integrating a home theater with home automation systems from such companies as Crestron and AMX.
Burmester's four-shelf rack system cabinets feature silver trim and anodized aluminum bars. The racks are available in two sizes and two finishes: dark macassar ebony and light Swiss pear elsberry. Custom finishes are also available on request. Their suggested retails are $2,495 and $2,995.