I had a long fascination with high-end audio before I owned any of the good stuff. I suppose the same allure applies to exotic cars; millions read reviews of cars they never drive, and watch Food Network shows about food they'll never taste. Folks are interested in excellence, but compared to $200,000 cars or celebrity chefs' handiwork high-end audio is more accessible and practical. Two products covered in today's blog -- used high-end Grado headphones and the Oracle Delphi turntable -- sometimes sell for less than $1,000 on eBay. That's still expensive, but more within … Read more
I remember the first time I saw a Burmester component in a hi-fi store. I couldn't get over how beautiful it was.
The Burmester pictured here is the Reference Line 808 MK5 preamplifier. Introduced in August 1980, the 808 is the fifth-generation model. The preamp's modular construction was a revolutionary design approach in 1980, and new technologies have been incorporated to maintain the 808's performance at the current state of the art.
Here at CNET we write about all sorts of gadgets and toys, but I've noticed that when I write about high-end gear I get the biggest reaction.
I like hearing about stuff I can't afford, like the recent road test of the $80,000 Jaguar XFR. The big sedan can hit 162 mph, can stop from 150 in 6 seconds, and it's a ball to drive fast. Funny, the road tester never mentioned fuel economy. There you go, people don't buy $80,000 cars for their practicality, they buy them to be seen in and for how well they perform.
High-end audio isn't so different, but it's more private. High-end buyers' families and friends are the only ones who'll ever get to be bowled over by the sound and looks of their spectacular audio systems. So while you've probably heard of Jaguar, chances are you're less familiar with high-end audio brands. I'm here to help raise awareness of quality audio.
I write about the world's best audio gear for "Home Entertainment" magazine, and I recently had the pleasure of testing the Burmester 032 integrated stereo amplifier ($22,495) and B25 speakers ($11,995/pair). Burmester is based in Berlin, Germany. The company builds the sort of hi-fis a Jaguar owner would buy.
The 032 amplifier's sculptured metalwork is drop-dead gorgeous. The amplifier's front and sides are covered by machined heat sinks. They provide optimal cooling for the stereo 240-watt-per-channel amplifier's output transistors, eliminating the need for noisy fans. Burmester components, fully decked out in chrome, are a startling sight to behold. … Read more
The Panamera is a different kind of Porsche.
It's a four-door sedan, a really fast sedan. The Panamera S at $89,800 comes with a 400hp 4.8-liter V8, capable of punching out 0-to-60 mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph. Not quick enough for you? Move up to the Panamera Turbo, with a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8, 0-to-60 mph in 4 seconds, and a top speed of 188. That bad boy will retail for $132,600.
So why is the Audiophiliac filling space with upcoming German super sedans? 'Cause they're going to … Read more
Porsche AG released official photos and details of its upcoming Panamera's "cockpit for four." We've already had a look at the exterior and seen some blurry pictures of the dashboard, but this is our first clear look at the gran turismo's interior.
Porsche will offer the interior in 13 color and material combinations, including four two-tone leather interiors and seven interior trim options, from carbon fiber to Natural Olive wood.
Cabin tech comes in the form of a new ultra high-end surround sound system from renowned Berlin audio manufacturer Burmester. While this is the first … Read more
Today in Las Vegas, Burmester Audiosysteme, Germany's legendary manufacturer of ultra high-performance electronics and speakers, is exhibiting its 069 Reference Line CD Player. This amazing machine draws oohs and aahs even before it makes a sound, it's that gorgeous.
The 069 CD Player is a cutting-edge digital playback system, created for well heeled connoisseurs of music and German industrial design. Its audiophile credentials come in the form of its proprietary belt drive motor system that spins the CDs (instead of the off-the-shelf direct-drive mechanisms other manufacturers use).
The 069 CD Player's spiked feet may be set directly … Read more
Bugatti is a name that would never be associated with "ordinary," so it makes perfect sense that the music system for its "Veyron" uber-car would be something special. And they certainly didn't disappoint anyone with the German-made Burmester system that was created specifically to meet the unique needs and design of the Veyron, one of the world's fastest street-legal cars.
Here's why an off-the-shelf stereo from Best Buy wouldn't have done the trick: The Burmeister CD player alone is constructed to operate without a single skip at 250 miles per hour. Sybarites … Read more