The German hi-fi brand Burmester has released its first all-in-one home-music system: the Burmester Phase 3 ($40,000). It features the company’s new 161 receiver, which combines a preamplifier, a 120-watt power amplifier, and a music server in a single component. The Phase 3 also includes a pair of Burmester’s new B15 loudspeakers. The receiver and speakers are available only in this system.
The 161 is based on Burmester’s 151 MusicCenter and is the ultimate modern hi-fi hub. It has a CD drive for playing discs and ripping music to the 2-terabyte onboard hard drive. It offers easy streaming from home computer networks, digital devices, and online music services. Its reference-grade digital-to-analog converter can process resolutions as high as 24 bits/192 kHz. And it’s equipped with a slew of digital and analog ports, including USB, RCA, and XLR. The 161 also allows you to control the entire system with Burmester’s intuitive iPad app.
The B15 loudspeakers are compact but nonetheless mighty. Each is just 16 inches tall but, with a ported design and 6.7-inch fiberglass-and-paper woofer cone, can hit chest-rattling lows down to 40 Hz. The speaker’s ribbon-based Air Motion Transformer tweeter offers an ultra-quick response for crisp, room-filling highs.
The Phase 3’s rack creates an optimal listening angle in any space and has room for additional components or music sources. The system is available in a variety of styles and finishes, including retro, steampunk, and chrome. You also can order a completely custom finish. (Burmester, burmester.de; available in North America through Rutherford Audio, 303.872.6285, rutherfordaudio.com)