For one very special night, two iconic brands: Mercedes-Benz AMG and Burmester converged at the flagship Mercedes-Benz Canada showroom in Vancouver on Terminal Ave. We treated a very special, select group of passionate AMG owners and aficionados to an evening of fine wine, fast cars and fabulous HiFi. I had the privilege, along with a local dealer, Edward Ku and Jeffrey Tseng of Element Acoustics to represent Burmester North America. We were given the honour of speaking to the crowd about our unique relationship with Mercedes-Benz.
The Evening: A night with Burmester Audio and Mercedes-Benz
The excitement in the air that night was tangible as the feature AMG vehicles were beautifully displayed under dramatic lighting and colours. Upon entering the exquisitely decorated showroom, every guest was treated to sights and sounds of performance that set the tone for the entire evening: serious appreciation for engineering, design and innovation, but most of all connecting with like minded passionate people and having a great time!
The Burmester system filled the evening with music from a playlist of smooth jazz and ambient grooves hand-selected by Edward. Visually, it complimented the vehicles and stood proudly at the head of the event just off the stage. Our Burmester system was right at home.
The Burmester System
The Burmester 111 Musiccenter sat proudly in the top slot of the V1 Rack immediately grabbing the attention of everyone with its brilliant LED screen, delighting both hifi enthusiasts and next-gen hifi audiences alike. The ability to appreciate unsurpassed fidelity with such intuitive simplicity was definitely a big part of the conversations. It even gave a few old-school hifi-purists an opportunity to experience the phenomenal reproductive quality of digital technology today. Needless to say, everyone was impressed.
The 911 Power Amp and 948 Power Conditioner takes the digital wizardry of the 111 into aural nirvana. More than just a benchmark amp for its class, it IS the heartbeat of Burmester, pumping the life-long passion of the late founder and innovator, Dieter Burmester into every single note and sound reproduced. This system leaves an indelible mark on everyone that has been touched by his legacy.
The Burmester 961 mk2 speakers were the ideal match to appreciate all that was being put through them. Listeners were treated to uninterrupted sonic perfection from this beautifully frequency-balanced pair. Filling the massive space of the Mercedes-Benz showroom without distorting or producing other unwarranted noise would have been a very tall order for an ordinary hifi system. However, the 961’s powered by the 911 effortlessly filling the space as if they were literally at home, in the living room.
Burmester and Mercedes
Burmester joined the Mercedes team in 2013 by creating the system for the all new S-Class. To learn more about the joining of these two amazing brands you can check out this video of Dieter Burmester from 2013.
Since 2013, Burmester has become the primary system for Mercedes. Rolling around the AMG center half the cars had Burmester systems! Open a door and you were likely to find a Burmester system already installed.
The AMG Sound
For the Burmester High-End Surround-Soundsystem the typical, warm and substantial sound is provided by a 1,000 watt amplifier which drives a total of 11 loudspeakers. The tweeters with their circular diaphragms excel by a delicate reproduction of the highs. Midrange drivers with a proven custom fiberglass cone from the home sector and acoustic fleece pads placed between the midrange chassis and the doors ensure a precise stage imaging.
To create optimal conditions for the woofers in the extremely rigid aluminum frame structure of the car body, the frames are specially sealed to get clearly defined volumes, as they are also known from home audio speaker cabinets. An extra tweeter in the dashboard guarantees speech intelligibility and a realistic room depth on a high-end level. Special designed surround speakers in the side panels behind the seats and a custom subwoofer with a proprietary current-saving digital 400 watts power amplifier for ultra-deep lows make the system complete.
For the Burmester surround sound system an amplifier with 640 watts of overall output power drives ten actively controlled speakers. Heavy-duty tweeters in the dashboard, midrange speakers mounted in the doors and woofers in the aluminum frame structure of the car body are used. With the switchable surround mode activated or when true multi-channel recordings are played back, the additional surround speakers in the rear side panels and a special center speaker in the dashboard produce a stunning surround sound experience. On top, owing to its 240 watts, a tail-mounted subwoofer delivers a lush low-end fundament as extra support.
Take it to your home
If you enjoy your Burmester system in your car and want one for your home, Burmester is just this month releasing a product that is perfect for every AMG owner out there! It took two years of German Engineering to create this beautiful masterpiece and it is coming just in time for Christmas!
The Phase 3
The Phase 3 is an extension of the Burmester audio product lines with trickle down technology of their reference system. This beautiful masterpiece comes in the traditional style of Jewlrey grade Chrome that is accustomed to the Burmester gear. The retro style pictured above also comes in red and black finishes for the sides and top of the speakers. You can customize it to match your AMG of course! The loft style, pictured below is a picturesque item to match the industrial charme of modern lofts.
You will be able to experience this masterpiece soon. We plan to bring this to all our Mercedes partnership events in the coming year. To learn more about it you can visit our micro-site or product page. Unfortunately didn’t have our demo unit for this event but next time you can be sure to see it there!
For those with the need for speed in their blood, the following Monday was time to let the AMG’s take center stage! Being as much of an automotive enthusiast as an audiophile I was barely able contain my excitement. I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy store!
The Day: AMG Driving Experience
The afternoon was overcast, following a seasonally typical rainy morning. The pavement had dried in most areas with some rather large puddles scattered about providing some unique photo opportunities. It also created a real-world Vancouver autumn-driving weather experience!
Treated with a pack of formidable AMGs. I was able to test drive the following:
• S 63 Coupe – Diamond Silver
• SL 63 Roadster – Brilliant Blue
• GT S Coupe – Solarbeam Yellow
• CLS 63 S Coupe – Cavansite Blue
• GLE 63 S Coupe – Iridium Silver
• C 63 S Coupe – Polar White
• GLA 45 SUV – South Seas Blue
• CLA 45 Coupe – Calcite White
Overall every vehicle has its own unique character and strength. Although I thoroughly enjoyed every second behind the wheel of every AMG, I do have my personal favourites! I will provide my top 3 here, starting with #3:
#3) S 63 Coupe
Monstrous power that is user-friendly wrapped in drop-dead gorgeous styling while experiencing it all in the most luxurious of comfort. Mercedes commented that “I look good in this car!” The caveat?… This driving experience was hosted by Mercedes-Benz Canada, the S63 is the most expensive of the lot and they are there to promote cars for sale – go figure. The S 63 does have the sexiest Burmester sound system of them all. Dare I say: The sexiest sound-system of any car? Hmmm… You decide: Our car came equipped with the “standard” 13-speaker 590-watt system. If that’s not enough for you the optional Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound system aims to be the pinnacle of mobile audio. With 1,540 total watts delivering unsurpassed audio quality via 24 speakers, including 3D speakers in the ceiling. The iconic circular-radial design aluminum speaker grilles are at their most elegant in the S 63.
#2) GT S Coupe
Okay: AMG GT. Need I say more? The only reason it’s not number 1 on my list is our test track was too short and therefore I couldn’t appreciate the limits of this beast. That, and I think my real true love is with the GT S’s big sister: the GT R – which wasn’t with us this day. Oh yeah, she’s got an amazing Burmester sound system too: Like the S 63, the “standard” is anything but, with a 10-speaker and 640-watt setup. Optionally: 11-speaker/1,000-watt High-End.
#1) C 63 S Coupe
Hands down my “funnest” car of the bunch. If only I was allowed to turn off the traction control I would have been happy if this was the only car I drove, drifting it around the track all day! Very responsive and balanced. This one is the benchmark for the bunch with a “Steve’s Fun Factor Rating” of 10 out of 10. The fact it has an awesome sounding Burmester system scores this one an 11 out of 10 in my opinion! This surround-sound system is custom tailored for the C-Class with 13 speakers powered by a 590-watt, 9-channel digital amp. Did I mention it sounds awesome?
All in all, the day was a fantastic end of the AMG Performance Tour Event and Driving Experience. I will wrap up this commentary of appreciation for innovation, engineering and design in a quote from Dieter.
“When two visionary companies that passionately follow their ideas come together, the result is something very special. Together, we have taken the art of engineering to a new level and created a perfect synergy: a car sound system with a clear mission – to be the very best there is.”
All of us who attended that one night and one day shared in experiencing the very best there is in automotive and audio technology.
An Evening and a Day of “Perfect Synergy”
– Steve Coombe