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Blumenhofer Factory Tour

Pro Audio Goes Horn Speakers

[Italian version]

Reporter: Hartmut Quaschik - TNT Germany
Factory: Blumenhofer - Germany
Address: Blumenhofer-Acoustics, Hoelden 2, 86877 Walkertshofen, Germany
Date of Visit: January 28th, 2012

Since a few years Thomas Blumenhofer is present at the Munich High End Show. His big, sometimes archaic looking horn speakers are not easy to overlook. Since his speakers always have been on static display rather, I never had the opportunity to listen to his speakers at the show, though.

Andrea Vitali

Eventually I got an invitation for a factory visit from Mr Andrea Vitali, who is involved with distribution of Blumenhofer and related products.

The Blumenhofer premises are located in a nature protection area. When I approached the location driving uphill with my Skoda Yeti, my mind calmed down, and I wondered how it would be living outside the cities in the nature. I was singing "The fool on the hill sees the world spinning round ...". Well the folks at Blumenhofer's proved to be everything but foolish. The premises are in fact an old farm house with an annex.

Andrea Vitali welcomed me and I got a factory tour first. Most rooms of the old farm house are now a cabinet maker's workshop with industrial saws, CNC drilling and milling machines, painting plants, a big inventory of speaker parts, half finished box cabinets and the like.


Beryllium diaphragm Thomas Blumenhofer not only makes his own cabinets, he rebuilds horn drivers with custom phase plugs and beryllium diaphragms in order to cover a big frequency range even in a two-way configuration.

Other components used in the more expensive loudspeakers are TAD woofers and electro magnetic woofers and drivers from Wolf von Langa.

Thomas Blumenhofer

When you are in the demonstration room, there is a good chance that you get offered a real Italian espresso or cappucino by Mr Blumenhofer himself. BTW, the coffee table is in midst of a small museum with the most wanted FM tuners like from Sansui or Klein+Hummel, many 70ies receivers and cassette decks from the times before digital.

Thomas Blumenhofer has been working in pro audio since 1979. He sells custom installations for theatres, cinemas, recording studios, clubs, and public address. So high end is not his main business, although he did car audio or home audio occasionally. He was drawn into high end audio very late, by some customers, who wanted something loud and clear for their living rooms. In 2007, a distribution network for high end audio has been established. Andrea Vitali finally joined Thomas Blumenhofer in 2009.

Listening in the Barn

The demonstration room is quite a hall, about 150 sq.metres. For demoing there are two turntables Technics SP15 in beautiful wooden plinths, with SME M2-12R tonearms and either vintage Clearaudio or Soundsmith strain gauge catridges. Pre and power amplification was from Grandinote.


Blumenhofer Fun 13 We first listened to the Blumenhofer Fun 13, a small floor stander. This speaker was developped entry-level yet following Blumenhofer's ideas. Because of the really big room, we could listen only at moderate levels. Though my impression was of a loudspeaker which is at the same time clean and clear, articulate and authorative. The Fun 13 is definitely worth a test review in tnt-audio.

Album Titles

We listened to following titles:

Radical Face - Ghost Maitre Gazonga - Les Jaloux Sabouteurs Dvorak: violin concerto in A minor, op.53 / Glazunov: violin concerto in A minor, op.82. Nathan Milstein plays violin. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Steinberg Einstürzende Neubauten - The Jewels Youn Sun Na - Same Girl

Blumenhofer Wiki We also had a listen to the biggest loudspeaker in the line-up, the Blumenhofer Wiki. This is a two-way full horn for placing in the corner. It had gigantic dynamics. We first heard it with the Grandinote amplification. I thought that this combination was not as balanced as the Fun 13 with the Grandinote. We later tried a tube power amp. Like expected, this was better playing together with the high-efficiency Wiki. This experience closed the visit.

If your interest has been raised, go to Thomas Blumenhofer's at the Munich High End Show, and join the shuttle bus leading to his loudspeaker factory and demo room, which is about 80km away from Munich.

Thanks a lot to Andrea and Thomas for this electrifying afternoon.

© Copyright 2012 Hartmut Quaschik - www.tnt-audio.com

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