This review first appeared in the March 2015 issue of high-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of Blumenhofer Acoustics in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Progressive Audio - Ed.

Reviewer: Ralph Werner
Sources: VPI Scout II with JMW 9T arm and Denon DL-103, Ortofon MC Rondo Bronce and Shelter 201 carts; Luxman D-05 SACD player; Logitech Touch, ReadyNas DUO , HP Notebook, M2Tech USB bridge, Benchmark DAC1 USB
Phono pre: BMC Audio MCCI
Preamplifier:Octave HP33 with MC phono
Power & integrated amplifiers: Musical Fidelity MB 700m, NAD M22, Arcam FMJ G39, Denon PMA-2010AE, Yarland FV-34 C III
Loudspeakers: Dynamikks Monitor 8.12
Cables: High-level fis Audio Studioline, Ascendo tri-wire, Dynamikks Speakerlink, Ecosse ES 2.3, Zu Audio Libtec; low-level fis Audio Premiumline Lifetime, Vovox, Mundorf Cable and others; digital Wireworld Series 7 Starlight Gold coax, Aqvox USB
Power delivery: fis Audio Black Magic
Equipment rack: Creaktiv Trend 3
Review component retail:

Got the Jones for a speaker of high efficiency, beaucoup cone surface and/or horn loading? Then Blumenhofer's new MkII iteration of their Genuin range's best should tickle your nether regions. As head there's an about Din-A4 paper-sized funnel. This crowns a quite sizeable body which encloses no less than 220 litres of air. That goodly reserve provides breathing room for the woofer's own nether region. After all, that's a 16-inch papery humdinger. Which about was the width of your scribe's grin as he manoeuvred these fat boys dressed sharply in a very fine Olive veneer into his auditory digs. To be sure, this isn't your average girly box though my lady gave it a very stiff thumbs up. No matter, the Genuin FS1 Mk2 is one big speaker. Even so, if you're prepared to smoke this sort of cashish and are after such a speaker type—at 96dB/1w/1m, calling it high efficiency isn't telling porkies—you'll probably won't want to hide your pride and joy but rather, install it as proper sound furniture like they used to. And quite as massive as some photos make 'em out isn't what they look like in real life. Which could be down to a number of facets and angles. The baffle leans back, the top shows one fold, the cheeks altogether three. Okay, no perspective does minimize those frontal 45cm of width but why complain?

As you surmised already, the rakish enclosure isn't purely for looks. The various bends are all part of an acoustic concept which Blumenhofer rather flowery refer to as harmonic construction. Non-parallel walls counteract the worst of standing waves. Then the general geometry plus its deliberately thin walls of 18mm Birch Ply plus sparse but strategic damping team up to 'steer' or 'tune' the resonant behaviour of the bass. Rather than suppress all cabinet reactivity come what may, our Bavarians prefer to spread their excess energies across a harmonically more benign broader bandwidth whilst going after a most speedy release. This is preferable to solitary but narrow and steep resonant peaks which may result from rigorous overdamping. If this echoes the philosophy of Brit boxers Spendor and Harbeth, you're not far off the mark. What this adds up to is evidence for how the current Mk2 incarnation diverges from just being a facelift for the roughly 10-year old original. That enclosure still followed the principle of vibrational suppression rather than management. Suppression came from prodigious bracing and a 50mm thick front baffle. On those counts, the Mk2 is closer to its smaller FS2 sister which introduced the 'harmonic construction' change. But there's still more which is new with the second Genuin 1. The bass reflex port now aims at the floor and no longer the front; the drivers are different, hence so is the horn's geometry. The support system for the horn has changed too and so has the enclosure's lower end. In practice then, it's nearly a new model.

Regardless of these changes, the fundamental specs for this speaker remain in place. The 16-inch paper-cone woofer hands over at 850 cycles with a 2nd-order filter to the tweeter horn which loads a 75mm Titanium dome with a 1.4" compression chamber. For time alignment vis-à-vis the burly bass driver and sitting distance, the horn mounts on a moveable sled. In typical Blumenhofer fashion, there's selectable impedance linearization to look invitingly at valve amps; and the option of a 1dB or 2dB treble cut. These user alterations are made between and above the biwire terminal respectively. Cable jumpers for single wiring as well as jumpers for the impedance/treble adjustments are included. Because this stuff gets routinely overlooked by speed readers, let's stress most explicitly that all of this amounts to just a two-way design. In this price and weight class, that's a bit unusual. Designer Thomas Blumenhofer seems to view its advantages—particularly the improved integration from a simpler crossover relative to phase/time coherence—as more meaningful than its liabilities.

Amongst the latter one traditionally rattles off a higher F3 (the minus 3dB frequency of the bass reach) and a greater propensity for Doppler and IM or intermodulation distortion. That's because each driver must cover a broader bandwidth than those in a 3- or 4-way. Here one should admit that even under hellish levels, the Genuin FS1's mighty woofer should barely move to keep any distortion propensity in check. Something similar applies to the horn whose acoustic gain minimizes excursion requirements for its driver. Where the F3 figure is concerned, that 220-litre enclosure volume exists for a reason. Still, Blumenhofer only claim 30-35Hz at -3dB. That varies with the floor gap as a function of how far in or out you screw your spikes. One shouldn't really need to go any lower. But then shouldn't and the extreme pursuit of high-end audio aren't exactly bed fellas. To say it straight, the same money could pursue competitors which add nearly another octave below the Blumenhofer. If that's what you absolutely must have.