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This review first appeared in May 2020 on fairaudio.de. By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby translated and syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of fairaudio or Blumenhofer – Ed.
Reviewer: Ralph Werner
Analog sources: SME Model 15 with SME 309 arm and Denon DL-103R, Dynavector DV-20X2 H, Transrotor Figaro or Shelter 201 pickups; Flux-HiFi needle cleaner, VPI HW-16.5 vinyl cleaner
Digital sources: Luxman DA-06, Innuos Zenith Mk3, Audiodata MusikServer MSII, Auralic Aries, HP Notebook with JRiver
Preamps: Pass XP-12, BMC Audio MCCI Signature ULN phonostage
Power amp: Pass X250.8
Integrated amp: Unison Research Triode 25
Loudspeakers: Blumenhofer Acoustics Genuin 1 Mk2
Cabling: Boaacoustic Silver Actinium, fis Audio Studioline, Ascendo tri-wire, Dynamikks Speakerlink, Ecosse ES 2.3, Zu Audio Libtec; Boaacoustic Blueberry Signal.xlr, fis Audio Premiumline Lifetime, Ecosse, Vovox; Audioquest Cinnamon Toslink, Boaacoustic Silver Digital Xeno USB) Wireworld Series 7 Starlight Gold coax; fis Audio Studioline power cords
Equipment rack: Creaktiv Trend 3
Power delivery: fis Audio Black Magic
Room: 40m² w. 2.45m ceiling
Review component retail: €39'900/pr
King Koax. Sometimes a name just fits. Today it is my—erm—great pleasure to showcase Blumenhofer Acoustics's Gran Gioia 2×10. Never mind professional interest, I had very personal curiosity. Since my review, I've listened to the firm's largest model in their second-largest range, the Genuin FS1 Mk2. Now I'd host the smallest model in their biggest series; perfectly inescapable logic. This sure would be grand theater. To call Gran Gioia 2×10 Blumenhofer's second-largest model isn't entirely correct. Even though the official catalogue does presently top out with the Gran Gioia Mk2, should Thomas Blumenhofer feel tickled and have the necessary time, there could be even more ambitious projects in his R&D drawer. By contrast to those speakers that would be king, today's still keeps its feet on the ground but already takes up 1.33m in height with a horn mouth of 93x50cm and depth of half a meter. That parks a solid bit of transducer tech in your room even when for €39'000/pr, bigger can be had elsewhere. To develop a top hornspeaker that's not as huge as others to still integrate with normal living rooms was the point after all. See the next photo for some alternatives.
For being a full-horn concept, today's two-way is unusual. It's not strange, just uncommon for its class. So why a big two-way? Thomas Blumenhofer considers the topology's demerits less serious than its advantages. Hello superior continuity and, due to lack of a more complex filter, more precise timing with better phase. Here his 12dB/octave 2nd-order filter sits at 750Hz in its own sealed sub chamber to separate it from the rest of the ~150-liter enclosure and minimize microphony effects. As a signature feature for the company, there's jumper-selectable impedance linearization next to the biwire terminals. That's particularly useful with valve amps. My Unison Research specimen suddenly demonstrated superior spatial mapping and bass definition. Nominal impedance is 4Ω, efficiency 95dB/W/m.
Off the beaten path entirely is being a coaxial horn. Horns are rarer to begin with, dual-concentric horns even more so even if we did recently host an Abacus which loads a coaxial driver into a single horn. Blumenhofer however finesse three drivers into two horns. A practical benefit is that at 90cm above the floor, the tweeter now sits at ear height. Our designer underlines that his is a time-coherent coax. The two acoustic centers of his 10-inch woofers are coincident with that of his tweeter. The geometry of his upper bass/mid horn which works at ~100-150Hz with its embedded waveformer creates a cylindrical wave launch. That claims to have the two woofers behave as one. The promised result is a time-correct cylinder wave and phase consistency across the filter hinge even with changes in the listening position. As a concept, it quite diverges from the remainder of this portfolio. With the flagship for example, the tweeter horn is adjustable to the seating position which continues with the Genuin models. The 2×10 meanwhile locks in this alignment yet claims higher sonic invariability versus the listening chair position.
The tweeter horn loads a 3" compression driver through a 1.4" throat. The pressure chamber, centering and damping of that driver's membrane are all heavily modified and the response was adjusted to achieve perfect linearity. This includes driver pair matching. The 10-inch woofers are designed in-house, then manufactured by Ehmann & Partner. Their membrane isn't pure paper but a paper/hard foam/paper sandwich.
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